Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Session Is "An Embarrassment" To Wisconsin

Session Is

The Legislature met deep into the night Tuesday to pass a series of bills, first unveiled Friday, that would weaken the governor's office and transfer power away from the Democratic-elect attorney general and give it to the Legislature.

That measure is meant to prevent Evers and the incoming Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul, from following through on their campaign promise to end Wisconsin's challenge to the federal Affordable Care Act.

The lame-duck maneuvering in Wisconsin is similar to what Republicans did in North Carolina two years ago and is being discussed in MI before a Democratic governor takes over there. The tumult was reminiscent of much larger demonstrations in the opening weeks of Walker's time as governor in 2011, when he effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

Make it much more hard, in numerous ways, for the Evers administration to put in place rules that implement current and future state laws.

Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz told reporters before lawmakers took the floor that the legislation is a power-grab that ignores the will of voters who elected Evers and Kaul.

"We are going to address these now, to make sure that a lot of the policy decisions that we made as a legislature and were signed into law by the governor, continue to be the way that we feel comfortable with", Fitzgerald said.

Kaul says that's created to prevent Evers from ordering him to withdraw from a multi-state lawsuit challenging federal health care laws.

Republican Wisconsin Senate President Roger Roth ordered the public to be removed from Senate galleries, minutes after the start of a lame-duck session to weaken incoming Democratic office holders. "Some of the stuff we're putting in these bills is good, but some of it I do have concerns with". "I think that governor-elect Evers is going to bring a liberal agenda to Wisconsin". But Fitzgerald said Walker and his chief of staff had been deeply involved in crafting the measures.

Another Republican proposal to move the 2020 presidential primary election from April to March appears to be dead.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach speaks out against proposal to allow legislative leaders to hire their own attorneys
Sen. Jon Erpenbach speaks out against proposal to allow legislative leaders to hire their own attorneys. Credit Screenshot WisconsinEye

The state Elections Commission unanimously adopted a motion Monday morning declaring that the shift would be "extraordinarily difficult" and costly without additional funding. Commissioner Mark Thomsen, a Democratic appointee, called the idea the "biggest waste of money for a single person that I can think of".

The proposals would give legislators power to intervene in litigation involving the state, a role normally reserved for the attorney general, and curtail the governor's ability to issue rules that codify state laws.

Bills up for public hearing and committee vote on Monday, setting the stage for legislative action on Tuesday, would move the 2020 presidential primary in order to help a conservative state supreme court justice; restrict early voting in way a federal court has disallowed; and allow the legislature to sidestep Kaul in legal fights.

Crowds of protesters descended on the state capitol in Madison, gathering outside in freezing weather and shouting "shame" at lawmakers inside.

After being defeated at the ballot box last month, Republicans in Wisconsin and MI are seeking to deny Democrats full control of state government, prompting a public outcry against the attempted power grab by national figures who include potential 2020 candidates Tom Steyer and Sen. "This is embarrassing we're even here".

Outgoing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker described the proposals to reporters late Monday as a good-faith attempt to ensure that work done by Republicans over the last eight years is not reversed. If that's the reason, why not take it up before the election - or earlier, when it would have limited Scott Walker's authority? But before Democrats can take their place next year, GOP lawmakers in both states are moving to strip the incoming leaders of key powers.

He was holding a sign that said "GOP Grinch Steals Democracy". Jon Erpenbach said during Senate debate.

"We do not believe that any one individual should have the opportunity to come in and with a stroke of the pen eliminate laws that have been passed by our legislature and found constitutional by our courts".

Trump Touts Benefits of China Trade Truce for U.S. Farmers
And while it may have been tacked on to the end of two days of G20 diplomacy, it was in many ways the main event of the weekend. Earlier this year, China's tariff's on US imported automobiles stood at 15 percent from 25 percent, Politico reported .

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