Last Thursday, the State Assembly passed a bill that would require that during an emergency order no business may be declared essential or nonessential, and any regulation of a business during an emergency must be applied to all businesses uniformly without regard for the type of business or the product or service the business provides. This bill seeks to prevent a recurrence of what Governor Evers did in March twenty-twenty when he declared an emergency and then unilaterally deemed some businesses essential and others nonessential.
We all recall the confusion and arbitrary nature of those early covid-related emergency orders, where churches, while deemed essential, were under stricter regulations than bars and taverns. This bill doesn’t have a carve-out for churches, and we believe it should under the First Amendment, but it at least limits one aspect of a governor’s emergency powers.
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