No, this isn’t a mistake. IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN.
This week on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Governor Evers declared another 60-day statewide Public Health Emergency (Executive Order #90) that begins today and continues through November 21, 2020. He also issued Emergency Order #1 which mandates “face coverings” (aka, “masks”) statewide. This is the governor’s third statewide 60-day emergency declaration dealing with COVID-19.
We have been in contact with legal experts on whether the governor has authority to issue yet another statewide emergency declaration. They have advised us that just as his second declaration was illegal, so this one is as well. At a minimum, this order raises questions about whether, for instance, churches and private schools have the right to exercise autonomy in this matter.
We want to reiterate that Wisconsin Family Action has not and will not take a position on masks or other the other aspects of the order that the governor issued under the authority of this declaration. However, we will oppose illegal actions by elected officials. Please understand it is the emergency declaration order that gives the governor the authority to issue the mask mandate and it is that order that is illegal. How many 60-day emergency declarations dealing with one issue does he get? We agree with the legal experts: he gets one such order, not multiple ones done in a serial manner.
Meanwhile, while the attorneys deliberate regarding a possible legal challenge, the state legislature does have a way to stop the governor’s order. The law that gives the governor authority to issue a Public Health Emergency (Chapter 323.10) states that the Order can be revoked by the Governor issuing another Executive Order or by the state legislature passing a Joint Resolution. Obviously the governor is not going to revoke his own emergency declaration order. So, the quickest way to stop this illegal power grab by the governor is for the state legislature to take action by passing a joint resolution..
After the Governor’s Order was released, State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) issued a statement in which he calls on the legislature to take immediate action..
We believe this legislative approach is the best option to quickly counter the Governor’s newest edict. We are asking that you AS SOON AS POSSIBLE make 3 phone calls to help make this special legislative session and a joint resolution a reality:
You can find contact information for your elected officials HERE (just put your address in the area at the top right of the page).
We know this is a confusing and challenging time for everyone. We are hoping our state legislators will step up and do the right thing in this instance and act as a “check and balance” to the executive branch. This is yet another powerful reminder that ELECTIONS HAVE VERY REAL CONSEQUENCES. Remember that as you vote this fall!