(The Center Square) – Republicans in Wisconsin are shocked and scrambling after the state Assembly’s budget chief abruptly submitted his resignation.
Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, made the surprise announcement Tuesday afternoon.
“I have had the honor of working with some fantastic leaders and talented and committed staff throughout 14 years in the Legislature,” Nygren said in a letter to lawmakers. “I will always cherish the lifelong relationships we have built. Wisconsin will continue to prosper under their steady leadership.”
Nygren is leaving for a job in the private sector, but did not offer any specifics as to just where he is heading.
In addition to being one of northeast Wisconsin’s most well known lawmakers, Nygren spent the better part of a decade on the state’s powerful Joint Committee on Finance. He helped write four state budgets.
“Wisconsin was in tough shape financially when I was appointed Co-Chair. Over the last eight years, we have cut taxes by a cumulative $13 billion, the state’s investment in public education is the highest in our state’s history, and the state’s rainy-day fund has grown to nearly $800 million,” Nygren said.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said on Tuesday Nygren will be missed.
“The Wisconsin Legislature is losing a strong, fiscal conservative leader,” Vos said. ‘John is leaving a legacy of balanced budgets, smaller government and lower taxes.”
State Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, who served as Nygren’s budget counterpart in the Senate, said their work on Wisconsin’s budgets over the past decade has shown real results.
“Wisconsin is in better shape because of the efforts of John Nygren. His leadership has protected taxpayers, created an environment to grow jobs, and made our state a national leader in fighting the opioid crisis,” Daring said.
Nygren’s second in command on the Joint Finance Committee, Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, said that Nygren is leaving a legacy in Madison beyond just his work on the budget.
“John has led the nation with state-based solutions to combating substance use disorder and leaves a legacy of hope and opportunity for individuals and families facing addiction. His public service will be greatly missed in the legislature,” Loudenbeck said.
Nygren’s departure means there will be a new Republican budget team in Madison in 2021. New Senate Majority Leader Devin LaMehieu replaced Darling on the Joint Finance Committee with Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green. Assembly Speaker Vos has not yet said who he will appoint to take Nygren’s position as committee co-chair.
Wisconsin lawmakers will begin crafting a new, two-year state budget when they return to the Capitol in January.
By Benjamin Yount | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission