MADISON, Wis. – Earlier today, GOP legislators released the co-sponsorship memo for LRB-2972/2 which makes a number of constitutional changes to statewide elected offices including the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Notably, the bill would change the method for how this office is chosen from a statewide election to a gubernatorial appointment. Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb), the ranking member of the Assembly Committee on Education, responded:
“This bill is a continuation of the GOP’s pattern of being sore losers. When Governor Evers defeated their governor, they stripped away as many of his powers as they could and are obsessed with obstructing his every move. It is not lost on anyone that each of these positions are held by candidates that were not supported by Republicans. Their power-hungry greed seeks to move the goal posts so that they only need to win one election, and not four, to control all of Wisconsin’s constitutional offices. Their quest for absolute power is an affront to Wisconsin voters and soils Wisconsin’s proud history of open and transparent government.”
This move comes less than a week after Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly delivered her first State of Education address after winning her office in an election with an overwhelming majority.
“Superintendent Underly’s pro-student, pro-teacher, pro-school agenda seeks to restore Wisconsin’s longstanding reputation as a national leader in education following a decade of cuts and inadequate funding. The GOP clearly has different priorities, like protecting their power, which is sourced only from a gerrymandered electorate, and diminishing the voice of that electorate. I find it ironic, to a comical degree, that a legislator who claims to love the Constitution so much and was attempting to sell pocket Wisconsin Constitutions to legislators and staff last week is so quick to introduce changes to it. Perhaps he thinks he can sell even more after it’s amended.”