A “lame duck” extraordinary legislative session could be on as early as next week. Changing the power of the governor to make appointments and changing the date of the 2020 presidential primary in Wisconsin are just two of the items Republicans are expected to act on.
It’s a “heavy lift,” according to state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. “There’s going to have to be a lot of drafting that’s done, and both the fiscal bureau and legislative council are going to be very busy I think, trying to pull all the pieces together here, because of some of the late decisions we’re making.”
Fitzgerald spoke to reporters after caucusing with his members Tuesday, and was candid about why Republicans would act to change the date of the primary. “There’s many people that think that Justice Kelly would have a better chance if there’s not really this competitive Democrat primary for president. That’s the concern I think.” Fitzgerald said.
AUDIO: Senator Scott Fitzgerald (1:25)
If the date remain as is in April, conservative state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly could be swamped by high Democratic turnout in a 2020 presidential primary. Kelly was appointed by Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2016. Fitzgerald said lawmakers could move the primary to April or even June, despite the costs and over the objections of many county and municipal clerks.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, I think the campaign would be just as concerned that that’s a criticism that could be used against Kelly” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald also said that “the votes are not there” in his Republican caucus, for passing a tax incentives package for Kimberly Clark. “In my caucus I think there’s many 10 or 11 votes for this. So it’s going to take a significant amount of Democrat votes to get this through.”
Hundreds of jobs at Kimberly Clark’s Neenah Cold Spring plant are in jeopardy if the $70 million package fails to pass.