Another Republican Says Don’t Sue UW Over COVID Policies

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A second Republican legislator says he doesn’t support suing the University of Wisconsin System over its COVID-19 protocols.

Sen. Steve Nass, the co-chair of the Legislature’s rules committee, has threatened to sue system officials if they don’t submit their COVID-19 plans to the committee for approval by Thursday. System President Tommy Thompson has refused to capitulate, saying the system has the right to manage itself.

Sen. Robert Cowles issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying he won’t support a legal challenge. He says tying the system’s hands isn’t in the best interests of local communities or businesses. He’s the first Republican senator to state a position on legal action.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke tweeted on Monday that a lawsuit would only add more confusion during an already stressful time.

Thompson has called for UW campuses to hold at least 75% of their classes in-person this fall. The schools have implemented a range of protocols over the last few weeks designed to meet that goal, including mask and testing mandates. The system hasn’t imposed any vaccination requirements, however.

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