February 11, 2021


As it stands at the moment, there are nine states who does not have a statewide mask order in place. If the Wisconsin Assembly has its way, that number will climb to ten on Thursday. The Republican-controlled Assembly looks set to repeal the order that was originally put in place by; Democratic Governor Tony Evers last August. There is more to this decision than just the wearing of masks, though, as it could have a negative financial impact; on low-income families across the state of Wisconsin.

The decision seems to be as good as made after the Senate approved the resolution; to repeal the mandate earlier in the week. Under Wisconsin law; the Assembly can make political news by completing the repeal; as they do not require the signature of the governor to make it happen; the current statewide mask order was originally scheduled to end on March 20.

The decision to make this move now is strange for a couple of different reasons. It is not just the mask order that is being repealed, but rather the entire emergency health order put in place by Governor Evers. Attached to that order is $49 million in federal food assistance for low-income families in Wisconsin;that money comes from the federal government but is only made available to states who have an emergency health order in place.

During the month of January

More than $49 million has already been issues to roughly 243,000 families in need in the state of Wisconsin. It has been a quick passage for the repeal; which came to life last week without a public hearing before moving to the Senate on Tuesday; where it was quickly passed and moved on to the Assembly for a final vote.

This news comes as the death toll from COVID-19 in Wisconsin sit at close to 6,000. Republican lawmakers are claiming that Governor Evers exceed his authority by putting such a long emergency health order in place; suggesting that he should have done so every 60 days instead. It is worth noting that certain counties across the state have their own mask order in place; so they will remain unaffected, but they will still lose the money from the federal government.

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