Yes, Wisconsin Republicans have the power to overturn the extended mask mandate order by Governor Evers

 Newswise
25-Sep-2020 2:30 PM EDT, by Newswise

Fact Check By: Craig Jones, Newswise

Truthfulness: True

Claim:

(Republicans) have the power to overturn the (state of emergency) order by joint resolution and they refuse to do it.

Claim Publisher and Date: Senator Chris Larson on 2020-09-23

Republicans have the legal power to reverse the order by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers that extends the mask mandate. 

As reported by Eric Litke on Politifact...

 

The latest state of emergency declared by Gov. Tony Evers — his third since the start of the coronavirus pandemic — elicited the expected reaction from Republicans.

The latest order extended the state’s mask mandate, which was set to expire Sept. 30, for an additional two months.

An avalanche of GOP news releases and social media posts condemned Evers, a Democrat, calling the order "illegal," "unconstitutional," an "overreach" and a "power grab." Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester,  called it "rule by fiat" and said there would "undoubtedly be additional court challenges" — on top of the court challenges to previous orders.

But one Wisconsin Democrat says Vos has no reason to wait on court challenges.

"Whenever you see a WI Republican bemoan the Governor's mask mandate, remember these 2 things," state Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee said Sept. 23, 2020 on Twitter. "1) They have the power to overturn the order by joint resolution and they refuse to do it. 2) They sued to have control over our #COVID19 response months ago, and have done nothing."

We’re focusing on the first point. It’s an overlooked element of the partisan showdown over Wisconsin’s coronavirus response.

And Larson is exactly right. Republicans could end Evers’ order any time, if they got a majority vote in the chambers they control.

Let’s review what's going on.

The state of emergency statute

State law first gave the governor authority to declare a state of emergency in 1951, though that was related only to acts of war. The circumstances in which an emergency may be declared and the governor’s powers in that scenario have evolved since, including the addition of public health emergencies in 2002.

The only prior public health emergency in state history came in 2009, when Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle issued Executive Order #280 in response to H1N1 (swine flu), according to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. 

 

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