Supreme Court Ruling, DNR Annual Stickers


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In This Issue

  1. Supreme Court Rules DHS Acted Unconstitutionally 
  2. DNR Annual Park Stickers
  3. State and Federal Services
  4. Contacting My Office

State Supreme Court Rules
in Favor of the Legislature

Yesterday, the State Supreme Court ruled Emergency Order 28 issued by Secretary-designee Andrea Palm is invalid. You can read the decision here.

All authority will now revert to a local health department. If your community does not have one, your local county government will have jurisdiction. 

At the state level, the governor's secretary will need to follow the rules process. A scope statement will be forwarded to the legislature's Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR).

You can read about this process in greater depth here.


Chief Justice Roggensack's opinion: 

"This case is about the assertion of power by one unelected official, Andrea Palm, and her order to all people within Wisconsin to remain in their homes, not to travel and to close all businesses that she declares are not 'essential' in Emergency Order 28. Palm says that failure to obey Order 28 subjects the transgressor to imprisonment for 30 days, a $250 fine or both. This case is not about Governor Tony Evers' Emergency Order or the powers of the Governor.

The order says since statutes required EO#28 to be promulgated using the rule-making procedures to be enforceable, there can be no criminal penalties for violations of the order. The Supreme Court said Palm is not without any power to act, however she must follow the law that is applicable. The order states, 'We further conclude that Palm’s order confining all people to their homes, forbidding travel and closing businesses exceeded the statutory authority of Wis. State. § 252.02 upon which Palm claims to rely.'"

My Thoughts

Although I initially agreed with the governor's order to flatten the curve to prevent the possible overrun of our hospitals, it is now clear the governor is denying reality. 

He is ignoring the ancillary effects of his safer at home order. Beyond the economic destruction, our cumulative anxiety is taking an effect on our mental health. Suicide attempts are up and patients' care is delayed. 

The governor is woefully mismanaging his Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Our office constantly reaches out to DWD on behalf of constituents to inquire about delays and errors in unemployment benefits. We cannot continue on like this. DWD is not meeting the needs of those who the governor has deemed "non essential."

We can get back to work, reopen our economy, and take the necessary steps to protect the vulnerable among of us from this virus. We must stay focused and diligent in maintaining our rights and liberties. 

Timeline for the Supreme Court Case

• On March 12, Governor Evers issued Executive Order #72 – Declaring a Public Health Emergency. The order was in place for 60 days; it expired on Monday, May 11.

• On March 24, DHS Secretary-Designee Palm issued Emergency Order #12 – Creating a Safer at Home Order. The order was to end at 8 am, Friday, April 24, 2020.

• On April 16, DHS Secretary-Designee Palm issued Emergency Order #28 – Extending the Safer at Home Order. The order was to be in effect until 8 am, Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

• On April 21, the Legislature filed suit against Palm in her official capacity saying Palm had exceeded her authority by issuing an emergency order which extended beyond the Governor’s Public Health Emergency and that she failed to use the administrative rules procedures by creating an emergency rule. The Legislature asked the Supreme Court to decide four issues:

1) Whether DHS violated statutes by issuing an Emergency Order without complying with the emergency rules process.

2) IF DHS did not violate the emergency rules procedure, if EO#28 exceeds the Department’s Authority by closing all ‘nonessential’ businesses, ordering all Wisconsin persons stay at home, and forbidding all ‘nonessential’ travel.

3) If DHS did not violate the emergency rules procedure if DHS acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing EO#28.

4) Whether a temporary injunction should be issued because the EO#28 is unlawful and irreparably harmed the Legislature.


 DNR Annual Stickers

The DNR has launched an online option for purchasing your annual state park vehicle admission stickers.

The online form is available here.

Resident, resident senior, and non-resident passes are all available online.

You will receive an e-mail receipt which will function as a valid proof of purchase for 30 days. In the meantime, a sticker will be mailed to you. With summer approaching, I encourage you to get out there and enjoy our beautiful state park system!


State and Federal Resources

State and federal authorities are assembling policy responses to address the hardships to individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. Below are some links to resources you may want to bookmark and check regularly.


You can find valuable, up-to-date information from the state government here.

The Department of Health Services maintains a COVID-19 page with updates on the outbreak here.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association has a great dashboard displaying data related to the outbreak in different areas of the state here.

You can find all of Governor Evers' emergency orders here.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporations (WEDC) maintains a regularly updated page with information related to current federal/state/local programs for small business relief.


The White House released a set of common-sense recommendations for what we can all do to help slow the virus's spread.

I also encourage you to review the resources below, which contain up-to-date information from the federal government on the outbreak. 




Contacting My Office

My Capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.