2023 Assembly Joint Resolution 28
Relating to: honoring the life and public service of Governor Anthony S. Earl.
Whereas, Governor Anthony S. Earl served as the 41st governor of Wisconsin from 1983 to 1987 after serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965 and after an extensive public service career, serving as Wausau city attorney and Marathon County assistant district attorney, as majority leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly, and, under Governor Patrick Lucey, as secretary of the Department of Administration and secretary of the Department of Natural Resources; and
Whereas, during his term in office, Governor Earl, with the help of an expert and committed staff and administration, accomplished a long list of important, lasting policy changes, including bringing the state back to stable fiscal ground after near-insolvency and creating the Budget Stabilization Fund, resurrecting the state's public defender system, creating new laws to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, making Wisconsin a community marital property state, passing one of the nation's most stringent acid rain laws to protect our waters, and chairing the international commission that created the Great Lakes Charter, the first water quality management organization for the regional states and provinces; and
Whereas, Governor Earl also supported the diversification of state public service by appointing women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community to positions up to the highest levels, including as secretaries of state agencies, and to key positions among his own staff, and permanently equalizing pay between genders in state employment; and
Whereas, after leaving state service, Governor Earl practiced environmental law and served on many boards and commissions, including the Joyce Foundation, Common Cause, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Subcommittee on Energy, Clean Air and Climate Change, the Center for Clean Air Policy, and the Great Lakes Protection Fund; and
Whereas, Governor Earl was the proud father of four daughters who embody his legacy in their commitment to equity, environmental protection, social justice, and democratic governance; and
Whereas, Governor Earl proved himself to be a courageous champion and bold innovator of government, policy, and conservation in the great Wisconsin progressive tradition of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson and U.S. Rep. David Obey, while also shunning partisanship, working with those from every part of the political spectrum, including appointing leaders from the other party to state posts; and
Whereas, the people of Wisconsin join the family of Governor Earl in mourning the passing of this brilliant public servant and advocate, who often embraced risk to his own career in order to better the lives of the citizens of our state, and do honor the enormous legacy he has left behind; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin Legislature hereby offer profound gratitude for the life and work of Governor Anthony S. Earl and do mourn his passing on February 23rd of this year, 2023; and be it further
Resolved, That the chief clerk of the Wisconsin State Assembly shall provide a copy of this joint resolution to the family of Governor Anthony S. Earl.