KAUKAUNA – Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) released a video this afternoon following last night’s Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that the Evers administration did not have the power to unilaterally mandate the closure of businesses, churches, or other facets of our communities without the consent or input from the legislature.
Hi. I’m State Representative Jim Steineke, and I wanted to take just a moment of your time to bring you up to speed on the latest on Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response. Thanks to the dedication and service of our frontline workers and many fine hospitals, here in Wisconsin, we’ve been able to flatten the curve and help prevent the widespread infection rate that had been initially feared. Thank you for doing your part to slow the spread.
On May 13th, our State Supreme Court ruled that the Safer at Home order that had been directed by Governor Evers’ administration is no longer in place. In short, what they were really saying is the Department of Health was wrong to assume that they could indefinitely shutter businesses, churches, and other important parts of our communities without even consulting with the state legislature. As one of three, co-equal branches of government, legislative Republicans do remain committed to working with the governor to find solutions that work for all of Wisconsin.
Now that the Safer at Home order has been ruled invalid, I bet you’re probably wondering what that means for you and your family.
For starters, it certainly doesn’t mean that the virus has been eliminated and that life will somehow return to normal overnight. In fact, I would still encourage you all to continue to do things like frequently wash your hands, wear masks when necessary, limit exposure of elderly or vulnerable individuals, and even avoid crowded spaces if possible. As our state begins to reopen, it’s still our responsibility to do our part in minimizing the spread of the virus.
But what the Court’s ruling does mean is that the Governor’s office can no longer keep our economy closed under a one-size-fits-all state-wide order. This means that business and workers previously labeled as non-essential can begin opening their doors and getting back to work – that’s about half a million people in this state. This also means that retailers who had been limited to only offering curb-side pickup, can once again welcome customers into their stores.
These are important steps, and I am excited to see this reopening occur after weeks of hearing from friends, neighbors, and local business owners about the stress this order had placed on their livelihoods.
But we have to be smart. Social distancing while we’re out and about, making changes to the ways we welcome customers in our doors, and taking extra precautions when it comes to cleaning surfaces and preventing the spread of germs will only help us keep our communities healthy.
There are an abundance of resources for both businesses and consumers alike to ensure we can reopen our state without sacrificing the progress we’ve made in flattening the curve. I’d also encourage you to check with local health leaders about any specific guidance that they may be requiring outside of the state’s order.
I know Wisconsinites are up to the task of fighting the coronavirus, together. But again, we have to be smart. Please help do your part to show that through smart and measured steps, we can reopen Wisconsin and take this important step forward, but do so responsibly.