The state Senate failed to confirm just more than 150 of Gov. Scott Walker’s appointments before adjourning the regular season, including PSC Commissioner Rich Zipperer.
That means Gov.-elect Tony Evers could rescind all of them his first day in office unless senators act before year’s end.
Even if the Senate acted on Zipperer’s nomination, it likely wouldn’t extend his time on the PSC significantly. Zipperer, Walker’s former chief of staff who served in the Legislature, was appointed to the PSC to replace Ellen Nowak, who took over as DOA secretary.
That appointment filled Nowak’s original term, which expires March 1.
Meanwhile, PSC Chair Lon Roberts was appointed to a six-year term in 2017 and Commissioner Mike Huebsch in 2015.
An aide to Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said the Senate will consider taking up appointments in the planned extraordinary session. But no decisions had been made on which ones or how many, the aide added.
The pending appointments include Nowak and Corrections Secretary Cathy Jess. Both appointments serve at the pleasure of the guv, meaning Evers could make changes at the agencies after taking office even if the Senate acted.
Others, though, have terms that would extend well beyond Evers’ first four years in office. That includes Tim Size, who was appointed to the Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority for a term that would end July 1, 2025.
The list, compiled by the Senate Chief Clerk’s Office at the request of WisPolitics.com, also includes five appointments for terms that have already expired. They can continue to serve until an appointment is named.
There are also nine people on the list whose original terms have already expired, but they have been re-appointed to the same body for later terms. Most of those are appointees to the Professional Standards Council, which assists and advises the state superintendent in improving teacher preparation, licensure and regulation, according to the DPI website.
The list also includes 67 appointments still pending in the Senate Health Committee, which is led by GOP state Sen. Leah Vukmir, who launched an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate last year. Her office didn’t return a phone call yesterday seeking comment, and she declined to speak with a WisPolitics.com reporter who approached her after yesterday’s meeting of the Joint Finance Committee, on which she serves.
See the full list: