Gov. Tony Evers says his administration is working “as quickly as possible” to fill the 82 appointments he canceled last week after a Dane County judge ruled the Legislature’s actions during the December lame-duck session were unconstitutional.
But he told reporters Monday that he was not sure if it could be done before an appeals court acts on a GOP-requested stay of the Dane County judge’s ruling.
While several of the appointments the guv invalidated were high-profile — including Ellen Nowak at the Public Service Commission and UW System Regents Scott Beightol and Torrey Tiedeman — Evers said that many of the appointments were to nonpartisan positions.
He noted it was likely he will re-appoint some of the appointees he rescinded on Friday, though he said his administration is currently prioritizing positions on board or commissions that have meetings scheduled soon.
The move drew criticism from Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. The Juneau Republican questioned why the appointees were invalidated in the first place.
“If the governor plans to re-appoint these positions, why the rush to vacate all of the appointments late on a Friday night?” he said in a statement. “[Evers] actions created instability and chaos across committees handling all sorts of issues important to Wisconsin – from massive new utility projects to the Domestic Abuse Advisory Council.”
Evers also said that he had no plans to replace WEDC CEO Mark Hogan.
Last week’s ruling appeared to give the guv an opportunity to restructure the state’s economic development agency after December’s lame-duck laws limited his role. But Evers said Monday he didn’t expect to see any changes at the agency.