Wisconsin Republicans push back on Gov. Tony Evers mask mandate — 7/31/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Senate Republicans “stand ready to convene” to override Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in a statement Friday.

The statement did not specify when the chamber might meet, and a reversal of the mask mandate would require a vote from the House as well. The Legislature has not met since April, shrugging off calls by Democrats to take up legislation related to COVID-19 and the state’s unemployment benefits backlog.  

Evers issued the mandate for most buildings Thursday, aiming to prevent the spread of a coronavirus that has infected more than 52,000 people in Wisconsin, killing more than 900. It is set to take effect Saturday. At least 32 other states and the District of Columbia require the use of facemasks in some way, according to tracking by AARP

Wisconsin had the second-fewest COVID-19 restrictions in the country, behind only South Dakota, according to a study WalletHub released about a week before Evers issued his mandate.

Mitchell Schmidt of the Wisconsin State Journal has the full story on the political maneuvering on masks. Meanwhile, James Kust of WTMJ-TV offers a roundup of sheriffs who say they will not enforce the mask mandate.

Top Stories

Steve Apps

Pedestrians wait for a light to change in Downtown Madison Thursday. Although Gov. Tony Evers’ mask mandate is aimed primarily at people in enclosed spaces indoors, the order strongly recommends face coverings outdoors when maintaining physical distance is not possible.

Senate Republicans could try to strike down Gov. Tony Evers’ state mask orderWisconsin State Journal

These Wisconsin sheriffs say they won’t enforce Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask orderWTMJ-TV

‘Please do something’: As COVID-19 swept through Wisconsin food plants, companies and government failed to protect workersMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Brewers’ opener postponed because of Cardinals’ positive tests, rescheduled as Sunday twin billMilwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Pandemic could hurt local government budgets into 2021WPR 

Racial inequities in education highlighted before return to school in pandemicWTMJ-TV 

Report shows inequality among jobs widening during pandemicWPR 

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Quotable

“All 30 said they knew the risks, and were satisfied with the precautions…It was kind of honorable, it made me proud of the system.”

Assistant District Attorney Grant Huebner, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the return of juries to the Milwaukee and Waukesha county courthouses  amid the pandemic. 

Data to note

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: tips@wisconsinwatch.org.

Franklin woman billed for coronavirus-related testing; TMJ4 News gets her charges removedWTMJ-TV 

Posted on Reddit.com: 

Someone put out a free mask stand on Gilman Street in Verona 🙂 Whoever you are, THANK YOU! from r/madisonwi

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