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"No Mask No Entry" sign taped to a storefront in Queens, NY

Wisconsin keeps mask mandate, for now

Wisconsin’s mask requirement still stands, for now at least, after the state’s legislature almost ended Gov. Tony Evers’ emergency health declaration Thursday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The State Senate already voted on Tuesday to end the order and mask requirement, and the Assembly was about to follow suit. Many Republican legislators have said the Democratic governor’s mandate is unconstitutional.

But lawmakers in the Assembly hesitated Thursday after learning in the Journal Sentinel that almost $50 million in food assistance was at risk because of a COVID-19 relief package Congress passed last year giving states with emergency health orders additional money for food stamps. 

Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he thinks with further study, they will determine there is a way to end the mask mandate and keep the federal funds. The measure to end the state’s mask requirement passed in the Senate 18-13 with two Republicans siding with all Democrats in opposition, according to the Journal Sentinel has previously reported that masks are just the latest government mandate provoking claims of unconstitutionality. Read this article for a brief history of the backlash against seat belts, motorcycle helmets, toddler car seats and smoking bans along with constitutional law experts’ opinions. 

And here’s a roundup of the mask mandates or lack of in each state. 

Contact Katherine Snow Smith at Follow her on Twitter at @snowsmith.