Wisconsin Gov. Evers issues new mask mandate just after Assembly votes to stop it

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- On the heels of the Assembly passing a resolution to end the statewide mask mandate, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday, Feb. 4, he signed Executive #105 and Emergency Order #1 establishing a statewide public health emergency and requiring face coverings in public places to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites.

According to a news release from Gov. Tony Evers' office, in October, a Marquette University Law Poll found 72% of Wisconsinites agreed that masks should be required in public places, and that support for a mask requirement exceeded 60% in all regions of the state at that time.

The release says Thursday's action by Republicans in the Legislature is a continuation of Republicans’ efforts to prevent Gov. Evers from keeping Wisconsinites healthy and safe. The governor’s statewide mitigation strategies to contain and respond to COVID-19 have been met with repeated lawsuits, political rhetoric, and obstruction from Republicans since last April. Republicans also sued Gov. Evers last spring, which ultimately led to a decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order in May, leaving the state without critical mitigation tools to protect health and safety used by other states. In total, Republicans in the Legislature this year alone have spent millions in taxpayer dollars in litigation to hamstring the state’s ability to respond to the ongoing pandemic rather than meet to address the issues facing Wisconsinites.

Despite writing in a brief to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April 2020 that stated Republicans were “drafting even now” legislation to respond to the pandemic, Republicans have not sent a bill to the governor’s desk in more than 290 days.

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