Heading into the election, a lot was made of the Republican-controlled Wisconsin state Legislature having not met in session in any meaningful way since mid-April.
Now that the election has passed, and none of the “sides” in state government have really changed, UW-La Crosse political science professor, Dr. Anthony Chergosky says don’t expect much now, either. Now that we’re in Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ re-election cycle.
“Republicans don’t want to give him any major victories going into his re-election campaign,” Chergosky said Friday on La Crosse Talk PM. “I think you’ll see the bare minimum stuff get through, but anything controversial, anything that could give Evers a win going into his re-election, is not facing good odds in these next couple of years.”
By bare minimum, Chergosky said Wisconsin will see things passed like the next state budget and “keeping the lights on” in state government.
By the end of this week, it will be exactly seven months since the legislature passed a bill — some COVID-19 relief for Wisconsin.
Republicans were willing to hold out that long to, perhaps, see if they could get a super majority in the legislature. Now that they haven’t, will the holdout be for two more years to see whether or not Evers gets re-elected?
“The Republicans wanted this veto-proof majority,” Chergosky said. “They fell short. So now, we just get back into this trench warfare that we’re seeing between the Legislature and the governor.
“I guess we just get two more years of that.”
The legislature did meet one other time since passing that COVID-19 relief. And that was in late August, a special session called by Evers to debate policing legislation that was on the table for nearly three months, following the George Floyd murder by police in Minneapolis. The special session came just after the Kenosha police shooting.
That session lasted less than a minute, as Republicans gaveled in and immediately out, ignoring the nine policing bills that included things like “no-knock warrants” and banning chokeholds.
It was the second time in 10 months Republicans ended a special session in less than a minute. In early November, they did the same thing to ignore debating two gun reform bills.