Q: What did the Supreme Court decide?
A: The majority opinion of the Supreme Court stated that they considered Executive Order #28 issued by Secretary Andrea Palm to be considered a rule and therefore should have been promulgated through the statutory rule making procedures. They also stated that Palm exceeded her statutory authority when she confined people to their homes, forbade travel and closed businesses.
The final conclusion was that, “Emergency Order 28 is declared unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”
Q: I thought the legislature was asking for 6 days to work on a new plan with the administration.
A:The legislature had asked for a stay, if the Supreme Court was to rule in their favor, in order to allow DHS to promulgate a rule and work with the legislature on the best way to address this pandemic. The Court did not grant this stay, so the decision is effective immediately.
Q: How does this affect my business?
A. All businesses can now open with no restrictions. That being said, we would suggest that you review the recommended industry specific guidelines put together by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and implement as many as you can to protect both your employees and customers. You can find those guidelines here:
Q: What if my city or county has issued an order continuing the Safer at Home order?
A: Local public health officials do have the authority to issue local ordinances to protect the public. So far some local counties and municipalities such as Dane County, Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, Brown County, City of Racine and Kenosha County have implemented restrictions similar to the Governor’s Safer at Home order. We would recommend you check with your local authorities to see if they have issued any local ordinances as they can vary as to what restrictions are put in place.
Q: Does this mean schools are now allowed to open?
A: No, the decision specifically states that it does not apply to schools. Schools are still closed. I understand the importance of making sure families are confident sending their love ones back to school. We will be working with legislative leaders to develop the best plan for the summer and fall school sessions.
Q: Can I go to church? Visit my extended family? Get my hair cut?
A: Yes, there are no longer restrictions on gatherings or travel (as long as your local authorities have not issued a local order as stated above). Some nursing home facilities may still have protections in place to protect residents and staff. Please check with each individual facility before visiting.
Q: I’m grateful I can now open up my business, but how can I do so safely?
A: As a business owner, it is your decision when and how to best open your business. WEDC has put together industry specific recommendations on how to safely operate. You can find those recommendations here:
Q: What if there is a flare up again in a certain part of the state?
A: DHS could promulgate a rule to implement such regulations. We will begin working with leaders to begin the process to promulgate a rule to address future issues universities opening up in the fall, large summer concerts/events, summer camps etc.