Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers warns of ‘massive confusion’ after court strikes down stay-at-home order

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
REUTERS/Nick Oxford
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

The Associated Press’ Scott Bauer and Todd Richmond report: “Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers warned Thursday of ‘massive confusion’ after the state Supreme Court tossed out the Democrat’s stay-at-home order and Republicans said they may leave it up to local governments to enact their own rules for combating the coronavirus pandemic. The court’s order threw communities into chaos, with some bars opening immediately while local leaders in other areas moved to keep strict restrictions in place to prevent further spread of the virus.”

Also from the Associated Press: “The Legislature will likely pass a long-stalled public construction borrowing bill before the regular session ends, because the governor’s decision to let his stay-at-home order expire could trigger the necessary bipartisan cooperation, the head of the Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate said Thursday. The bonding bill is traditionally the top item on lawmakers’ agenda in even-numbered years.”

Says MPR’s Catharine Richert: “Multiple cases of COVID-19 in Rochester appear linked to a single house party in recent weeks, according to Olmsted County’s top public health official. Through testing and contact tracing, health officials believe that a single person at the party spread the virus to multiple other individuals, who further spread the virus in the community, said Graham Briggs, Olmsted County public health director. …  The news comes as Gov. Tim Walz prepares to lift the state’s stay-at-home order and relax other social distancing guidelines.”

In the Pioneer Press, Diane Mizutani writes: “As grateful as Dan Marshall is to have the option to reopen his business next week, he was left with more questions than answers after learning that Gov. Tim Walz will let his stay-at-home order expire over the weekend. Thus, even though retailers across the state will be able to open back up starting on Monday under the ‘Stay Safe Minnesota’ order, Mischief Toy Store in St. Paul will not be part of that initial wave. As far as Marshall is concerned, there hasn’t been nearly enough guidance given on how retailers should safely reopen, and he doesn’t feel comfortable allowing customers in quite yet.”

Says Tom Crann at MPR, “Nearly 670,000 Minnesotans have applied for unemployment insurance since March 16, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development. And many of those people have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage or are no longer able to afford their private insurance. Nate Clark, chief executive officer of MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange, said job or income loss qualify as life events that allow people to sign up for coverage outside of the regular enrollment period. He said, through the state’s exchange, they may be eligible for assistance paying their premium or public health benefits, such as Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. But they must apply within 60 days of their job change.”

The Star Tribune’s Janet Moore says, “Minnesota legislators are scrambling to broker a deal to enhance safety on public transit after recent high-profile attacks and growing complaints about crime on buses and light-rail trains. The safety provisions being considered at the Capitol would create a new line of defense — transit agents who would check passenger fares and assist police in maintaining order on public transportation.”

At the Pioneer Press, Mara H. Gottfried writes, “Minnesota’s public and charter schools will have the option this summer of having a hybrid of distance learning and in-school learning for eligible students, Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday. … Some in-person instruction will be allowed if schools are in compliance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines about wearing masks, social distancing, screening and cleaning, and adhere to MDH’s guidance for summer programs.”

Another WCCO-TV story says, “Two people are in the Ramsey County Jail after the sheriff’s office says they kidnapped a woman, and attempted to get ransom money from her friends and family. According to the criminal complaint, 20-year-old Hailey Flynn, under the direction of 37-year-old Jason Tucker, lured the 37-year-old victim from her Oakdale home on Monday and went for a drive. About a mile later, Tucker got out of the trunk, and then choked and pistol-whipped the victim.”

Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 05/15/2020 - 07:35 am.

    “Republicans said they may leave it up to local governments to enact their own rules for combating the coronavirus”

    CYA for cowards. When cases and deaths go up, they can just say, we didn’t do it, it was your local folks. Party of Personal Responsibility my rear end.

  2. Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/15/2020 - 08:26 am.

    I’m sure the Rochester MN hot spot from a single house party portends good things for the gleeful taverns in the new WI Petri dish. Heckuva job, “conservatives”!

    Joking aside, it’s likely that this appalling ideologically-based ruling by the conservative activists on the WI supreme court will do more to retard the WI economy than aid it, long term. I’m guessing more Wisconsinites are highly concerned about living in a state of utter chaos and health danger than are gleeful over the libs being owned…

    And Repub Daudt is likely delighted to beat the call to retreat on his petulant threat to obstruct the bonding bill.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 05/15/2020 - 12:02 pm.

      Problem is, that “petri dish” is just across the river. And a lot of those lab experiments come back over here on a regular basis . . . . . . . . .

      • Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/15/2020 - 12:37 pm.

        Yeah, I noted that yesterday. Don’t want to keep repeating myself….

        This baseless, willful misreading of WI law is obviously a results-oriented ruling, which is essentially fascist in nature. Its disastrous effects certainly will not be limited to the white nationalist Covid cannon fodder cheering it on, that is the great injustice of it.

  3. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 05/15/2020 - 09:30 am.

    From what I read about the decision, the four activists ruled that the pandemic was not an “emergency” that the Governor or his Health Commissioner were authorized to determine without legislative input. Even if the Governor somehow exceeded his authority in making that call (and what is the Executive Branch for it not to make hard calls in “emergencies”?), there is another principle called “ratification” that allows other decisionmakers to support a hard call. Ultimately, the fact these Wisconsin Legislators chose to litigate rather than simply support the Governor in what is never going to be more than temporary, speaks to their priorities: money and the economy is more important than peoples’ lives and health. That’s “conservative” and right-wing ideology captured in a single episode: people are only another commodity- a means to the end of making a few really rich. Governor Evers summed it up when he said that the right-wing controlled Supreme Court and Legislature “own” the catastrophe and the deaths and illnesses that will follow this terrible decision.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/15/2020 - 11:50 am.

      Except it wasn’t really about money and the economy, even if that’s what they say it was. It was mainly about sticking it to the Governor, and putting him in his place. The greed was secondary.

  4. Submitted by Greg Price on 05/15/2020 - 09:39 am.

    Your left coast is showing again….

    would your local and county authorities have a better idea whats going on in their backyard than the ivory tower demagogues in Minneapolis/StPaul.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 05/15/2020 - 10:48 am.

      Describing using science to address a pandemic strategy as an “ivory tower” perfectly explains the problem. Outstate Minnesota depends on being heavily financially subsidized by the metro. They can take our money, but I guess we can’t make them listen to science.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/15/2020 - 10:50 am.

      If conservatives think so highly of local officials, is it ok for those same local officials to decide to ban plastic bags and raise minimum wages?

      I guess it was really a burr under your saddle when Scot Koch, I mean Walker, passed Act 10, which banned local governments from bargaining with thier own emoyees over wages and benefits.

      Sorry man, the GOP has long ago divorced itself from principal of local control. Try again.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/15/2020 - 12:29 pm.

      Well perhaps, but those local authorities certainly don’t know more about the progress of the disease east of the St Croix than the “demagogues” (previously known as “scientists”) in the WI Dept of Health….

  5. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 05/15/2020 - 10:04 am.

    Future historians documenting the breakdown of the American system will have copious evidence with which to work. Riding a wave of conservative victimhood and intractable prejudices, the worst of us with the worst impulses and the least competence came into power. Devoid of adequate education, social conscience or the ability to exist in the world beyond a hideous grasping self-interest, they tried to restructure the world in their image and necessarily damaged it as a result. Take, for example, Jared Kushner:

    “President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and special advisor Jared Kushner reportedly urged his father-in-law in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic not to prioritize testing or ordering potentially life-saving equipment like ventilators because of fears it might drive down stock prices.

    Kushner’s efforts to convince the president not to take decisive action were first reported in the Financial Times:

    “Jared [Kushner] had been arguing that testing too many people, or ordering too many ventilators, would spook the markets and so we just shouldn’t do it,” says a Trump confidant who speaks to the president frequently. “That advice worked far more powerfully on him than what the scientists were saying. He thinks they always exaggerate.”

  6. Submitted by Tim McCarthy on 05/15/2020 - 01:10 pm.

    A new drinking song for Wisconsin:
    “Ninety-nine thousand dead Americans in the ground
    Ninety-nine thousand dead
    The economy is down
    So pass it around
    One hundred thousand dead in the ground”

Leave a Reply