How GOP Bills Would Limit Gov.-Elect Tony Evers' Power

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A state Senate panel voted 4-1, on party lines, Wednesday for bills to have a bipartisan commission oversee campaign finance instead of the secretary of state.

The legislature is also expected to pass a law allowing it to intervene in litigation involving the state, a power normally reserved for the attorney general's office, which will be occupied by a Democrat starting next month.

On the heels of significant Democratic midterm victories in MI and Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled legislatures in both states have advanced plans to limit the authority of the states' newly elected governors.

It's the democrat's first stop in Northeast Wisconsin since the Republican-controlled legislature approved during a "lame-duck session" a package of bills that would curb the power of Evers and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul.

The GOP headed State Senate in MI, electing mainly along party lines passed the bill that clears the incoming secretary of state of the authority to superintend crusade funding matters and transfers it to contemporary bipartisan enterprise.

"The strategy seems to be to make it harder for Democratic-leaning voters to cast their votes and to manipulate electoral and legislative process rules to leverage power", he said. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has not taken a position on the measure or others that could win final legislative approval as soon as next week.

The voters elected them based on what they promised to do.

Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will take office after an inauguration ceremony on January 7.

Republicans says the concept is not "unique", pointing to the Federal Election Commission and similar panels in other states.

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The bills also limit in-person early voting to two weeks before an election, and give the legislature ability to hire private attorneys.

Democrats, however, said Republicans never raised the idea until the party was about to lose control of the secretary of state's office.

Working overnight Wednesday and into the morning, the Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly approved a sweeping plan to empower the GOP-controlled state legislature and greatly limit incoming Governor Tony Evers' authority over key areas of the state government.

Republicans disputed criticism that the legislation would undermine the role of the attorney general. If that doesn't work Evers said he might sue.

"My pitch to Governor Walker will be a couple of things, but most importantly it's part of his legacy that as he's walking out the door that he can, I believe, do the right thing for the people of Wisconsin and consider some vetoes", Evers says. "This in an institutional bill created to ensure that the legislative branch has a voice". That bill would also give the Legislature oversight over the governor seeking future waivers for health care, a change Democrats said would handcuff the new administration.

"The will of the people has officially been ignored by the Legislature", Evers said Wednesday. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5. One Republican notably broke ranks and also voted against it.

The measure comes as the state is investigating alleged mishandling of absentee ballots by political operatives.

"The incoming secretary of state was elected to preside over election matters", said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich of Flint.

A public policy analyst contends that Republicans would be very upset if Democrats did what the lame duck Republican leadership is doing in Wisconsin.

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