Spotlight: The discrimination of ‘non-essential’

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — When Gov. Tony Evers issued his lockdown orders at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, he shut down so-called “non-essential” businesses. Thousands of businesses that are quite essential to their owners and the people they serve had to close their doors. Some of those businesses would never reopen.

A bill moving through the Legislature aims to make sure what supporters see as discriminatory and destructive designations don’t hurt Wisconsin businesses in the next public emergency.

Assembly Bill 912 aims to ensure all businesses are treated equally during an emergency declaration by the government. It would also eliminate the economic hardship endured by small businesses ordered to close, while their big box competitors remained open for business.

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