This week, Governor Tony Evers, state officers, and state legislators took their oaths of office and began the 2023-2024 legislative session. In November, voters chose to continue a divided government in Wisconsin with Democrat Tony Evers controlling the governor’s office and Republicans holding majorities in both houses of the legislature. While partisan politics is not going away anytime soon, both Evers and legislative leaders have signaled more of a willingness to work together after the election.
In his inaugural address, Governor Evers highlighted several priorities to include attracting more workers, especially in health care; expanding affordable housing and job training; and investing in public transit and transportation alternatives. He is also proposing to legalize marijuana and repeal the state’s 1849 abortion ban.
In addition to Evers, several other state officers were sworn in. Lt. Governor Sarah Rodriguez (D) replaces Mandela Barnes after he came up short in his campaign for U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, John Leiber (R) began a 4-year term as the largely ceremonial State Treasurer. Secretary of State Doug LaFollette begins his 12th term in the office and is the longest serving state constitutional officer in the country.
Twenty-four new members will be sworn into the Assembly, including 16 Republicans and eight Dems. In the Senate, there are six new members, five of them Republicans and one Dem.
With the new members sworn in, Republicans will control the Assembly 64-35 and the Senate 21-11 with one vacancy following the retirement of Senator Alberta Darling (R).