The state legislature’s Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative rules has ordered the Evers’ administration to go through the formal rule-making process, to implement the governor’s order limiting the size of indoor gatherings due to the coronavirus.
“We have no emergency rule. We’d love to have an emergency rule, that we could have a public hearing on, but we don’t have one,” Committee co-chair, Representative Joan Balweg (R-Markesan) said Monday “And actually that’s why the department has declined to call in or appear at this meeting, because there is no emergency rule to discuss.”
The committee voted 6-4 to require the Department of Health Services to present an emergency rule within 30 days. There were some heated comments made by committee members, prior to that vote.
Representative Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie), leveled a charge at Republicans who have not taken any action during the pandemic.
“So no action tells me that the way it’s going is the way you want it to go,” Hebl said “You’re in control of the legislature. The legislature makes the law. And if you’re not willing to do that, then you have blood on your hands, these people are going to die because of your inaction.”
“We can come together, and use the emergency rule process, to provide a more comprehensive discussion regarding our response,” Ballweg said.
The latest order, which limits gatherings in public spaces to 25% of capacity, expires November 6th. If the Evers’ administration chooses to extend it, the committee could block that.