Tony Evers Is Pushing The Wisconsin GOP To The Left

Isn’t it amazing what can change after a gubernatorial election? Despite pushing back on Governor Tony Evers’ agenda in some areas (Medicaid Expansion, medical marijuana, etc), it is starting to feel like the Republican leadership in Madison is trying to co-opt some of the new governor’s popular ideas.

Like the increased tax relief for Wisconsin’s middle class. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald couldn’t get out of their own way fast enough when passing their own version of the ‘idea’. Of course they botched the execution and ignored the economics involved which elicited a veto from the governor. Followed by howls of foul from the GOP leadership (something I may address later in a separate post). But they wanted to steal the governor’s thunder nonetheless.

And this week they came out with a bill to improve Wisconsin’s efforts to combat homelessness. That would sound like the perfect avenue to develop a bipartisan bill to do exactly that. But it seems like they did it in isolation (i.e. within their own caucus) and froze out Democratic participation. Considering that Democrats represent the biggest urban areas that often have the most homeless, that seems rather odd. But props to the GOP for finally taking up the issue. But I guess I wonder why they didn’t do that over the past eight years when they also held majorities in both houses and the governor’s mansion.

The package of Republican-authored bills was released in a series of news conferences held by Republican lawmakers across the state Thursday. 

Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, said Thursday he is “terribly disappointed” in his GOP counterparts for excluding Milwaukee Democrats from the news conference in his district.

“I am terribly disappointed in my Republican colleagues’ decision to hold their Milwaukee press conference on homelessness without speaking to or even inviting members of the Milwaukee Delegation or Black Caucus whose communities are deeply affected by this issue,” Bowen said.

Steineke (Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) ) said he doesn’t “know why legislators would be making it about themselves.”

“This is really about ending homelessness in the state,” he said.

Steineke is right. It’s about ending homelessness. Bowen is right. The Democrats have a long term interest in this area. The Republicans lament the lack of bipartisanship in Madison. Then they create bills like this without consulting the minority. Round and Round it goes.

But doesn’t it seem like the election of Governor Tony Evers is starting to push Wisconsin’s Republican legislature just a we bit to the left?


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