Eight months after the lights were last on in the Wisconsin state legislature, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has belatedly come out with a Covid-19 response. Unfortunately, it is taken directly from the partisan playbook used to draft the infamous lame duck legislation that followed the election of Governor Tony Evers. Rather than an actual bill, Speaker Vos is offering a 23-page wish list of proposals designed to continue the Republican leadership’s attempts to strip the Governor’s office and local governments of authority in favor of the legislature they control.
Under normal circumstances, this kind of hyper-partisan power grab would be counterproductive. In the midst of a pandemic that has killed over 3,600 people in our state so far and forced over half a million of our neighbors to seek unemployment benefits to keep their families afloat, it rises to the level of immorality. It is nothing short of political malpractice.
While vaccines represent light at the end of the tunnel, there is much work to be done right now to repair the massive damage that has been inflicted on the health and economic well-being of the people of Wisconsin. The policies we put in place today will determine the extent to which we get back to normal. In this time of great need, the power which we have entrusted to our elected officials must be used not as a weapon against political opponents, but in the interest of all Wisconsinites regardless of political affiliation. It’s time for Robin Vos and the Republican leadership in the Wisconsin legislature to set aside self-serving schemes for partisan advantage and work collaboratively with Governor Evers to heal our state.