Evers begins second term

Empower Wisconsin | Jan.3, 2023

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers’ second term officially begins today. Despite the governor’s overtures of conciliation, conservatives expect the Democrat to double down on his far left agenda.

Evers and Lt. Gov.-Elect Sara Rodriguez are slated to deliver their inaugural addresses at the noon swearing-in ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Pre-ceremony entertainment will begin at 11 a.m., according to the governor’s office.

The ceremony will be live-streamed on the governor’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.  

Republicans, who control the Legislature by wide numbers, expect Evers to go even farther left than he did in his first term. The governor won a second term in November by 3.4 percentage points, tripling his margin of victory from the 2018 election. He seems to see a mandate, despite the fact that his victory was thanks in large part to greater turnout in liberal enclaves.

“If you think about it, he doesn’t have anything to lose,” said state Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc), a member of the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee. “He can throw any outrageous things out there.”

Evers will also have a record surplus to play around with as he goes into a budget session. Sources tell Empower Wisconsin the governor has instructed his agencies to revise their budget requests, adding more to their wish lists. Departments already are seeking some $8 billion more combined.

Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) have warned Evers the state’s robust surplus is not a “blank check” for growing government. 

The governor is expected to release his 2023-25 budget proposal next month.

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