Wisconsin Legislature OKs weakening governor, AG

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"Not only are Republicans trying to emasculate a new elected Democratic governor, they're doing so to empower a legislature they will control only due to gerrymandering", Krugman writes.

Walker, who was booed and heckled during an afternoon Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the Capitol rotunda, has signaled support for the measures that he would have to sign before they take effect. There hasn't been one since 2010, when Democrats in power then tried unsuccessfully to approve union contracts before Walker took office. That would stop Evers and Kaul from fulfilling their campaign promises to withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the health care legislation also known as Obamacare.

Require state health officials to implement a federal waiver allowing Wisconsin to require childless adults to work to receive health insurance through the BadgerCare Plus program for the poor.

Democrats say the measure provided inadequate coverage and would cause premiums to skyrocket.

The Wisconsin Senate voted just before sunrise Wednesday after an all-night session to pass a sweeping bill created to empower the GOP-controlled Legislature and weaken the Democrat replacing Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

The measure was approved on a 17-16 vote with all Democrats and one Republican voting against it. The measure had always been stalled in the Senate due to lack of GOP support.

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.

"This legislation is an effort to undermine the results of the elections we just had for governor and for attorney general", Kaul told reporters Tuesday. An amendment to do away with that provision was part of a Republican rewrite of the bill, made public around 4:30 a.m. CT after all-night negotiations.

Evers decried the lame-duck session - the first in Wisconsin in eight years - as an embarrassment and an attempt to invalidate the results of the November election where Democrats won every constitutional office, including governor and attorney general. The action comes just weeks before Republican Gov. Scott Walker is replaced by Democrat Tony Evers. It would also allow the Legislature to sidestep the attorney general and hire private attorneys.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker arrives for the lighting of the state Christmas Tree in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday Dec. 4 2018 at the Capitol in Madison Wis. The Senate and Assembly are set to send dozens of changes in state law to Walker’s desk Tuesda

"We will actively be looking at either to litigate or do whatever else in our power to make sure the people of Wisconsin are represented at the table", said Evers, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It would restrict early voting and do a number of things that have got opponents up in arms", says Marley.

"I'm concerned. I think that Gov. -elect Evers is going to bring a liberal agenda to Wisconsin", he said. 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.

The Assembly passed the bill 59-32 early Wednesday morning. Republican committee co-chairs said after the meeting that it didn't have votes in the Senate to pass.

The proposals to bolster Republican legislative power come after North Carolina lawmakers took similar steps two years ago.

Democrats in Wisconsin girded for a fight and encouraged voters to speak out as Republicans prepared to move ahead quickly this week with a highly unusual and sweeping lame-duck session to pass a series of proposals that would weaken both Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.

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

The executive director of One Wisconsin Now, which filed the lawsuit challenging the previous attempt to limit early voting, said the Republican's latest effort shows they "refuse to accept the results of the 2018 elections" and are anxious about large voter turnout.

Fitzgerald wouldn't say whether there was enough support among Republicans for moving the 2020 presidential primary date, a change that would cost about $7 million and has drawn opposition from almost every county election official.

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