MILWAUKEE – In response to the Assembly’s decision to remove Senate Joint Resolution 3 from the Session calendar yesterday, State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:

“To be sure, yesterday was a win for science and common sense, and it was a testament to everyday Wisconsinites reaching out to their legislators and making it clear that the vast majority of people want to maintain the public health emergency and the Governor’s mask mandate. But we can’t afford to be complacent. At the end of floor session yesterday, Republicans used a procedural trick to open the possibility of the Assembly reconvening as early as next week to take up Senate Joint Resolution 3 and repeal the public health emergency. For now, I’m relieved that the public health emergency and mask mandate will stay in place to protect us for the time being, but I am keeping a close eye on what might come next.”

Yesterday, after a four-and-a-half hour delay to the beginning of Session, Legislative Republicans chose to at least temporarily pull Senate Joint Resolution 3, which would have rescinded the current COVID-19 public health emergency and Governor Tony Evers’ mask mandate, from the day’s calendar. That decision came after an outpouring of public support for maintaining the public health emergency, as well as news that the plan to rescind the emergency could cost Wisconsin almost $50 million per month in enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits from the federal government. As of today, 53 statewide organizations oppose ending the public health emergency, including school organizations, business organizations, and over two dozen health-related organizations, while none have registered in support of ending the emergency.

“What’s clear is that, despite yesterday’s tactical ineptitude, Wisconsin Republicans are still unwilling to actually listen to science on how this virus spreads and the steps necessary to slow it down. Just yesterday, Speaker Vos told a reporter that he thought that mask wearing should be a ‘social contract’ rather than required, because Republican leaders in the state apparently still don’t believe that mask-wearing in crowded indoor spaces actually prevents the spread of COVID-19. Are you kidding me? We’re nearly a year into this crisis, and Republican so-called ‘leaders’ still refuse to listen to science or experts, and instead are set on pushing their anti-truth agenda. So again, we can’t let our guard down – keep reaching out to your legislators, keep standing with science, and demanding that we do everything in our power to fight this pandemic!”

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