Wisconsin Senate votes to repeal Wisconsin mask mandate

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:42 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WSAW) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted Tuesday to repeal Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate 18-13.

Many who were opposed said that passing the resolution might show people wearing masks are no longer important, and it shows that returning to normal is more important than current safety.

“This resolution today sends a message that you don’t believe they should wear a mask. Whether you want to believe if it does that or not it does,” Senator Jeff Smith (D.) of the 31st district said.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for people in Wisconsin, for the legislature to say that ‘we are going to let people die because we just want things to return to normal,’” 7th District Senator Chris Larson (D.) added.

Most who were in favor said that their main problem was Governor Evers was overstepping his rights when sending out the mandate.

“Governor Evers is not following the Constitution,” Senator of the 5th district Dale Kooyenga (R.) stated.

“Wear a mask. You could wear a mask, and I would not advocate to not wear a mask. If you’re out, wear one. But it should not be mandated. That is not under the authority of the governor past 61 days,” Senator Van Wanggaard (R) Racine 21st district explained.

Wisconsin state health agencies say the mask mandate should stay and wearing a mask and other safe practices are still very important.

“This is no time to remove a mask mandate in our state. Whether that mandate stands or not, everybody in our state continues to wear a mask to physically distance,” Department of Health Services deputy secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said.

The vote was given to the Assembly within minutes of it finishing with the Senate. The Assembly is scheduled to discuss and possibly vote on the mask resolution Thursday, January 28.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.