Wisconsin Lawmakers Vote To Limit Powers Of New Democratic Governor

Tony Evers addresses the media flanked by Lt. Gov.-Elect Mandela Barnes and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul

Tony Evers addresses the media flanked by Lt. Gov.-Elect Ma

After hours of debate and secret negotiations that dragged on into the early hours of the morning amid a backdrop of mass protests, Wisconsin's Senate on Wednesday approved a Republican plan to strip power from Democratic governor-elect Tony Evers and transfer major authority over the state's legal affairs from the incoming Democratic attorney general to the GOP-dominated legislature. Walker, who has signaled support for the measures, later tweeted that he "can handle the shouts", but he urged protesters to "leave the kids alone".

"Citizens in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina must make their voices heard". When Evers takes office in January, it will be the first time in eight years that Wisconsin has been run by a divided government. "Be fair. Give the voters the right to choose their governor and attorney general".

The proposal would also weaken the attorney general's office by requiring a legislative committee, rather than the attorney general, to sign off on withdrawing from federal lawsuits.

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.

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.

"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", Evers told reporters on Tuesday, according to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

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. But Fitzgerald said Walker and his chief of staff had been deeply involved in crafting the measures.

The commission unanimously adopted a motion Monday to send written testimony to legislators saying the move would create multiple conflicts, be "extraordinarily difficult" and may not be feasible.

"They've got this pretty sweeping measure that would. restrict early voting and do a number of things that have got opponents up in arms". Similar limitations were found unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2016 and Democrats have threatened legal action again.

A Republican-controlled legislative committee planned a public hearing Monday, immediately followed by a vote, setting up approval in the state Senate and Assembly on Tuesday.

Protesters have come and gone in the Capitol the past two days as lawmakers rushed to pass the bills. Nothing we're doing here is about helping the people of Wisconsin. Nygren said it was a positive step that would "bring us together to solve the problems of the state".

A sweeping package of GOP lame-duck legislation up for votes Tuesday includes a plan to move the primary from April to March.

Democratic lawmakers who sit on the committee holding the hearing Monday said the scope of the lame-duck session was unprecedented and a reaction to Democrats winning all statewide races in November.

The bill would limit the governor's ability to put in place administrative rules that enact laws and give the Legislature the power to control appointees to the board that runs the state economic development agency until September 1. Jon Erpenbach. "They lost and they're throwing a fit".

"Much of what we did over the last eight years is work with the Legislature", he told reporters, "not at odds with the Legislature".

A Democratic member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission is calling a Republican plan to move the presidential primary a huge waste of money.

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