Wisconsin Public Radio

GOP Senators Plan Override of Mask Mandate

Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald says the Senate is ready to convene.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Jul 31st, 2020 03:38 pm
Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, speaks to reporters on Feb. 20, 2020, following on of the Senate's final session days of the year. Shawn Johnson/WPR

Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, speaks to reporters on Feb. 20, 2020, following on of the Senate’s final session days of the year. File photo by Shawn Johnson/WPR.

The leader of the Wisconsin state Senate says GOP lawmakers are ready to vote on overriding Gov. Tony Evers’ new statewide mask mandate, but the fate of an override in the state Assembly remains unclear.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Friday morning his Republican colleagues in the Senate “stand ready to convene the body to end the Governor’s order.”

“The Governor has caved to the pressure of liberal groups on this. How can we trust that he won’t cave again and stop schools that choose in-person instruction this fall?” Fitzgerald said in a prepared statement. “There are bigger issues at play here, and my caucus members stand ready to fight back.”

Fitzgerald and other Republicans have said for weeks they oppose a statewide mask mandate. They argue restrictions of people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic should be handled by local officials, rather than state government.

The state Legislature could override the governor’s emergency declaration and mask mandate with a simple majority vote in both chambers. Republicans hold a 19-13 majority in the Senate and a 63-36 majority in the Assembly.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the override’s prospects in his chamber.

The vote would come in the form of a joint resolution, which does not require the governor’s signature to go into effect. State law allows the governor’s emergency declarations to be halted either by the governor, if he chooses to end the declaration ahead of schedule, or by a legislative joint resolution.

The governor’s statewide mask mandate, issued Thursday, requires people five-years-old and older to wear masks in indoor and “enclosed” public spaces in Wisconsin, beginning tomorrow. The order is set to be in effect until Sept. 28.

There is also a possibility the order could be challenged in court. A conservative advocacy group has said its lawyers are reviewing the governor’s action.

GOP Leader: Senators Ready To Override Statewide Mask Mandate was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

More about the Statewide Mask Mandate

Read more about Statewide Mask Mandate here

5 thoughts on “GOP Senators Plan Override of Mask Mandate”

  1. Mingus says:

    Republicans maintain that whether to wear a mask is a right relating to personal health care for a citizen. Yet the Party will do everything they possible can to deny the right of a woman to make her own choices about reproductive health.

  2. JMcD says:

    Only 13 states now have no mask mandate. The CDC and Infectious Disease want a national mandate. And still, the Wisconsin Republican leadership somehow claims overreach. The majority of our citizens want a mask requirement. We elected Evers. What parallel universe are these people in?

  3. Thomas Sepllman says:

    More information on the Joint Resolution and how long it has been around and how is it different from any other legislation that is passed by the Senate and Assemble and then sent on to the Governor.

    The Dems need to make the SCIENCE the single issue and force the Republicans to explain themselves The old union song Which side are you on On the side of Science or the side of politics WE need the singers back in the Rotunda


  4. mkwagner says:

    Gosh gee. Fitzgerald and Vos haven’t thought the economic down turn, thousands of Wisconsites out of work, 900+ Wisconsinites who have died, almost 53,000 have been infected with no slowly of the infection reason enough to call the legislature back in session. But the Gov. Evers’ mask mandate is. Why? Maybe because they want to ensure this pandemic creates as much panic and chaos as possible. It doesn’t matter that the “liberal” groups asking for the state mandate included business leaders throughout the state. Nor that mandating masks is supported by the majority of Republicans in this state. It doesn’t matter that the mask mandate may actually slow the infection rate, save lives and even make it possible for schools to safely open in the fall. No, what really matters is making sure this current crisis creates as much devastation as possible so that Vos, who wants to run against Evers in 2022 can campaign on the platform that Evers was unable to lead Wisconsin through the worse crisis in over a century.
    Vos and Fitzgerald are not interested in governing. They are only interested in maintaining their power. They continue to do everything possible to overturn the election results of 2018. It is time for Wisconsinites to rise up against these fascist.

  5. PhilipStarr says:

    What’s wrong with Fitzgerald?
    (Read MKWagmer’s last paragraph.)

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