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Wisconsin Republicans ‘stand ready’ to kill mask requirement

FILE: Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Governor Tony Evers & Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The GOP Senate leader says Wisconsin Senate Republicans “stand ready” to strike down the statewide mask mandate that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced on Thursday.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stopped short Friday of promising that the Senate would vote to kill the order, which is slated to take effect on Saturday. He also did not indicate when the Senate might convene.

He released the following statement:

“Republicans in the State Senate stand ready to convene the body to end the governor’s order, which includes the mask mandate. The governor has caved to the pressure of liberal groups on this. How can we trust that the he won’t cave again and stop schools that choose in-person instruction this fall? There are bigger issues at play here, and my caucus members stand ready to fight back.”

Democratic state Sen. Janet Bewley quickly responded on social media in opposition of Fitzgerald's statement.

State law gives the Legislature authority to revoke a governor’s emergency order.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday he expected the order to face a legal challenge, but didn’t raise the possibility of the Legislature taking action.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos raised questions whether or not the order is constitutional but said he won't be suing the governor.

“I understand the necessity of doing all that we can to control the spread of COVID-19. We all know it’s serious," Vos said in a statement provided to 27 News on Thursday. "There are certainly constitutional questions here; I would expect legal challenges from citizen groups."

No word yet on when senate Republicans would convene or if Vos will take the same approach in the assembly.

A vote by both chambers would be needed, otherwise, the mask order will stand in the meantime.

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