MADISON – State Representative Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit) gave the following statement after the Supreme Court of Wisconsin announced its ruling striking down Wisconsin’s Safer at Home Order:
“I am extremely disappointed that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has chosen to play partisan games with the lives of Wisconsinites. Our state has sacrificed immensely to flatten the curve and save lives, and we are on the right track to safely and gradually reopen. This ruling not only ignores the law, it also endangers the progress that our state has made.
“The court failed to lay out a workable path forward to ensure continuity and clarity for Wisconsin businesses and residents. By issuing its decision after 5pm and not providing a clear stay of the ruling, there is little opportunity for Governor Evers to put forward administrative rules to continue to manage this public health crisis before bars open tonight or before other businesses open in the morning. Chief Justice Roggensack added to the confusion by issuing two conflicting opinions about when this ruling should take effect. Even if Republican legislators were willing to come to the table and work with Governor Evers, it will take time — time which the court refused to provide.
“This is devastating in light of the tremendous progress we have been making to thwart COVID-19 in Wisconsin. Five of the six criteria for ending the Safer at Home Order and moving to Phase One of the Badger Bounce Back Plan were met for the first time just yesterday. Now, with no guiding plan, we risk losing that progress. The people of Wisconsin were clearly behind the plan presented by Governor Evers, with a clear majority of Wisconsinites supporting it in recent polling. In my district, I have heard directly from many constituents concerned about their own health and the health of their loved ones. I urge everyone to continue to follow public health advice over the coming days as we seek a clear path forward.
“The legislature must now work with Governor Evers to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites and to prevent further economic uncertainty. The people of Wisconsin deserve a clear path forward, and we cannot afford to wait. Legislative Republicans brought this lawsuit, and now they must release their plan to keep Wisconsinites safe, gradually reopen businesses, and ensure that workers who can’t yet safely return to work can continue to stay safer at home without losing their unemployment benefits. Every hour that they delay is an hour we cannot afford.
“This virus is not going away, and we do not yet have a vaccine or reliable cure. Wisconsinites should stay safer at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect everyone’s health and safety. Businesses should continue following the Badger Bounce Back Plan and guidance from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation on whether and how they can safely operate.”