Assembly OKs bill limiting powers to close select businesses

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Assembly has passed a Republican-authored bill that limits government officials' ability to close select businesses in an emergency.

The legislation would block any government official from declaring a business essential or nonessential.

It also would mandate that any regulation on businesses imposed during an emergency would have to be applied to all businesses uniformly regardless of the type of business or the product or service it offers.

The measure comes in response to an executive order Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' administration issued in March 2020 ordering nonessential businesses to close as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold.

The bill goes next to the state Senate.

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