Many of the media reports on the Extraordinary Session were misleading. Here's what really happened this week.
Governor-elect Tony Evers wasn't clear about much of his agenda during the campaign, but after the election he's announced some plans that should be concerning to taxpayers.
plans to eliminate
Wisconsin's successful economic agency even though it is crucial to our improved business climate. He is also
considering removing work requirements
for BadgerCare recipients. Those requirements are already in state law and no one, not even the governor, gets to pick and choose which laws they follow.
The Extraordinary Session addressed these concerns and will help make sure the Legislature and the Governor will work together on equal footing.
Here's a quick summary of the Extraordinary Session Bills:
Wisconsin's constitution is based on three equal branches of government, meant to be a check and balance with each other. Our bills are not aimed at weakening the next governor or attorney general, but they are designed to keep unaccountable and un-elected bureaucrats in check. We ended the terrible practice of agencies using deference and “guidance documents” to write their own “laws” and restored law-making to the legislature. These changes enable the legislature to perform our duties as a part of a co-equal system of government.
When Tony Evers is sworn in as governor, he will have the same constitutional powers as Scott Walker did, including the most powerful veto pen in the nation.
When Jim Doyle was Attorney General, he refused to defend Wisconsin when lawyers tried to kick inner city Milwaukee children out of the School Choice program. Governor Tommy Thompson eventually hired Ken Starr who won the lawsuit and saved the School Choice program.
Speaking of what's happened before, this isn't the first time the legislature met after an election. Back in 2010, Democrats were swept out of office and lost the Governor’s office and control of both houses of the legislature.
Despite their historic loss, Democrats voted on 1,900 pages of union contracts before Republicans took over. Because of their mismanagement, the state had a $150 million deficit and faced a looming $3 billion structural deficit. Passing those contracts would have hampered the incoming governor (Scott Walker) from balancing the state's finances.
The Democrats had one problem, they didn't have enough votes in the State Assembly. So they helped get Representative Jeff Wood out of jail to get his vote. He was serving time for 4th OWI and was censured by the chamber. Democrats passed the contracts without a public hearing thanks to Wood's vote. The contracts ended up failing in the State Senate when two Democrats, who had lost their seats in the election, changed their votes.