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Vote to end mask mandate could impact food assistance programs

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    MADISON, Wisconson (WDJT) — Repealing the mask mandate could have devastating impacts on those who rely on food assistance programs.

The Assembly is scheduled to take the final vote on a resolution Thursday to toss out Gov. Tony Evers emergency order, requiring Wisconsinites to wear masks.

States who’ve enacted emergency orders receive additional federal funding for these programs after Congress passed the CARES Act.

Eliminating the order would prevent nearly 250,000 households from receiving about $50 million in aid, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

The Hunger Task Force is recommending lawmakers reconsider their vote scheduled for today.

“What the legislature is not considering are the Emergency FoodShare benefits provided by the federal government,” said Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director of Hunger Task Force.

“Thursday’s repeal vote places hungry Wisconsinites at risk of deeper hunger, additional pain and lasting suffering caused by the pandemic.”

Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), who introduced the resolution to revoke the mask order, said the legislature could pass another bill or insert an amendment to resolve the SNAP funding issue. However, he’s still encouraging the legislature to follow through on the vote to end the mask order, calling Gov. Evers emergency order unlawful.

“In regards to SJR 3 and Emergency FoodShare Allotments the situation facing the legislature has not changed regarding the unlawful issuance of multiple emergency declarations by Governor Evers,” Nass said in a statement.

The Senate is scheduled to convene at noon and could address the issue then.

The Assembly was scheduled for a vote on the resolution at 9 a.m. and has yet to convene.

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