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Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are hoping to end the mask mandate, which Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, ordered amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers introduced the joint resolution on Thursday, with more than two dozen Republicans signing onto the measure that would end the only statewide mandate that's currently in place.

Last week, Evers extended the statewide mask mandate to March 20. Since the start of the pandemic, Evers' actions to help control the spread of the novel coronavirus have been met with steep opposition from the Republican-controlled legislature. 

This resolution only needs to pass the Senate and Assembly to end the governor's public health emergency and the mask mandate – and it doesn't need Evers' signature to take effect because it's a joint resolution, The Associated Press says.

Ending the public health emergency and mask mandate would "protect the integrity of the legislative powers authorized under the Wisconsin Constitution," the text of the proposal says. 

In October, a study by Marquette University Law School showed a majority of Wisconsin residents were supportive of the mask mandate. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged the use of masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and President Joe Biden has issued an order requiring masks in federal buildings.

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