Wisconsin Sen. Alberta Darling announces she is retiring after 32 years in the state legislature
State Sen. Alberta Darling announced Wednesday that she is retiring after a 32-year career in the Wisconsin Legislature.
Darling, a Republican from River Hills, will step down on Dec. 1. His departure leaves Republicans one seat short of a two-thirds majority in the Senate at least until a special election is held to fill the seat. His district includes a swath of northern Milwaukee suburbs, including Mequon, Cedarburg, Germantown and Menomonee Falls. The area leans decidedly conservative.
Darling has been in the Senate since 1992 after first serving a single term in the Assembly. She served on the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee for 22 years and spent six sessions as the committee’s co-chair, according to the Legislative Fiscal Office.
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She authored more than 200 bills that became law during her tenure in the Legislature, according to her office. He helped create the state’s school voucher program, the state’s EdVest college savings program and a database that tracks the status of sexual assault testing kits.
He also survived a 2011 recall election spurred by Democratic anger over Republican lawmakers’ support of then-Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial bill strips most public workers of their collective bargaining rights.
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Republicans went to the Nov. 8 election hoping to establish two-thirds majorities in both the Senate and the Assembly, which would give them enough votes to override any veto by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
The GOP emerged from the election with a 22-11 lead in the Senate, a supermajority in that chamber, but fell two seats short of a supermajority in the Assembly. That means the GOP doesn’t have enough votes to override any of Evers’ vetoes this session.
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Darling will leave halfway through her four-year term. His retirement leaves Republicans with a 21-11 advantage in the Senate, one seat shy of a supermajority, but even if a Republican wins his seat in a special election, the Assembly will still have two seats left.