MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate planned to vote Tuesday on repealing Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, while it remained unclear whether the Assembly would follow suit as required to undo the order.
A joint resolution cosponsored by 29 Republicans in the Legislature was up for approval in the Senate. It was the only item on the Senate’s agenda for Tuesday.
Assembly Republican leaders have not yet said whether the resolution repealing the mask order will get a vote in that chamber. It must pass both the Senate and Assembly in order to repeal Evers’ public health emergency and the mask mandate, slated to run until March 20, that is tied to that order.
Republicans argue that Evers exceeded his authority by issuing multiple public health emergencies in reaction to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. They argue he needed legislative approval.
Wisconsin has had a statewide mask mandate since August. If the state ordered is repealed, local orders in place in many of the state’s most populated areas, including Milwaukee and Madison, would remain in effect.
The Assembly on Tuesday was also taking up a COVID-19 response bill already passed by the Senate that Evers supports. The Assembly was expected to make changes to the bill, which would then send it back to the Senate.