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Court strikes down Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order

Plus: group sues Minnesota secretary of state over absentee voting concerns; Minnesota poised to become first state to ban trichloroethylene; Trump criticizes Fauci testimony; and more.

Wisconsin demonstrator
Demonstrators protesting the extension of the emergency Safer at Home order by Gov. Tony Evers, outside the State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 24.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

In The New York Times Neil Vigdor reports, “The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the extension of a stay-at-home order by Gov. Tony Evers, siding with Republican legislators in the state in a high-profile challenge of the emergency authority of a statewide official during the coronavirus pandemic. … Within hours of the ruling, some taverns were making plans for reopening, the governor’s office said. ‘This turns the state to chaos’, Mr. Evers said in an interview. ‘People will get sick. And the Republicans own the chaos.’”

In the Star Tribune, Stephen Montemoyer reports: “A group of older Minnesota voters is suing the secretary of state over concerns that the state’s absentee voting rules could put their vote — and their health — at risk this year. … The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court by the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund, looks to stop the state from enforcing that requirement and also to adopt a postmark deadline on mail-in ballots.”

MPR’s Kirsti Marohn says, “Minnesota is poised to become the first state in the country to ban trichloroethylene, or TCE, an industrial solvent used in manufacturing that has been linked to negative health effects, including cancer. The Minnesota House passed the ban Wednesday following prior Senate approval. Gov. Walz is expected to sign it into law. Last year, the Twin Cities east metro company Water Gremlin agreed to pay $7 million in fines and other costs tied after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency determined the plant had released an excess amount of the chemical into the air.”

Also in the New York Times, Katie Rogers reports: “President Trump on Wednesday criticized congressional testimony delivered a day earlier by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who had warned against reopening the country too quickly and stressed the unknown effects the coronavirus could have on children returning to school. … ‘To me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.’”

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This from Reuters, “Canada and the United States appear likely to extend a ban on non-essential travel until June 21 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a Canadian government source and a top U.S. official said on Wednesday. The two neighbors had agreed on April 18 to extend border restrictions until May 21 as cases of the disease continued to rise in both nations. Canada is now pressing for the measures to remain for another month. …Chad Wolf, acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary, said later on Wednesday that restrictions across the borders with Canada and Mexico would likely be extended.”

The Star Tribune’s Torey Van Oot writes, “Drug companies will have to notify Minnesota consumers about big prescription medication price hikes, under a major compromise measure signed into law on Tuesday. The new price transparency law, which passed both chambers of the Legislature with bipartisan support, is the result of more than a year of negotiations between legislators and interest groups.”

WCCO-TV reports: “With the season postponed until July, the St. Paul Saints are gearing up for a unique start to their season in which they are calling ‘Nopening Day.’ On May 19, the celebration will begin with a curbside pickup ‘Nopening Day’ T-shirt giveaway in front of CHS Field. The Saints will hand out 500 shirts — two per car — from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., fans can go on Twitter and Facebook to watch the first game in CHS Field from 2015.”

Also in the Star Tribune, this from Rochelle Olson, “Law enforcement must have a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity before they can peruse the names on a hotel guest registry, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that a guest’s presence at a hotel is potentially sensitive and shouldn’t be wide open for law enforcement.”

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