Governor-Elect Tony Evers has a wall to break down as early as day one: avoid gridlock and get the parties on the same page.
The Republican legislature made the first move in December, weakening the power of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general.
“Governor Tony Evers was elected, and I think it is time for Republicans to accept that fact and let’s get together and make a difference,” said Senator Dave Hansen (D).
At this point, it is about playing the hand you are dealt and moving on.
“I’m certainly willing to work with anybody that I can to get things accomplished for my district and the people of Wisconsin,” said Andre Jacque, a newly-elected Senator (R).
Republicans maintain their majorities in the Senate and Assembly, but as the election has shown partisan politics have fallen out of favor.
“I think, in many ways, there’s a pent-up public demand for improving the schools, universities, highways, roadways,” said Michael Kraft, professor emeritus of political science at UW-GB. “They both know they have to work together and I think they’ll find a way to do that.”
The new governor says he will work with the Republican legislature. And not only that–he must.
“Will there be fighting and jousting about these things, of course there will be,” said Democratic Governor-Elect Tony Evers. “But at the end of the day, we’re going to be able to reach common ground and do some good things for the people of Wisconsin.”
A hundred-day plan will be talked about soon, with a focus on the state budget.
And Evers says the people will remain a part of the process.
“We want to have people across the state actively involved in discussions about this next budget,” said Evers. “Because it’s so important for the state that we do solve these issues, especially around transportation and education and health care.”
He says people are bored of the constant fighting and stonewalling.
“They care, frankly, more about making sure that we are civil to each other and that we tone down the rhetoric going forward,” said Evers. “I think that’s going to be a good message and be well-received by the people of Wisconsin.”
The inauguration ceremony is Monday at the Capitol Rotunda in Madison at 11am.