The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.
As you know, the legislature took action earlier this week to protect the strong conservative accomplishments that I have been a part of over the last 8 years. Early actions by the incoming administration have shown an intent to weaken these reforms without including the legislature in the process. I could not idly sit by and let that happen.
The bills we passed focus on ensuring the governor cannot unilaterally go around the legislature to change state law. In fact, the bills’ focus is to preserve the constitutional intent that in order to change state law, you need both the legislature and governor to agree. This is not only important, but a bedrock concept in our nation and state.
The changes do not give radical new powers to the legislative branch to act without the governor’s approval. We still need to work together to get things done. The people spoke and there is a Democratic governor, I do realize and accept that. However, the people also returned Republican majorities in the Senate and Assembly. By ensuring the governor must work with the legislature, we will make certain that everyone has a say as our state moves forward.
The main focus of the bills we did pass is ensuring the legislature has a seat at the table with the new governor. The governor-elect has stated a desire to end the state’s successful economic development agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The WEDC has had a positive impact on our state’s economy over the past eight years resulting in a $20 billion economic impact and an addition of nearly 200,000 jobs. The agency was instrumental in landing the Foxconn deal which will have a massive local economic impact with thousands of family-sustaining jobs. We took steps to ensure the new governor cannot simply shut down the WEDC without legislative involvement and put the Foxconn project, and all of those jobs, at risk.
Further, a number of common sense reforms were protected, which could have been weakened by the new administration without legislative oversight. We acted to protect multiple reforms such as: Voter ID requirements, welfare reforms such as drug testing and work requirements, and efforts we have taken to help individuals from the high costs of health insurance through ObamaCare. All of these could have been changed without any legislative approval.
Finally, we also acted to cement the implementation of a tax cut that was already in practice. This would ensure that new online sales and use tax collections would be used to reduce income taxes instead of being diverted to grow government and new programs.
As you can see, despite certain media outlets sensationalizing their stories, the legislation that was passed was responsible and aimed at ensuring the legislature continued to have a seat at the table with the governor. I will work to find common ground with Governor-elect Evers where possible, though I will pledge to fight for the conservative reforms that have led to Wisconsin’s economic turnaround.
Representative Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) represents Wisconsin’s 32nd Assembly District, which includes portions of Walworth, Kenosha, and Racine Counties.
–August, R-Lake Geneva, represents the 32nd Assembly District.