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LIRC Changes in Lame Duck Session

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Changes to LIRC

Before Governor-Elect Tony Evers takes office, the Republican-led legislature and outgoing Governor Walker are making changes to the Labor and Industry Review Commission. The Commission, or LIRC, is the three-person body of political appointees that review judge decisions in workers' compensation cases. Commissioners serve staggered six year terms. Significantly, all three current Commissioners were appointed by Governor Walker.

What happened in the lame duck session?

The following blog link contains a detailed editorial review of the changes to the Commission's makeup-essentially, one Commissioner is retiring, which allowed for the swapping of another Commissioner to complete a longer term.

The author indicated:

  • Prior to the lame duck session, Georgia Maxwell's appointment expired in March 2019, Dave Falstad's appointment expired in 2021, and Laurie McCallum's appointment expired in 2023.
  • But, Laurie McCallum has indicated she is retiring from the Commission in very early January 2019. So, Gov. Walker apparently proposed and the Senate approved on Dec. 4th to appoint Maxwell to fill the remainder of McCallum's term.
  • How can Maxwell be re-appointed to a new term when her current term has not expired and McCallum's term has not yet expired? And, how can all of this occur in a legislative session that ends this year for service in 2019? Good questions.

Appointments from Governor-Elect Evers?

While Governor-elect Evers will have the opportunity to appoint one Commissioner in the months after his inauguration (for a term from '19 to '25), the Commission will have two appointees of Gov. Walker until 2021 (unless there are any additional changes or retirements).

Stay tuned for more...

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