Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Wisconsin Republicans work overnight on lame-duck bills

Wisconsin Republicans work overnight on lame-duck bills

Wisconsin Republicans, just weeks away from losing control of the governor and attorney general's offices, planned dramatic lame-duck votes Tuesday on a sweeping attempt to limit the powers of incoming Democrats. Numerous same protesters who confronted him then returned to the Capitol on Tuesday - albeit in far fewer numbers. Nothing we're doing here is about helping the people of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Democrats in 2010 unsuccessfully tried to push through public union contracts after Walker won election while promising to get tough with organized labor.

"They've got this pretty sweeping measure that would restrict the powers of the incoming Democratic governor, the incoming Democratic attorney general". But Evers called the unusual lame-duck session "rancor and politics as usual".

Fitzgerald said last week that Republicans want to move the 2020 presidential primary, when Democratic turnout is expected to be high, so it won't be on the same date as an April election where Walker-appointed Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly is on the ballot, thereby improving his chances of victory.

The other five served under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.

Hundreds of people protested both inside and outside the hearing room, banging on the doors and chanting "Respect our votes!" "You did not run on this".

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz told reporters before lawmakers took the floor that the legislation is a power-grab that ignores the will of voters who elected Evers and Kaul. "You rig the system when you win, and you rig the system when you lose".

The Republican majority called a rare post-election legislative session this week to consider the proposals. Nygren said it was a positive step that would "bring us together to solve the problems of the state".

But Republicans didn't plan on the furious wave of protests that would descend on the state capitol in Madison on Monday afternoon. There is a need to protect a lot of good work done over the last eight years, especially from the GOP's perspective.

Republican lawmakers have said they are trying to assert power for the Legislature before Evers takes office in January. "When you give voters the opportunity to vote, they will vote", he said. Senate Democrats fled to IL, and Assembly Democrats filibustered for 60 straight hours in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Walker's changes. We're not always going to compromise, we're going to disagree on some things - but some of the approach we're taking on this I don't 100-percent agree with.

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Michigan Republicans have also introduced legislation to strip some powers from the offices of the state attorney general and secretary of state, which were both captured by Democrats, along with the governorship in the November 6 elections.

This legislation evolved over the last couple of days, when it became apparent that Wisconsin Republicans were serious about this project.

The proposals in Wisconsin would weaken the governor's ability to put in place rules that enact laws and shield the state jobs agency from his control.

The Wisconsin maneuvering is similar to what Republicans did in North Carolina two years ago and to what is being discussed in MI before a Democratic governor takes over there.

Governor Walker signaled he was likely to sign the measures before he leaves office, if they are passed during the lame-duck session.

A similar limit was found unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2016 and Democrats have threatened to take legal action again should the plan be signed by Walker.

- Limit early voting to no more than two weeks before an election.

Switch who can approve withdrawing from lawsuits from the governor to the budget committee, a move that would stop Evers ordering Kaul to remove Wisconsin from a lawsuit challenging the federal Affordable Care Act.

Both Evers and Kaul slammed their Republican opponents over health care issues during the campaign, in particular the state's participation in that legal challenge, which would end coverage protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. They made opposition to that lawsuit a central part of both of their campaigns.

Opponents have said numerous changes would likely be challenged in court, a process that could create even more gridlock in state government next year.

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