Featured: A year after its creation, Tony Evers’ Office of Environmental Justice remains a mystery

Jul 25, 2023 | In The News, Oversight, Wisconsin Voices Blog

IRG Center for Investigative Oversight

The following article featuring a recent report by IRG’s Center for Investigative Oversight originally run in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday, July 25, 2023.

MADISON – More than a year after Gov. Tony Evers created a new office focused on environmental policy, questions remain over what the office does and if any employees are working within it.
Evers created the Office of Environmental Justice in 2022 by executive order, after Republicans removed the office from the previous budget. The goal for the office was to facilitate collaboration across state agencies to promote environmentally just policies, alongside the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy.
The creation of the office came after several attempts to get the Legislature to pass the measure, either through the budget or other measures. It was repeatedly shot down, leading to Evers’ executive action.
A report from the conservative Institute for Reforming Government characterizes the creation of both offices — the Office of Environmental Justice and the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy — as a way for Evers to “move forward with his environmental agenda without legislative approval.”
The report also characterizes the funding from the U.S. Climate Alliance as a way to “control” the climate agenda of the state, a contention the group disputes.

Read the full piece here.