In Era of Split Government, Expect Few Major Bills During Fall Session

While Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers exceeded expectations by finalizing the state budget on time in early July, there are few signs their legislative productivity will carry through to the fall.

So far, lawmakers have signed into law just a third of the number of bills they enacted in 2017 under unified Republican control of state government, illustrating the damper that Evers has placed on Republican priorities during an era of split government.

Still, a number of actions are still possible, including Senate confirmation for Evers’ cabinet secretaries and legislation related to water quality, suicide prevention, mental health and the regulation of Wisconsin’s new hemp industry. There may also be an attempt to override some of Evers’ budget vetoes, though Republicans lack the necessary two-thirds majority.