Capitol Buzz
November 10, 2022
Voters Continue Split Party Control of State Capitol 

On Tuesday, Wisconsin voters left intact the same political composition in the State Capitol that has dominated the last four years by re-electing Democratic Governor Tony Evers and voting for even larger Republican majorities in each house of the Legislature. Republicans are poised to enter the next legislative session in January with a 22-11 supermajority in the Senate and a 64-35 advantage in the Assembly.

However, by failing to gain a two-thirds supermajority in both houses, the Republicans will remain unable to override the Governor's vetoes next legislative session. In order to override a governor's veto, both the Senate and Assembly must vote to do so by a two-thirds majority.

Divided party control of state government is generally good for municipalities. It requires a more balanced approach to policy making. If legislation is not bipartisan, it is more difficult for the measure to pass and become law, including bills impeding municipal powers.

Public Safety Funding Referendums Demonstrate Need for Reform

On election day funding for public safety was on the ballot in twenty communities, large and small across Wisconsin with unofficial results showing 17 communities approving these public safety referendums. A staggering 37 public safety referendums were on the ballot in 2022 including eight in the spring election and nine during the August primary elections.
“Public safety is a top priority in Wisconsin, and our local communities cannot rely on temporary Band-Aids and referendums to fund critical local services any longer,” said Jerry Deschane, Executive Director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. “Municipalities are turning to the ballot for short-term relief due to long-term, flatlining state support for public safety services.     
“We remain committed to working with the legislative and executive branch to address the broken system of funding local governments and providing a sustainable solution,” Deschane added.
The following local governments held public safety referendums on Tuesday: City of Chippewa Falls, City of Eau Claire, City of Middleton, City of Whitewater, Town of Grand Chute, Town of LaFayette, Town of Mukwonago, Town of Clayton, Town of Holland, Village of Aniwa, Village of Arena, Village of Boyd, Village of Holmen, Village of Mukwonago, Village of Orfordville, Village of Redgranite, Village of River Hills, Village of Shorewood Hills, Village of Williams Bay, Village of Fontana, and Washington County.

The referendums failed in Red Granite, Town of La Fayette, and Washington County.