The Wisconsin Senate voted early Tuesday evening to end Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate that has been in effect since July 30 and most recently extended on Jan. 19.
The vote on the resolution was 18-13, with Sen. Kooyenga and Sen. Cowles the only Republican senators to join the Democrat senators in favor of enforcing masks, still the most effective way to stop transmission of COVID-19 and its new variants while vacccinations are still far from the finish line. The Republican-controlled state assembly is likely to put the final stake in the mandate's heart when it convenes on Thursday.
The last MU Law poll in October showed 72 percent of voters supported mask requirements in public places, and 24 groups – including the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Public Health Association and the Wisconsin Council of Churches – opposed the resolution. Zero groups formally supported it.
"The Governor's mask mandate saves lives. Ending it will cost lives," said the Wisconsin Council of Churches in their formal opposition.
The City of Milwaukee's mask mandate and other local mandates, however, are still in effect and will not be impacted by today's results or the Assembly's vote on Thursday. The city's mandate has no set expiration date.
Most important of all: Even if the mandate is likely over, the pandemic most certainly isn't, so you should still wear a mask in public places for the health of your fellow citizens. For those looking for a new mask, check out this list.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.