State manufacturers blast Marathon County COVID plan

The Brillion News

MADISON – An ordinance under consideration by Marathon County government would fine a business $25,000 per day for breaking regulations issued by its health department.

That proposal is drawing fire from the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the state's chamber of commerce, manufacturers’ association and safety council – which urged opponents on the county board to kill the plan.


The newly proposed ordinance in Marathon County would give the local health department broad authority over local businesses and individuals.

The Marathon County Board of Supervisors executive committee is expected to meet this coming Thursday (June 11) to discuss the ordinance.


WMC Executive Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley is urging county board members to oppose the proposal:

“Marathon County’s proposed COVID-19 ordinance is fundamentally flawed, unfair and should be rejected by the county board. Several of the regulations proposed against businesses and citizens conflict with state law and are therefore unlawful,” Manley said. “The ordinance gives broad, overreaching and unaccountable authority to a single unelected decision-maker to impose burdens that could have disastrous economic consequences for families and businesses in Marathon County.”

Manley said many of the provisions of the ordinance – which he described as “draconian” – would likely fall to a legal challenge.

“Given the significant legal and policy concerns with the proposed ordinance, the Marathon County Board should reject it, and instead work with stakeholders on a narrowly-focused ordinance that actually complies with the limitations imposed under state law,” Manley said.

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