Republicans rush to limit power of incoming Democratic governors

An Orange County registrar pop up voting location is seen at the Golden West College in Huntington Beach Calif. Sunday Nov. 4 2018

An Orange County registrar pop up voting location is seen at the Golden West College in Huntington Beach Calif. Sunday Nov. 4 2018

"Now, whether or not Governor Walker and the state legislature believe that the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general are detrimental to the forward advancement of the state of Wisconsin, that may be so, but the people of Wisconsin - according to their votes - have determined that they no longer wanted to retain Governor Walker, and they wanted to transfer leadership of their state to a Democratic governor and a Democratic attorney general", Hamilton explained.

Walker is getting bipartisan pressure to veto the measures, including from Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers (EE'-vers).

The attorney general's office, meanwhile, wouldn't be allowed to withdraw from federal lawsuits. While I am confident that some of the proposed changes in this legislation will help to strike a good balance and protect the process for issuing a valid voter ID, the final bill limited early voting, made certain changes to the administrative rule process, and automatically rescinded guidance documents which allow field staff to properly manage our state programs.

"This is a heck of a way to run a railroad", Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said as the Senate debate resumed at 5 a.m. Wednesday after a seven-hour impasse.

The legislation would empower the Legislature to intervene in any suit at any stage - a right already granted to the attorney general.

Republicans in Wisconsin passed legislation on December 5 that will weaken the power of the governor and attorney general while strengthening the Republican-controlled legislature.

Wisconsin's incoming Democratic governor is condemning moves by Republicans legislators to weaken his power.

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The votes early Wednesday were the height of a rare lame-duck legislative session.

Both Evers and Kaul committed during the campaign to pulling Wisconsin out of a multi-state lawsuit seeking to invalidate Obamacare. Last night, that legislature voted to not just limit Democrats' power, but to actually make it harder for people to even vote.

The Republican state Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, called the blowback to the plan "manufactured outrage by the Democrats", and said that while they trusted Walker, a Republican, to handle the "back and forth with the legislature", they do not trust Evers, a Democrat. They're also trying to hamstring Democrats who are about to take over as attorneys general. Currently, each county has the power to decide their early voting terms, and many Democrat-dominated counties have a six-week period to vote early. They said the anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative approved last month is self-executing, and the legislation is unconstitutional and is not supported by organizers of the ballot drive nor people who voted for it.

Among the bills that have advanced so far during the lame-duck session are ones which create a campaign finance commission, give the legislature the ability to intervene in lawsuits, and rollback a previously-approved increase in the minimum wage and paid-sick-leave mandate.

Republicans dispute criticism that the legislation would undermine the role of the attorney general.

Democratic Gov. -elect Gretchen Whitmer takes office on January 1.

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