Speaker Vos Open to Looking at Ways to Limit Governor’s Powers

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Wednesday he is open to looking at ways to limit the power of incoming Democratic governor Tony Evers before he takes office in January.

Vos told reporters that in a lame duck legislative session later this month or next, he would consider bills that would “rebalance” powers of the executive, without saying what limitations he’d be open to considering. Vos said he wanted to discuss it with Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, who was meeting with GOP senators on Thursday to elect leaders.

Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said it was “unfortunate” that Vos was “doubling down on division just hours after Governor-elect Evers called on Speaker Vos and Majority Leader Fitzgerald to set aside differences and work together on the pressing issues facing our state.”

As governor, Evers will propose a state budget, the Republican Legislature will be able to rewrite it. Evers has extensive veto power and Republicans don’t have large enough majorities to override him.

Evers ran on the promise to scale back much of the conservative laws Walker and Republican lawmakers enacted over eight years. That includes reducing tax credits for manufacturers and restoring collective bargaining rights lost under Act 10 for union members who backed him.

The GOP turned back every Democratic challenger in both the Assembly and Senate with one race still too close to call Wednesday. What’s more, the GOP flipped a Senate seat that Democrats had won in a special election this summer. As of Wednesday, unofficial returns showed the GOP with a 63-35 Assembly advantage and a 19-14 Senate edge.