by Benjamin Yount
Wisconsin lawmakers are once again planning to ignore a call from Gov. Tony Evers’ for a special session, and they are once again calling it a political stunt.
The governor on Wednesday said lawmakers need to come back to the Capitol in Madison in two weeks and start work on a constitutional amendment that would allow voters in Wisconsin to vote on binding referendum questions that would create new state law.
Gov. Evers said the first law he wants put to the voters is a new abortion law.
“On the ceiling of the Governor’s Conference Room in the Capitol is a phrase I’ve often repeated over the last three years: ‘the will of the people is the law of the land.’ Well, right now in Wisconsin, when it comes to reproductive freedom, the will of the people isn’t the law of the land – but it damn well should be,” the governor said in a statement.
A number of Democratic lawmakers echoed the governor’s call, but the Republicans who lead the state legislature immediately brushed off the governor’s request as election-year gamesmanship.
“Gov. Evers would rather push his agenda to have abortion available until birth than talk about his failure to address rising crime and runaway inflation caused by his liberal DC allies,” Senate Majority Leader Devin Lemahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a joint statement. “Hopefully, voters see through his desperate political stunt.”
Gov. Evers has focused most of his re-election campaign on Wisconsin’s abortion law. It remains on the books from 1849, and doesn’t allow for any exemptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest, or the life of a mother.
LeMahieu added that there is nothing for lawmakers to vote on the state’s abortion law, so he sees no need to have lawmakers rush back to the Capitol a month before Election Day.
“Wisconsin law has not changed and our pro-life position has not changed,” LeMahieu added. “We will gavel out of another blatantly political special session call from this partisan governor.”
The governor’s special session is set for October 4.
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Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Tony Evers” by Tony Evers.