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07 December 2018, 06:02 | Darnell Patrick
GOP Wisconsin State Legislature Passes Bill Limiting Incoming Democratic Governor's Powers. Here's What That Means
The move comes almost a month after Gov. -elect Tony Evers, a Democrat, narrowly beat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Following a midterm election that saw them lose all statewide offices, Wisconsin Republicans began drafting a plan to hamstring their newly-elected Democratic rivals.
But the new legislation would also require that Evers obtain permission from the GOP legislature before seeking to tweak the conditions of federal waivers or making changes to public assistance programs.
The measures also restrict early in-person voting to two weeks before an election. The bill next goes to the GOP-led Senate. That decision - whether to join or withdraw from this kind of litigation - has been one for the attorney general and governor.
In Wisconsin, outgoing GOP legislators just voted to weaken the power of incoming Democratic governor Tony Evers and the incoming state's attorney general.
The pre-existing conditions measure failed after all 15 Democrats in the Senate and two Republicans voted against it. Were the districts not rigged in Republicans' favor, then the party wouldn't be able to pass legislation and strip power from incoming Democrats during lame duck. Do we think that has something to do with Wisconsin's participation in a multi-state lawsuit from Republicans attempting to invalidate the Affordable Care Act?
"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. Republicans in both MI and Wisconsin will see eight years of total control of state government end in January, when Democrats take over the governor's mansions and other top executive posts.
Also Wednesday, the House voted 58-50 for legislation that would empower the Legislature, House or Senate to intervene in any suit at any stage, a right already granted to the attorney general.
"Republicans who control Michigan's Legislature voted Wednesday to advance a measure that strips campaign-finance oversight power from the Democratic secretary of state-elect, and they moved to give lawmakers authority to stand up for GOP-backed laws if they think the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general are not adequately defending the state's interests", writes the AP. 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. That chamber ultimately approved the package 17-16, with one Republican, state Sen. 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.
The bills give the Republican legislature control of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board, which for eight years has been the duty of Walker.
The Legislature passed another measure to enact Medicaid work requirement rules that Walker recently won a federal waiver to establish.
Republicans dispute criticism that the legislation would undermine the role of the attorney general.
Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will take office after an inauguration ceremony on January 7.
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