How to Save Walker-Era Reforms

Apr 6, 2023 | Oversight, Press Release

IRG Center for Investigative Oversight

New memo explains how to enshrine and protect conservative reforms in the Wisconsin Constitution

What IRG Did: On the heels of Tuesday’s election results that shifted the balance of power on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to a new liberal majority, IRG released a memo detailing how to save critical Walker-era reforms by amending the Wisconsin Constitution.


In the memo, IRG’s Chief Legal Counsel and Director of Oversight Anthony LoCoco offers a handful of examples of amendment proposals designed to protect some of the most significant conservative wins of the last few decades such as:

  • Protecting Act 10 and worker freedoms;
  • Limiting the power of state agencies;
  • Authorizing and expanding school choice;

Why it Matters: Put simply, codifying critical policy reforms like Act 10 in the Wisconsin Constitution prevents judicial rulings that the reforms violate the Wisconsin Constitution. In other words, if the Wisconsin Constitution itself mandates these important reforms, that document will provide no basis for striking them down.

How it Works: Any amendment would require the majority vote of two successive legislatures in order to send the proposal to the voters for approval.

Read More: As Anthony LoCoco detailed in an op-ed published in Wisconsin Right Now:

Conservatives need to meet the moment by going bold—as liberals will assuredly be doing—proposing amendments on topics like universal school choice, public union regulation, right to work, agency authority, and partisan gerrymandering claims. Besides being the right call for the state, this approach has a good track record. Obscured by Daniel Kelly’s loss on Tuesday was the fact that Wisconsinites approved—by huge margins—proposed tough-on-crime amendments to strengthen bail in Wisconsin.

Read the full op-ed here.

Have questions? Reach out to IRG’s Chief Legal Counsel and Director of Oversight Anthony LoCoco at [email protected].