Governor Tony Evers has filed a lawsuit against Republican legislators. The Democratic governor said lawmakers have violated the state Constitution and blocked basic government functions through what he calls “legislative vetoes,” most recently when a committee blocked approved pay raises for Universities of Wisconsin employees
“When the Republicans decided that 35,000 people that worked for the UW System shouldn’t get a raise, without having any legislation that gives them that authority, that’s just bullshit,” Evers said on Tuesday.
BREAKING: I’m suing Legislative Republicans for violating the Wisconsin Constitution and unconstitutionally obstructing basic government functions, including blocking already-approved pay raises for about 35,000 UW System employees. pic.twitter.com/fjfrnEU4L1
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) October 31, 2023
Evers is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which now has a liberal majority, to rule on the suit, bypassing lower courts.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who has held up the UW pay raises over diversity, equity and inclusion funding, said the lawsuit filed by Evers would “eliminate” pay raises approved last week to most state employees.
“Today’s lawsuit by Governor Evers and Attorney General Kaul is an attempt to eliminate the 4% raises given to all state employees by the legislature,” Vos said in a statement. “In a time of unprecedented inflation brought on by reckless Democrat spending, we think it is abhorrent that the Governor would try and take away lawfully approved money for hardworking state employees.”
“Targeting the Universities of Wisconsin employees and their families to compel our universities to eliminate all diversity and inclusion positions, which was vetoed by the Governor, left us in an incredible predicament.” said Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman in a statement. “I am deeply troubled by our faculty and staff being stuck in the middle of this dispute. While it is not our lawsuit, it’s time for this whole ordeal that is blocking pay for our employees to come to an end.”