Wisconsin lawmakers on their visions for success in 2024

Wisconsin legislative leaders in 2023 — Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, Sen. Melissa Agard, D-Madison, Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, and Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester — define 2024 political success.

By Zac Schultz | Here & Now

January 10, 2024

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Zac Schultz:
How will you define success for 2024, a year from now? What will success look like?

State Sen. Devin LeMahieu:
Well, hopefully we come back with as many of our 22 seats as possible, and you know, we have a lot of good senators who are up for reelection, so hopefully we can get them across the finish line.

Zac Schultz:
How will you define success one year from now?

State Sen. Melissa Agard:
You know, I think that success a year from now is gonna continue ensuring that everyone knows that their vote does matter and that it is safe and secure here in the state of Wisconsin. I think that having success here in Wisconsin is picking up more seats for Democrats in the Senate and in the Assembly and being able to have the governor's back. I think that success a year from now is ensuring that the people of Wisconsin know and believe and trust that their elected officials see them and understand who they are and what their families are struggling with and are rolling up their sleeves to address those real life issues.

Zac Schultz:
A year from now, how will you determine success? What will be the criteria that we use to judge whether you had a successful year end campaign going into next winter?

State Rep. Greta Neubauer:
Yeah, so in terms of our work inside of the Capitol, I would say we as assembly democrats really have three priorities. We protect the governor's veto and we prevent far right legislation from moving forward in Wisconsin. Just this morning I was at a veto the governor held in his conference room on a gender-affirming care ban. It's really important that the governor is here and that we're able to protect vetoes on those attacks on our rights and freedoms and the wellbeing of Wisconsinites. We also work to put forward that long-term vision. I mentioned we've put out over 300 bills this year. We know that there are things Wisconsinites need that are just not happening in this building, and even if they don't happen right now, we are going to be ready to put those policies in place. And then third, we're gonna try, as much as possible, to get things done. You know, we haven't touched on the University of Wisconsin. There have been significant attacks on the UW system by Republicans this year, particularly focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. We are going to continue to push to get done those raises, that engineering building, of course, all of those priorities that we know are important for a true gem of our state, which is the University of Wisconsin system. So we'll continue trying as much as possible to get things done that improve people's lives and they build our capacity for long-term success in Wisconsin. And then outside the building, we are, again, recruiting candidates and building our infrastructure so that we are in a great position regardless of what happens in the court, but particularly if there are fair maps to be able to compete for the majority.

Zac Schultz:
One year from now, how will you judge success?

Speaker Robin Vos:
Hmm, coming back with a good, strong majority is a good way. Boy, if we have a Republican president, that would be a big success and better for the country. Hopefully we'd would be fighting inflation. We'd actually have a world that looks at America with respect, and most importantly, we'd have a budget that is affordable for the next generation, not driving us into bankruptcy with inflation. I also feel like we will hopefully, at the time, have the ability to hopefully have a good, strong budget to be able to move forward. So I think the number one thing, of course, is looking at what happens in the elections. That's how we always judge where we are. But we've had so many excesses this time. We'll have to kind of work on what's gonna happen in the next session.

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