September Legislative Update

The August primaries are behind us, and looming November state election has taken center stage. For the Governor’s race, Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, is running against millionaire businessman Tim Michels. Poll after poll show the race as a dead heat.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin legislature is expected to stay in the control of Republicans, who are seeking to obtain a “supermajority” in both houses.

In the Senate, the current composition of the 33-seat Wisconsin Senate is 21 Republicans and 12 Democrats. The chamber’s 17 odd-numbered districts are on the ballot this year. All incumbents seeking reelection appear likely to retain their seat.

Seven members – five Republicans and two Democrats – are not seeking reelection. Republicans are defending five open seats while Democrats are defending two. Five seats held by Republicans, including an open seat, have no Democratic challenger. Republicans are fielding a candidate in every Senate race.

Among the open seats, at least three appear potentially vulnerable for the incumbent party, including two for Republicans and one for Democrats.  Republicans are expected to maintain their majority, and a two-thirds supermajority of 22 members is within reach for the party if it wins all seven open seats.

In the state Assembly, the current composition of the 99-seat Wisconsin Assembly is 61 Republicans and 38 Democrats. All 99 districts are on the ballot every two years. Twenty-four (24) members are not seeking reelection, including 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

Twenty-six (26) Assembly races, including some open seats, do not have a candidate from one of the two major parties. Democrats will win 16 of these Assembly seats, while Republicans will take 10. Republicans are expected to maintain their majority of 60+ seats, but a veto-proof supermajority of 66 seats is likely out of reach.

WPRA Public Policy Committee Developing 2023-24 Policy Priorities and the first Capitol Day (SAVE THE DATE – March 15, 2023)

During this election season, the focus for the WPRA Public Policy Committee has been developing the WPRA’s 2023-24 legislative priorities. These focus areas currently include:

  • Continued Support for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program
  • Preserve and Enhance Shared Revenue
  • Strengthen the Park & Recreation Workforce
  • Maximize the Child Nutrition Programs

In addition to researching and developing the 2023-24 legislative priorities, the PPC is also planning WPRA’s first Capitol Day on March 15, 2023. This will be the first time WPRA members will be able to come to the Wisconsin Capitol and meet with their legislators. More information to come – but save the date right now!