Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers Sues Republican-controlledegislature
Accusations of Obstruction and Unapproved Pay Raises
Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers filed a lawsuit against the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature on Tuesday, accusing lawmakers of obstructing basic functions of government. Evers specifically took issue with their failure to approve pre-approved pay raises for University of Wisconsin employees.
Evers emphasized the injustice, stating, “You can’t do that. That’s why we’re suing and that’s why we’re going to win.”
Evers Takes the Case Directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Evers is asking the liberal-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, bypassing lower courts. He argues that the Legislature is overstepping its bounds and reaching beyond its constitutional authority.
Evers Fights for University Employee Pay Raises
At a press conference, Evers expressed his dismay at Republican lawmakers telling 35,000 University of Wisconsin employees that were expecting pay raises to “stick it.” He called it “a bridge too far” and criticized their actions as “bulls—.”
Legislature’s Obstruction Goes Beyond Pay Raises
In addition to blocking the pay raises, Evers argues that the Legislature is also obstructing state conservation programs, updates to commercial building standards, and ethics standards for licensed professionals across Wisconsin.
Contentious Relationship between Evers and Republican Legislature
The lawsuit is the latest development in the ongoing contentious relationship between Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature. They have clashed since Evers was elected in November 2018, and the Legislature convened a lame-duck session to weaken the governor’s powers just before he took office.
Evers has frequently vetoed bills and has had his appointees repeatedly rejected by Republican lawmakers. The strained relationship is further evidenced by the limited number of meetings between Evers and Republican legislative leaders.
Implications and Immediate Actions
Evers’ lawsuit contends that the Legislature is attempting to change state law without proper protocol. The case has significant statewide impact, including harm caused by the blocked pay raises, program delays, and failure to achieve modern building standards.
Should the Supreme Court accept the case, deadlines for arguments would be set within weeks. Otherwise, the case would have to go through the lower courts first, causing delays of months or longer.