Posted by 29 January 2021
Wisconsin legislatures were moving quickly this week to end the governor’s emergency declaration that included a mask mandate. However, efforts to pass legislation to accomplish this were put on hold amidst fears that this would also result in the cut-off of federal aid.
The Senate voted earlier in the week to end the emergency declaration of Gov. Tony Evers (D). The Speaker of the Assembly, however, pulled the measure from the floor prior to a vote, citing concerns that the legislation would mean an end to millions of dollars in federal aid. This money is tied to the governor’s declaration of an emergency.
The Republican-controlled assembly may try to pass a more limited response to Gov. Evers’s emergency declaration next week. They are specifically targeting the mask mandate. Legislative leaders say they will work to ensure any legislation passed gives the governor power to craft emergency orders that preserve federal funding.
The battle in Wisconsin is part of a larger dispute between legislators and executives over emergency declarations. Legislators in many states are passing bills that would overturn governors’ emergency orders or limit governors’ ability to declare new emergencies. Legislators contend that governors are overreaching in their orders and placing limits on too much activity. Governors argue that they need these powers to respond quickly to emergencies.
Do you think that legislators should restrict governors’ powers to declare emergencies?