Page 9 - PFFW December 2018
P. 9

November Elections Will Likely Bring Wisconsin Political Change and Status Quo
Come January 7, 2019 Wisconsin will have:
A NEW Governor
A NEW Lieutenant Governor
A NEW Attorney General
A NEW State Treasurer
Three NEW State Senators
Fifteen NEW State Representatives
Sixteen NEW Cabinet Secretaries
One NEW Superintendent of Public Instruction
And that is not all! Within
each state agency there are numerous positions that are unclassified civil service and the new governor will fill them. Many of those will probably not be filled by January 7.
There are almost 200 commissions, boards, and councils that range in size from one to 18. Most current members of these entities have been appointed to fixed terms, and not subject to
new appointments until the terms of the current members expire. For some that might not happen until the end of Governor Elect Tony Evers first term in office. Most commission positions are full-
time jobs, such as Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC). Boards like the Employee Trust Fund Board (ETF) or the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) are not paid positions but do meet regularly. The EMS Board is similar to these other boards, though the EMS Board is more limited in authority. Some boards and councils meet as- needed.
(Some of you might be interested in serving on these boards or councils. For a complete list go to the State of Wisconsin website and look under Boards and Commissions.)
Though there are major changes in the East Wing of the Capitol, the November elections resulted in little change in the State Legislature. Yes there are 18 seats that
will have new members but
in each house only one seat has changed hands between political parties.
In the State Senate the only change is in the 1st Senate District in northeast Wisconsin where June special election winner Caleb Frostman (D)
lost in his effort to keep his newly won seat to Rep. Andrea Jacque (R). The other two State Senate seats that were open due to incumbents seeking other offices were won by the party that had held them. This means that the Senate has
returned to the Republicans, 19-14.
In the State Assembly the Republican margin shrunk
by just one seat. Their new margin will likely be 63-46. Even though there are 15
new Assembly members, 13 seats were vacant and two Democrats were defeated in the August primary. Not one incumbent was defeated in November. The one seat to change hands was the 14th Assembly District (parts of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, and Brookfield). The seat had been held by Rep. Dale Kooyenga who left to run for the vacant Sen. Leah Vukmir seat.
The new Democratic State Representative is Robyn Vining who won by just 132 votes (and may be subject to a recount). She is a small business owner and photographer.
During the past eight years Republicans set the legislative agenda and pretty much had the votes to do whatever they wanted. There is some hope among Democrats that with
a new Democratic Governor some of the Republican agenda of the past eight years can be undone. That is not a likely scenario! Republican legislative leaders have made it clear they do not plan to undo their years of legislatives initiatives.
Democrats will have the new Governor to stop new laws they oppose, but it will be difficult
to get any new Democratic
initiatives passed without giving Republicans something in return. Republican leaders are already planning to meet in an extraordinary session before January 7 to restrict some powers of the Governor.
From the PFFW perspective, the Democratic votes are
not there to repeal Act 10
(the law that took away collective bargaining power
for many public employee unions and also affected the compensation, retirement, health insurance, and sick leave of many public sector employees). Republican leaders have made it clear they have no intention of repealing Act 10.
There are areas where Governor-Elect Evers and Republicans will probably be able to work together, including transportation funding, health care reform through pre- existing conditions, drug addiction and maybe prison reform.
There are areas where PFFW will push for its priorities. These include shared revenue and levy limits, presumption in Workers Compensation for PTSD, and returning collective bargaining rights for health insurance design.
These are already exciting times. It will be interesting to see what new opportunities await us. f
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