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Guest Editorial : What was the extraordinary session about? | By Rep. Rick Gundrum

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Dec. 15, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – I want to clarify what was accomplished in the extraordinary session and why I voted to accept the proposals.

 

The provisions I voted for are far from groundbreaking. Roughly half of the measures had been previously introduced as legislation, codified existing administrative rules, were part of recent state budget proposals, drew from settled case law, or aligned state law with changes to federal law.

 

In short, we ensured Governor-elect Evers does not undo what was already passed into law.  He did not run on overturning laws that already exist.

 

Governor-elect Evers will maintain the same Constitutional powers granted to Governor Walker. He continues to have one of the strongest veto pens in the nation. He will still be able to issue executive orders and appoint over 200 executive branch officials.

 

The Attorney General’s office has no powers specified in the state Constitution. The job of the Attorney General is to enforce and defend the laws that the legislature has passed. The Attorney General’s office continues to operate as it has in the past, which has always included legislative oversight as specified in the Wisconsin Constitution.

 

However, I am concerned with Governor-elect Evers indicating he wants to shut down the successful Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). This agency plays a vital role in job creation and economic development. Over the past eight years, WEDC has awarded Washington County businesses over $9 million, and it is projected to create over 1,000 additional jobs. I voted to support the nine-month transition plan for WEDC to ensure current projects are completed throughout the state.

 

The statewide offices of Governor and Attorney General were elected by a mere 1-percent margin with the majority of the votes from Madison and Milwaukee districts. My election to the Assembly was a mandate from the voters of the 58th Assembly District.  I have not wavered from the positions I took prior to the election. I was clear about where I stood on the issues such as protecting the most vulnerable in society, defending our Second Amendment rights, funding all levels of education, maintaining local control, and holding the line on taxes.

 

Through conversations with my Republican colleagues in the Assembly and Senate, I sense a genuine willingness to work with Governor-elect Evers, Attorney General-elect Kaul, and our Democratic colleagues on issues we can find agreement on. I share that sentiment. Conflict and disagreement are inherent to our constitutional republic and democratic process. The first step, however, is making sure everyone has an equal seat at the table.

 

Governor Walker shared his approach to assessing the merits of each bill as they were signed into law stating: “My criteria when evaluating these bills were simple: Do they improve transparency? Do they increase accountability? Do they affirm stability? And do they protect the taxpayers? The answer is yes.”

Respectfully submitted,

 

Rick Gundrum

State Representative
58th Assembly District

 

 

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