A Republican lawmaker said the UW System must “follow the law” if it wants to impose new COVID-related mandates on campus.
The Republican-controlled Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules recently voted to require the UW System to promulgate rules for policies on campus.
State Rep. Adam Neylon, R-Pewaukee, who co-chairs JCRAR, said Republican lawmakers want to make sure “there is not an overreach in terms of what (the UW System) is forcing university students to do.”
“Too often, we’ve allowed agencies, the administration, the UW System, to circumvent the legislative process in doing these unilateral rules that have the same impact as law, without going through the legal legislative process,” Neylon said on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
He said Republican lawmakers are concerned about what mandates the UW System could issue.
“The next step, we fear, is they would require forced vaccinations, and that is something that is public policy that should go through the legislative process,” Neylon said
In another segment, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore said 8,500 people in Milwaukee have been served with eviction notices since the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID eviction moratorium expired on July 31.
Days after the moratorium expired, and after an outcry from progressive lawmakers in Congress, the CDC issued a new, more limited moratorium that will be in effect until Oct 3.
The Milwaukee Dem said that extension would give more time for agencies to get federal COVID-19 assistance money out to landlords.
“In the city of Milwaukee, we have agencies that are prepared to distribute and disperse the money, it’s just that there has not been enough time to do it,” Moore said. “There’s a really high bar to being able to demonstrate and bring the appropriate documentation.”
She urged landlords and tenants to work together to get the paperwork needed to apply for assistance.
“I’m asking people to be patient. This is the reason we needed the moratorium extended, so that we could get the money out,” Moore said.
Also on the program, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said “nothing’s off the table” as the city considers its next steps amid sharply rising numbers of variant cases.
Johnson said she and Mayor Tom Barrett meet almost daily to discuss what their next steps should be. The city recently issued a mask advisory.
“We really are strongly encouraging businesses to ask people to mask indoors, to have staff mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status,” Johnson said. “I think that’s our first step.”
Johnson said she did not foresee Summerfest, Milwaukee’s big outdoor music festival scheduled for September, being canceled.
She said the COVID-19 Delta variant is the predominant variant right now and she anticipates cases continuing to climb in the city for the next 20-30 days. She also said the city is looking at potentially mandating its employees to be vaccinated but “it’s a lot more difficult than it seems to actually implement.”
“We know vaccination is the way out of this pandemic,” Johnson said. “Every single person who is not vaccinated is a potential host for another variant, and we need to avoid that at all costs.”
See more from the program here.