Wisconsin Pins its Economic Hopes on Divided Government
10 Items Defining Governor Evers the Day After the Election
On election day, several news sources announced Foxconn was considering bringing in Chinese workers to Wisconsin due to the tight labor market – a claim Foxconn disputes. Several days prior to November 6, several national news media outlets began to draft a narrative lambasting Tony Evers, the negotiated terms, and tying the deal to President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Madison) publicly predicted that Foxconn would be the ultimate downfall of the Evers administration. Regardless of who is correct, this deal will take an enormous amount of hand-holding over the next four years.
- Wisconsin's 2019-2020 State Budget (Divided Government - Part 1)
Health care, education, and pensions will account for 77 percent of Wisconsin's predicted spending for 2019. How will Evers navigate this budget through the legislature? Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have a fair amount of experience in this arena.
- Wisconsin's Workforce Shortage (See point number 1)
Talk to any business trade organization and if this issue isn't first on their agenda, it's second. It takes 19 years to make an 18-year-old, so what is Wisconsin going to do to attract workers? Some say "import workers" (conflict with Trump) and some say "automate" (where to find the money?).
Just as a new coach brings in his own coaching staff, a new governor brings in his own management team. This could take 60 days, but will likely take as long as several months to get the people he would like in place. Key agencies for the banking industry:
- Department of Financial Institutions
- Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
- Department of Administration
- Department of Revenue
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
- Department of Workforce Development
- Key Staff
How long will it take Evers to put together a top-flight team of doers?
- Chief of Staff
- Deputy Chief of Staff
- Communications Director
- Appointments Director
- Press Secretary
- Transportation (Divided Government – Part 2)
The road-building industry (see point 2) spent millions of dollars defining Gov. Scott Walker as being part of the problem when it comes to infrastructure spending. The Road Builders want tax revenue and they want it now. Will legislative Republicans be will to go down the revenue-generating (taxes, tolls, fees) path? Only to the extent they believe those policies won’t jeopardize their majority.
- Paul Ryan Is No Longer Speaker so who will be Wisconsin’s Champion on the National Level?
In 2017, Ryan, Reince Priebus, and Walker helped make Wisconsin a household name on the national political scene. Who will help Gov-Elect Evers on the national level?
- State Legislative Leadership (Divided Government – Part 3)
What do the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald want? To stay in the majority and prevent Evers from accomplishing his agenda, unless it agrees with their agenda.
How will Evers define himself in the first 100 days? While he may want to be known for eliminating Act 10 (the budget repair bill in 2011 that addressed a $3.6 billion structural deficit), that’s not going to happen this session. Addressing items 1-3 and 6 on this list might be enough to shape how future generations will measure themselves against the Evers administration.
- The October Surprise
We didn’t have much of an October surprise this year if you don’t count the stock market. What events will be beyond Evers’ control (economy, world stability, scandal, etc.) that will force him to make decisions about allocating resources that he doesn’t expect?