Republicans challenge Gov. Evers' extension of stay at home order

Aries

Administrator
MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have filed a lawsuit against Governor Tony Evers regarding his extension of the Safer at Home order.


Evers' office announced an extension of the order last week, saying it would be extended through May 26th.

Court documents dated April 21 state the Legislature is requesting the Wisconsin Supreme Court issue an order temporarily enjoining enforcement of the Emergency Order extension.

Lawmakers say the order was improperly enacted due to Wisconsin Statutes, and because it exceeds the Department of Health Services' authority.

Andrea Palm, Secretary for the Department of Health Services, as well as other DHS executives must respond to the lawsuit by 4 p.m. on April 28.

That response will then be followed by response from petitioners by April 30.

Evers responded to the lawsuit Tuesday, calling it a "power grab".

"This lawsuit is something else. This is not an issue about who is in charge, this is an issue about people's lives," said Evers.


The governor also sounded off that it didn't mention how to keep people on the front lines safe, including doctors, nurses and first responders.

Evers went on to say that it was "outrageous", and that he is "looking forward tot he state supreme court to do the right thing."

When asked what it would look like if the lawsuit goes through, Evers said it was about power, it's not administrative rules, and if they win they get it and it will take a long time for our state to recover.

He added Sec. Designee Andrea Palm is "doing a great job - she's made very difficult and important decisions," and that "it's a sad day for Wisconsin."

Evers was also asked if he did anything to engage republicans, and he answered with "We waited weeks and weeks for republicans to act, if they win, it will take them weeks and weeks to come up with rules and orders."

He said he didn't regret extending the order.
Governor Evers’ Statement:
Republicans are exploiting a global pandemic to further their attempts to undermine the will of the people. But what’s at stake goes far beyond political power--lives are on the line.

Today, Republicans in the Legislature filed a lawsuit to effectively strike down our #SaferAtHome order and cripple our ability to respond to a pandemic that has already taken the lives of 242 people in our state.

This isn’t a game. This isn’t funny. People die every day because of this virus -- often times painful and lonely deaths -- and the more we delay or play political games the more people die.

We’ve seen what happens in communities that don’t contain this virus through isolation measures like we have with #SaferAtHome. Look at Italy. Look at Spain.

Read the reports of doctors rationing ventilators and having to choose which patients will live or die. Read the reports of needing refrigeration trucks for the deceased, or even worse, being left at home for days because the morgue is overcrowded.

This is why we took bold action with our Safer at Home plan to keep Wisconsinites safe and healthy. It's working. We have flattened the curve here in Wisconsin and have prevented the death of at least 300 Wisconsinites, and perhaps as many as 1400 lives.

Today legislative Republicans told the 4,600+ people in the state of Wisconsin who have contracted COVID-19 and the families of the 242 people who have died, we don’t care about you -- we care about our political power.

Their lawsuit doesn’t mention saving lives. It doesn’t mention protecting our nurses, doctors, first responders, and critical workers. Instead it's 80 pages of a lawsuit focused entirely on how to get legislative Republicans more power.

Apparently, instead of having us act quickly and decisively to respond to a crisis, Republicans would rather have us jump through hoop after hoop and ask for their permission to save lives. Folks, we don’t have time. COVID-19 will not wait.

Today’s action by legislative Republicans during a crisis is a shameful response by people elected to protect and serve the people of our state. It is a disservice to those we represent, those who are struggling in this crisis, and the economy we will need to rebuild together.

Wisconsin is a place for kindness, compassion, empathy, and respect, and today, Republicans have shown that even in the midst of a global pandemic, these values are beyond them.
Speaker Robin Vos’ statement:
Statement: Legislature Takes Gov. Evers to Court

[Madison, WI] – Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) released the following statement after filing an original action in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court challenging the governor’s extension of the Safer at Home order through May 26th.

“The public outcry over the Safer at Home order continues to increase as positive COVID cases decrease or remain flat. There’s immense frustration regarding the extension, as it goes beyond the executive branch’s statutory powers. Wisconsinites are forced to sit by with no voice in the process. Other Midwestern states with more confirmed cases, like Ohio, have set firm dates to begin a phased reopening far earlier than the Evers administration.

“The governor has denied the people a voice through this unprecedented administrative overreach. Unfortunately, that leaves the legislature no choice but to ask the Supreme Court to rein in this obvious abuse of power. Wisconsinites deserve certainty, transparency, and a plan to end the constant stream of executive orders that are eroding both the economy and their liberty even as the state is clearly seeing a decline in COVID infections.”

 
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