Madison, WI – Today, the Legislative Assembly passed AB 912, which prohibits some businesses from being declared “essential” or “non-essential” in an emergency.

During the pandemic, Governor Evers used the emergency powers granted to him by Wis. Statute 252.02 to close businesses, except those deemed ‘essential.’ The rationale for what businesses were deemed ‘essential’ was not clear, and AB 912 ensures that in the future all businesses would be treated equally.

“Too many businesses have suffered and even had to close due to the governor’s orders. This isn’t just an economics issue, but it is a people issue. People lost their businesses and their jobs,” said Rep. Allen. “People suffered mentally and emotionally as a result.”

Governor Evers claimed that the Safer at Home orders would save lives, but many studies now show that the policies adopted by the governor had little to no effect on negating COVID-19. Instead they harmed individuals’ mental health, negatively affected student outcomes, and destroyed our economy.

Regarding AB 912, Rep Allen said, “It is a step in the right direction, but we need a complete review of Wis. Chapter 252 to ensure that in the event of future emergencies, our health, our livelihoods, and our liberty will be protected from policies decided by a fallible governor.”

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