Wisconsin Republicans work overnight on lame-duck bills


Require Evers to get permission from the legislature before banning guns in the capitol.

Wisconsin's GOP Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, seemed ill-prepared for the wave of condemnation directed at his caucus, saying that he was "a little surprised" by the reaction and calling the demonstrations "over the top".

Groups like One Wisconsin Now have claimed the last-minute push by the GOP-controlled Legislature to change the upcoming presidential primary date and neuter Gov. -elect Tony Evers influence over his state agencies is an assault on democracy. He says efforts by the outgoing party to cling to power are becoming a national trend.

You didn't tell people you would do everything in your power to take away the power of a newly elected governor and attorney general. Highlights of the sweeping legislation, which was approved in the lame-duck legislative... The Wisconsin Senate did the same less than three hours earlier after lawmakers worked through most of the night.

Walker tweeted that he "can handle the shouts, but leave the kids alone".

The episode comes two years after Republicans in North Carolina's legislature made a similar gambit, enacting limits on the incoming Democratic governor's authority that are still being challenged in courts. 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.

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The legislation also would limit in-person early voting to a two-week window. Nothing we're doing here is about helping the people of Wisconsin.

"I call this demolishing democracy", said Sen. -elect Jeff Smith, D-town of Brunswick.

But faced with a Democratic governor for the first time in eight years, legislative Republicans came up with a package of lame-duck bills to protect their priorities and make it harder for Evers to enact his. As Republican Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald explained, "Justice Kelly would have a better chance if there's not really this competitive Democrat primary for president". The measure had always been stalled in the Senate due to lack of GOP support. Walker lost to Democrat Tony Evers, a staunch supporter of the pre-existing coverage guarantee in the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature approved a sweeping measure on Wednesday created to weaken the Democrat replacing Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Republicans control the Senate 18-15 and can not afford more than one defection.

Other measures would weaken the attorney general's office by allowing Republican legislative leaders to intervene in cases and hire their own attorneys. The moves also raise broader questions about whether such efforts have become the new normal in a political environment in which state bodies are becoming more partisan-and more powerful.

"Some of this is simply a policy debate", Burden said, "some is reverting back to a prior relationship between the Governor and state legislature".

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The final version of the bill did strip out some of the most controversial provisions, like one granting the GOP-dominated legislature the power to rely on its own outside lawyers rather than the attorney general when state laws are handled in court. The perceived power grab will likely motivate the Democratic base, but Republicans may also point to the breach of decorum by protestors, he said, adding that by the 2020 elections, much of the details will have faded anyway. A Medicaid work requirement was passed shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday. The bill also would require new legislative oversight of waiver requests related to health care made by the governor.

However, they said they are shaken by the urgency of Republicans legislating environmental policy during the lame-duck after Democrats won in MI campaigning largely on environmental issues like clean water. Debate on the rest of the proposals was expected to stretch into early Wednesday in both houses.

She called the Republican tactics "disgusting" and says while she and other Democrats plan to vote against the legislation, she believes it will pass.

Republicans pushed on Tuesday night into Wednesday through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition.

On November 6, Wisconsin voters turned out in large numbers to elect Democrats Tony Evers over Governor Scott Walker and Josh Kaul over Attorney General Brad Schimel.

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