Madison, Wis. – In response to Governor Tony Evers issuing Executive Order 90 declaring a public health emergency, Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R–New Berlin) issued the following statement:

“I am extremely disappointed by the Governor’s decision yesterday to unilaterally extend the public health emergency without consulting the legislature, in direct contravention of the law. The state statute is unambiguous: the Governor must seek legislative approval for such an extension. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has further made clear that the governor’s powers are subject to both constitutional and statutory constraints.

Rather than working with the state legislature to develop sensible and targeted strategies for addressing the coronavirus outbreak and its collateral damage on our society, the Governor chose to knowingly issue this illegal order, undermining both our individual liberties and our government’s constitutional separation of powers. The legislature is duly elected by the people of Wisconsin to represent them in government and to give voice to their concerns. When the governor blithely disregards his responsibility to work with the legislature and acts in direct defiance of our courts, he ignores both our constitution and the citizens of Wisconsin. Our government is one of laws and our democratic values cannot tolerate such unaccountable dictates.

This is not about masks, lockdowns, or any specific policies; rather, this is about protecting the fundamental tenets of our laws. We can have a civil and productive discussion about what we need to do to control the coronavirus outbreak in our state. We can do so in a way that respects our constitutional roles and gives the people of Wisconsin a voice in their future. But we cannot have that discussion under the threat of unilateral decrees that violate our laws.

As chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, I invite the Governor and members of his administration to a public hearing to discuss the merits of the policies he believes are necessary and warrant legislative action. I look forward to engaging in a positive process that will help us work together to ensure our safety and rebuild our economy while taking great care to preserve our freedoms.”

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