Sen. Steve Nass: Important Update on Ever’s Mask Mandate

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By Senator Steve Nass

As of today, the Republicans in the State Senate have been ready to act by passing a joint resolution ending the illegal and unnecessary emergency declaration and any orders issued under those powers (including the statewide mask mandate).

We have been waiting for Speaker Robin Vos and his Assembly colleagues to join us in an effort to block another power grab by Evers and DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm.  Every explanation for not acting offered by members of the Assembly has been challenged.  For example:

-The polling excuse.  Just last week, the Marquette Law School Poll showed that 54% (and growing) of people identifying as Republicans opposed the state mask mandate.

-Evers will close the schools. It easier for the Governor to issue orders impacting schools under the emergency declaration than if a declaration didn’t exist.  Without an emergency declaration, Palm and local health departments would have to act under their Chapter 252 powers on schools and those actions would be subject to legal challenges with a better likelihood of success.  Also, in recent days we have witnessed numerous school districts reversing their plans for in-person classes under pressure from teachers unions and other liberal groups.  Evers is winning on rolling back in-person classes.

-The mask mandate might work.  The mask mandate has been in effect since August 1st.  As of August 17th, the data issued by Wisconsin DHS shows the mask mandate has had no discernable impact on Covid-19 positivity rates or trends that had started prior to August 1st.

-The label of opposing masks.  We support the voluntarily choice of individuals to wear or not wear a mask and the privilege of private sector businesses to establish mask protocols for their operations.  We oppose government mask mandates that lead to fines and/or potential criminal charges.

I am now talking with other members of the Senate and the Assembly about the process for utilizing Joint Rule 81 (2) (a), to establish a joint petition in calling an extraordinary session of the Legislature to end the Governor’s emergency declaration.  Under this process, if a majority of members in each house sign the joint petition, then an extraordinary session is officially called and the two houses would vote on a joint resolution ending the emergency declaration.

We have one opportunity to get this right, so it is taking a little longer to organize than initially anticipated.  In the Assembly, we must work to get around the pressure from leadership to prevent members from signing the joint petition.

I am hopeful to have more news on this effort early next week.

Senator Steve Nass is a conservative Legislator in Wisconsin. He currently represents the 11th Senate District. Stay up to date on Senator Nass statements on this issue and other efforts here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/11/nass