University of Wisconsin System leaders will have to run future COVID-19 rules past state lawmakers. On a 6-4 party line vote, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules declared Tuesday that the UW System must issue an emergency order to enact pandemic protocols like mandatory testing and masks.
“No public hearing. No opportunity even for the legislators on the committee to discuss the issue at hand,” said Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) a committee member.
The committee voted by ballot on Tuesday. The action comes amid a steady increase in new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin and across the U.S.
“I think they understand and know that they’re on the wrong side of this one, as they have been throughout this entire pandemic,” said Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), another committee member.
“The path forward in addressing Covid-19 is not through excessive government mandates, but in the restoration of Americans being able to make voluntary informed decisions based on their individual health circumstances,” said Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) the committee co-chair who introduced the resolution last week.
“If the university proceeds with putting these measures in place, as I think they need to – it’s imperative – I would not be surprised to see the Republicans sue,” Subeck said. “We have seen Robin Vos and Devin LeMahieu perfectly willing to spend loads of taxpayer money on ridiculous lawsuits.”