As issues continue to develop and change at a quick rate with COVID-19, the Coronavirus, we at the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) are working alongside Governor Tony Evers, the Administration, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and our general counsel, Attolles Law, s.c., to provide the latest resources and updates to assist county officials during this unprecedented time.

2021 Senate Joint Resolution 3: Terminating COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

February 2, 2021

On January 19, 2021, Governor Evers issued Emergency Order #104 (“EO #104”) declaring a public health emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. EO #104 is the latest in a series of Executive Orders dating back to July 30, 2020 that were primarily intended to impose a face covering mandate throughout the state.

Each Executive Order is only effective for sixty (60) days unless extended by joint resolution of the Legislature. The Governor has issued a new Executive Order roughly every sixty (60) days to declare a “new” public health emergency because the Legislature has not elected to extend the emergency period declared under any of the Executive Orders.

In response to EO #104, Senate Joint Resolution 3 (the “Resolution”) was introduced in the Wisconsin State Senate. The Resolution relates to terminating the COVID-19 public health emergency, including all emergency orders and actions taken pursuant to declaration of the public health emergency. The Wisconsin State Senate adopted the Resolution on January 26, 2021, and the Assembly has received the Resolution, but postponed official action for the time being.

Given these events, the Wisconsin Counties Association requested an analysis by WCA General Counsel von Briesen & Roper, s.c. of what emergency orders, emergency authority, and emergency rules would be effected if the Resolution is adopted and EO #104 is terminated. The analysis follows:

WCA General Counsel Legal Analysis of Senate Joint Resolution 3

If you have questions or concerns surrounding this update, please do not hesitate to contact the Association. We appreciate the leadership all of you continue to show through this challenging time.