The top man in the Wisconsin Assembly sounds like a lot of high school students in the state. He has zero interest in his "homework."
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Wednesday said there is little to no chance that lawmakers take up Gov. Tony Evers' list of preferred legislation because of the way the governor presented his wish list as "homework."
"If the governor were my teacher, perhaps I would consider that when he assigned homework it would be something that I pay attention to," Vos told reporters at the statehouse. "But the condescending tone that Gov. Evers chose to deliver that letter probably means that it went in the wastebasket."
Evers last week sent a letter to lawmakers outlining a dozen proposals that he would like to see become law. He called it a homework assignment.
Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, said lawmakers might not have a problem with the actual pieces of legislation. But he said they have a problem with the way the governor went about making his request.
"Tone is so important when it comes to a relationship," Steineke said. "It's just really frustrating to see the governor with, as the Speaker said, a condescending tone, telling us what we need to do before the end of session."
Steineke said most of the legislation that becomes law in Wisconsin does so with votes from Democrats and Republicans. But he said that is because lawmakers work to cooperate.
"I think its just another example of the administration really struggling to find out what bipartisanship means and how things can work," Steineke said. "He probably would be a little bit more successful in getting some of the things he's interested in talked about if his staff and press releases weren't in such a mocking and negative tone."
One the issues Evers raised in his "homework" for lawmakers is the light schedule for the Assembly and State Senate.
Steineke said they are planning for a few days of action next month, but have not committed to a set number of days for lawmakers to be in Madison beyond that.