Governor Evers issued a new order effective Oct. 18 to mandate weekly testing for unvaccinated government workers and government workers who do not submit their vaccine status.
Though over 70% of these officials are vaccinated, many unvaccinated workers may quit their jobs due to the new order, according to U.S. News. Those who oppose the mandate feel the required testing is against their constitutional rights and would feel pressured to get a vaccine, according to Spectrum News.
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The Wisconsin GOP is pushing back against this order with GOP Senator Devin LeMahieu leading the charge. The GOP hopes to pass a bill to give jobless pay to workers that reject the vaccine and quit or get fired. The standing law in the state of Wisconsin currently is that workers who quit or are fired do not get unemployed pay. This bill would be an exception to that law.
If the bill were to pass in the Wisconsin Senate, it would need to be approved by Governor Evers, who, according to his spokesperson Britt Cudaback, would veto the bill. In turn, the bill is unlikely to pass as it currently stands.
Last month, the Governor’s office required all executive branch state employees to report their vaccination status.
“We want to make sure we are protecting our workforce and our employees,” Communications Director of the Department of Administration Tatyana Warrick said. “Our goal is to have a fully vaccinated workforce without the use of a mandate.”
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The order will go into effect Oct. 18 in hopes that all the officials who are not vaccinated will decide to get the vaccine within the next month.
They are also trying to be flexible by giving workers a variety of options. Evers’ office is trying to make this process as easy as possible by making sure all workers have access to information regarding the vaccine and testing at all times, Warrick said.