Madison –Representative Barbara Dittrich (R – Oconomowoc) introduced two bills to address the lack of transparency and oversight that has been the standard operating procedure of the executive branch under Governor Evers. These bills seek to make those who implement our state statutes accountable to the voters of Wisconsin.
“Since COVID-19 first reached our state, agencies like the Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Elections Commission have overstepped their legal boundaries by passing off guidance from their agencies as if it was the rule of law. This is a flagrant attempt to circumvent the regular legislative and rule-making process set forth in Wisconsin state statute, and it is time we said ENOUGH!” shared Rep. Dittrich.
LRB 2387/1 specifically focuses on guidance offered by state agencies. Contrary to what it may seem after the Great Government Overreach of 2020, guidance does not have the force of law. This bill repeals vague portions of statute and clarifies that the law is the law, rules are rules, and guidance is guidance with no in-between.
LRB 4954/1 emphasizes that any standard, requirement, or threshold as a term of any license issued by an agency must go through the rule making process. This ensures that those who set restrictions are accountable to the citizens of Wisconsin. The DNR has been especially culpable in unfairly allocating permits and licenses throughout the state.
“These bills ensure that everyone, including government, is clear about the law, and the actions that can be taken under the law. There is no reason to let agencies keep the ability to confuse and mislead Wisconsinites,” said Rep. Dittrich.
Wisconsin state government exists to serve the citizens of Wisconsin. The current executive branch fails to realize that there are co-equal branches of government set out in our state constitution for a reason. The Legislative branch cannot and must not be circumvented by attempting to misuse rules, guidance, and permitting.