Vos says he’s open to curbing some executive authority in wake of Evers’ victory

Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he’d be open to looking at taking away some authority from the executive branch.

“Maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Governor Walker,” Vos told reporters in the state Capitol Wednesday. “I’d be open to looking at that to see if there are areas we should change.”

Vos emphasized he’ll first need to meet with Fitzgerald to determine whether to “rebalance” power in the statehouse.

A aide for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said the lawmaker was open to the suggestion, and it would be discussed in caucus today.

Gov-elect Tony Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback told WisPolitics.com in a statement she’s disappointed Vos is focusing on division after Evers’ call for unity.

“These are the same desperate antics of politicians hellbent on staying in power after eight years,” she said. “The people of Wisconsin deserve better from our government, and that’s why they voted for a change yesterday.”

Vos also warned Evers to avoid partisanship and championing liberal policies just hours after the Democrat vowed to find common ground with Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled Legislature.

The comments from Vos could signal a contentious relationship between Evers and Republican leaders before the guv-elect is sworn in.

Still, Vos yesterday opened the door to finding common ground as long as that doesn’t threaten Republican principles or seek to “rev up” liberal voters in the state’s urban areas.

“If he wants to argue about Act 10, and all of the things that make people who eat granola and live in downtown Madison happy, that is his right. But that’s not where common ground is going to be found,” said.

Vos immediately cast doubt on Evers’ proposal to up funding for K-12 education by $1.4 billion over the next biennium, arguing it would be impossible without imposing massive tax hikes.

“We’re not going to grow the size of government, we’re not going to turn our backs on the success we’ve had for the past eight years,” he said.

Vos also said he opposes any plan that would take away funding for some schools and transfer it to others. Vos did, however, say he’d be open to looking at reforming failing schools in Milwaukee.

Vos said Republicans and Evers could potentially strike a deal on transportation funding if it focused on repairing roads and bridges instead of increasing funding for public transportation, citing declines in bus ridership.

Vos, who has previously served in the Assembly under a Democratic governor, argued success for the Evers administration will depend on whether the outgoing state schools superintendent backs policies that appeal to an array of Wisconsinites.

“If he chooses to poke Republicans in the eye, he will end up getting very little of what he wants,” Vos said.

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