Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Highlights of bills proposed by Wisconsin Republicans

Wisconsin Republicans forge ahead with power-stripping bills Session Is "An Embarrassment" To Wisconsin | News
Bennie Garza | 05 December, 2018, 19:26

Wisconsin Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says there aren't enough votes in the Senate to approve every proposal being offered in the lame-duck legislative session, but he wouldn't say that any of them are dead.

Both approved bills will now go to Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration, Cudaback said.

The fact that Walker was making no attempt to halt the effort "clearly indicates he wants to be able to control things outside the governor's office for the next four or eight years", Hahn said. Roughly 565,000 people voted during the midterms, and Brown said Republican leadership should stop and listen.

He also defended Republican lawmakers against charges they're violating the will of voters, who elected Democrats as governor, attorney general, treasurer and secretary of state.

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

Evers said the GOP agenda was an embarrassing look for the state.

"Even you have questions", Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said as debate began. Why are we here today?

The action comes as Democrats and their allies warned they would sue over numerous elements of the plan, especially over a measure that would limit early voting in Wisconsin to two weeks. What are we doing? "Back to a position where people in Wisconsin may feel their voices were not heard on November 6 and put us in a place where the legislative branch will be fighting with the executive branch for no apparent reason".

In one concession in Wisconsin, Republicans backed away from giving the Legislature the power to sidestep the attorney general and appoint their own attorney when state laws are challenged in court. "It's about power and self-interest".

Walker downplayed the significance of the legislation's proposed changes and said the measures seek to keep in place the current friendly dynamic between the Republican governor and GOP-controlled Legislature. A legislative committee, rather than the attorney general, would have to sign off on withdrawing from federal lawsuits.

The final bill will weaken Evers' ability to institute rules to enact laws and grant the legislature control of the state economic development board through September of next year, the AP reported.

Republican lawmakers will hold a so-called "extraordinary session" beginning Monday on a sweeping plan to pass a number of new laws before the Democratic governor takes office in January.

Defending the rushed process and content of the bill package, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that Democrats unfairly "whipped up people" and that he was sickened that they "so grossly" exaggerated its objective, according to the New York Times. Former Democratic attorney general and Gov. Jim Doyle said the moves were unconstitutional.

"Much of what we did over the last eight years is work with the Legislature, not at odds with the Legislature", he told reporters Monday after a Menorah lighting ceremony at the governor's mansion.

Republicans will maintain their majorities in the Legislature next year when the Democratic Evers takes over.

Another element of the bill would make it more hard for Evers to alter some GOP-backed laws, including Wisconsin's voter ID law.

The Republican-controlled budget committee planned to vote on the bills after a hearing Monday, setting up votes in the state Senate and Assembly as soon as Tuesday. That measure is meant to prevent Evers and the incoming Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul, from following through on their campaign promise to end Wisconsin's challenge to the federal Affordable Care Act. Michigan Republicans are also discussing taking action before a Democratic governor takes over there. 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.

The legislation would also require legislative approval to withdraw from lawsuits, taking that away from the attorney general.

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