Wisconsin begins a new chapter.
What a great day for Wisconsin. No amount of rain or clouds could dampen our spirits as Wisconsin inaugurated five constitutional officers — all Democrats, all determined to do right by the people of Wisconsin.
Our new leaders each gave such inspiring remarks in their inaugural addresses. Here are some of my favorite lines:
“May we have courage in our conscience. And may we be willing to do what’s best for the next generation rather than the next election.” — Governor Tony Evers
“The gravity of this moment is not lost on me, as we strive for equity, for all people in a place that has not always met its commitment, in a state that still deals with extreme racial imbalance, we seek to change not only what is possible, but change what is expected.” — Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes
“As the only statewide elected Democrat [in the Capitol], it’s been very lonely these past 8 years. Today, it feels great to welcome my colleagues to our great Capitol building.” — Secretary of State Doug LaFollette
“We demand good government regardless of where you live, how much you earn, or even who you voted for. So today, we turn the page on the neglect of this office. Today we begin a new chapter.” — Treasurer Sarah Godlewski
“A person’s zip code should never determine their destiny in the state of Wisconsin.” — Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes
“I want to make clear that, irrespective of the action taken by the lame-duck Legislature, the priorities of the Wisconsin Department of Justice are changing.” — Attorney General Josh Kaul
“We must dare to make space for hope here once again.” — Governor Tony Evers
On behalf of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, I enthusiastically welcome Secretary LaFollette, Treasurer Godlewski, Attorney General Kaul, Lt. Governor Barnes, and Governor Evers and wish them all the best as they work to create a better future for our state. The people of Wisconsin have faith in you, and I know you will not disappoint.
Governor Evers is already following through on some of his campaign promises — on his first day as Governor, he signed an executive order to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ state employees. Then on Tuesday, he reaffirmed his commitment to protecting health care for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions and expanding Medicaid by issuing two more executive orders. And today, he plans to tour Lincoln Hills, the juvenile detention facility Scott Walker saw “no value” in visiting.
It’s a new day in Wisconsin, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Our Congresswoman Gwen Moore has been nominated to serve on the influential Ways and Means Committee! The Committee is the main tax-writing body of the House, and it has important jurisdiction over health care, trade, taxes, and Social Security. Representative Moore will offer such a valuable perspective to the Committee. We are so lucky to have her as our voice in Washington. Congrats again, Congresswoman!
Lame-Duck Vote Discriminated Against Rep. Jimmy Anderson
As if Republicans’ lame duck power grab wasn’t bad enough, it might have broken Wisconsin’s open meetings laws. Rep. Jimmy Anderson, who was paralyzed in a 2010 car accident and uses a wheelchair, plans to file a complaint with the Dane County DA’s office against GOP Assembly leadership for unlawfully excluding him from the lame-duck proceedings.
Though Rep. Anderson was at the Capitol in time for the scheduled lame-duck vote, he had to leave by the time the actual vote happened in the wee hours of the night, hours past the original vote time. The nature of Rep. Anderson’s disability prevents him from accommodating unexpected delays like this, and he argues that leadership didn’t follow open meetings laws, which state “no duly elected or appointed member of a governmental body may be excluded from any meeting of such body.”
It is absolutely unacceptable that Rep. Anderson was denied the abilityDem to vote on this controversial legislation to override the people of the people. Republican Assembly leadership had a responsibility to ensure all members are fairly included in proceedings, and they failed. I hope that leadership is forced to reckon with their error and that they do better in the future to ensure all members are reasonably accommodated, no matter their abilities.
/s/ Martha Laning, chair
Democratic Party of Wisconsin