Tony Evers' order on restaurant and bar capacity upheld | WisCommunity

Tony Evers' order on restaurant and bar capacity upheld

October 19, 2020 - 4:28pm
Governor Tony Evers
Governor Tony Evers

A Baron Court judge ruled against the Tavern League and upheld the rule imposed by the Evers administration that limited the size of public gatherings to 25% of the legal capacity of the venue. This will again affect the number of people that restaurants and bars can serve.

Judge James Babler upheld the order, overturning a ruling by a Sawyer County judge last week that kept the order from being enforced temporarily. Babler's ruling was a little unconventional in that he said that since the Tavern League could not show they had followed the state rule limiting gathering size, that they are not being harmed by the rule. 

The Tavern League had argued that the limit on occupancy is similar to the stay at home order that had been overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in May. Babler did not believe that the previous case had made it clear what authority the state has in placing limits in a health emergency. 

The Tavern League does not plan on appealing the ruling but asked the state to help the businesses which are being impacted by the pandemic and the state rules limiting their businesses. Scott Stenger, a lobbyist for the Tavern League stated "Maybe somebody now will listen to the fact that this isn’t a joke anymore. We’re going out of business. We need help. We shouldn’t be the enemy in this."

In a statement this morning, Governor Evers said “This critically important ruling will help us prevent the spread of this virus by restoring limits on public gatherings. This crisis is urgent. Wisconsinites, stay home. Limit travel and going to gatherings, and please wear a face covering whenever you have to go out.”

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Steve Hanson
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