GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Dem Gov. Tony Evers has “completely circumvented” the rule-making process with his extended safer-at-home order, explaining why Republicans are going to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to force Evers to negotiate with them over the order.
In an interview aired Sunday on “UpFront,” Fitzgerald also said Republicans want to bring Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services for questioning because of “concern about how the secretary is managing the situation.” “UpFront” is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, filed suit against the governor after Evers extended the safer-at-home order until May 26. Fitzgerald said they want the Supreme Court to weigh in on the constitutionality of the 60-day emergency declaration and whether it should be adhered to.
Fitzgerald said Evers’ circumvention of the rule-making process “should be alarming to everybody in Wisconsin.”
It is a process that “absolutely has to be adhered to, or there is no balance between the two branches of government,” he said.
“I think there should be a back-and-forth with the administration to make sure we can come up with a plan that makes sense, instead of just continually extending the shutdown,” Fitzgerald said.
“UpFront” host Adrienne Pedersen asked Fitzgerald about two members of his caucus calling for Palm to be fired. The Senate has not confirmed her appointment.
“What I think we should do is bring in the secretary and maybe ask her some of the questions that many members of my caucus have been wondering about as of late,” Fitzgerald said.
“I hope there’s an opportunity for us to maybe have her come before the Health Committee, and answer some of these questions,” he said. “I think there is some concern about how the secretary is managing the situation right now.”
In a web extra, Fitzgerald also said he doubted reports that link new cases of COVID-19 and the April 7 election in Milwaukee.
“I don’t put much stock in what they’re saying right now,” he said.
In a separate interview, new Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley, D-Mason, said Republicans are making a power grab by going to the Supreme Court.
“It is unfortunate. I would assume that at some level they are concerned about the health of the people of Wisconsin, but I am afraid that at the highest level this is being motivated by consolidating power,” she said.
Bewley also said she thought Palm was acting within her authority during a health emergency.
“If not her, then who? Of course, the Republicans will say the Legislature,” Bewley said. “I am not a doctor. I want to have on hand the health experts that are going to put us in a place where we are going to make good decisions. I think that is an appropriate distribution of power.”
See more from the program: http://www.wisn.com/upfront.