To the editor:

Editor’s note: This in an open letter that Sen. Joan Ballweg sent to Gov. Tony Evers Monday.

Dear Governor Evers,

As a past co-chair of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, I have strong regard for the structural process of creating the laws, rules and guidance documents that dictate how we govern this great state. In the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am disheartened it seems these procedures have continued to be ignored.

I believe we are stronger and more successful when we work together. I appreciated the conversations my office had with the Department of Health Services early on in the pandemic when I was still co-chair. However, I, along with many of my colleagues as evidenced by our vote rescinding your emergency order, are alarmed by the unilateral actions your office has chosen to take.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, it was important Wisconsin was able to react and respond quickly. The effects of the virus were relatively unknown, and we needed to make sure we were prepared; that is what state of emergencies are for. However almost a year later, the pandemic has now become an unavoidable part of our everyday lives.

The statutes relating to declaring a state of emergency were structured with this type of situation in mind. It encourages both branches to work together to come up with a long-term solution. Now, well beyond the statutory 60-days where you would need legislative input to extend your order, crafting a long-term solution with the legislature is the avenue I am appealing you to pursue. The legislative or administrative rule process is more than capable of addressing the ongoing needs of the pandemic. Constituents already know they should follow CDC guidelines in order to keep themselves safe. Our focus should now be on more immediate issues such as making sure our students get back into the classrooms, supporting our local small businesses and creating a clear and comprehensive public vaccination plan.

I know it may seem easier to not work with the legislature and do what you think is best, but what are laws if we do not follow them?


— Sen. Joan Ballweg

(12) comments

Carol Cate

More polished gobbledygook from Senator Ballweg. I enjoy her attempts to justify positions she holds!

Sallie Helmer

You think State Senator Ballweg writes "polished gobbledygook" then I ask you what do you call Biden speaking?

Adam Umbreit


You and every GOP member of the Legislature has bucked this pandemic since is beginning. You completely disregard that “we the majority of the voters” want the mask mandate in place because it works! Both my wife and I work in different school districts and have children in these schools yet none of us have had even as much as a sniffle of a cold the entire year. This is unheard of in the 45+ combined years of working in education. If your ignorant conclusions think that this mask mandate does not work you are ignorantly WRONG! Democrats will not work with the GOP on a state level or even federal level for that matter because the GOP simply cannot be trusted to carry out the best interests of and for the voters. Your party caused this division and untrustworthiness, it is now up to you and your Republican party to admit that you have been wrong on so many fronts, and that you will do the job you have been elected to do by the voters of this state! Voters want to be safe and the validated educated response by Evers, health professionals and business owners of this entire nation WANT THE MASK MANDATE kept in place until health professionals say it is safe enough to take them off!


Mark Alexander

Senator Ballweg posted an outright lie in her letter.... Saying constituents know what they need to do to keep themselves safe amid the pandemic... Really?? Because I've seen all the dumb camouflage wearing rednecks especially the more rural you get in Wisconsin whining and complaining about personal rights and not following the mask mandate from the get go. They are selfish and ignorant and as always the ones with the biggest mouths. Since you're calling on leftists to do things Sallie we are calling on you to inform your extremist snowflake right wingers to actually become learned on situations not just spouting fake conspiracy theories when they fit your tired false narrative. Especially the insane propaganda you post on Ripon Uncensored. Why don't you send some of that to the Ripon Press so maybe they'll Finally do an article on the seedy under belly of the people on there posting their radical fiction. The things many on there post and believe used to be grounds for an automatic wellness check at an I insane asylum

Dale Failor

Sallie if you want people to follow the law, you sure never had a problem with Trump and his administration breaking law after law. Your so called law abiding Republicans will be talking from behind bars in the near future.

Sallie Helmer

"In United States constitutional law, a Due Process Clause is found in both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, which prohibits arbitrary deprivation of life, liberty, or property by the government except as authorized by law."

"Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government subservient to the law of the land protecting individual persons from the state."

Former President Donald John Trump is innocent until proven guilty. Not guilty until proven innocent--- like the second impeachment-- the minority party has freedom of speech, the majority party cannot take that away.

Russell Beier

Agree, Sallie You Trumpkins never stop, the point is the mask is what protecting the public to not wear this mask would be like someone pointing a gun at one's own head.

Michael Shohoney

Mrs. Ballweg,

Urge your party to meet with meaning instead of their SOP of gaveling in and promptly gaveling out. Work toward something sensible instead of doing nothing in the name of procedure. Think of the health of your constituents instead of your political well-being.

Sallie Helmer

Dear Michael Shohoney,

Please urge Democrat Leftist Governor Evers and your Democrat party to follow the law. That would be a good idea. Thank You State Senator Joan Ballweg for putting your constituents first ahead of Democrat Governor Ever's power grab.

Michael Shohoney


Once again, you don't know the FACTS! Evers has asked the legislature for their input and assistance from the onset of this pandemic. They have refused. Evers is trying, ignorant Republicans and those that support them are not.

Sallie Helmer

You really believe this don't you?

Adam Umbreit

Sallie, if Evers was not following the law then why did the WI Supreme Court tell the Legislature that if you want this current lawful law changed, why don't you change it? Because they know that the majority of voters want this mandate in place right? Please tell me different Sallie!

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