Wisconsin Republicans approve bills stripping power from incoming Democratic governor

Wisconsin Republicans approve bills stripping power from incoming Democratic governor

Wisconsin Republicans are pulling from a playbook popularized in North Carolina two years ago, when Republicans in the Legislature responded to GOP Gov.

She called the Republican tactics "disgusting" and says while she and other Democrats plan to vote against the legislation, she believes it will pass.

"I can handle the shouts but leave the kids alone", Walker later tweeted. Democrats derided it as a cynical attempt to preserve the party's power.

"The changes included in this bill ... not only have the potential to compromise the integrity and efficacy of our entire election process, but also vastly increases the election costs", he said.

The fact that Walker was making no attempt to halt the effort "clearly indicates he wants to be able to control things outside the governor's office for the next four or eight years", Hahn said.

Bob Kinosian, from Wauwatosa, Wis., holding up a sign during the state Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. Spectators shouted "Shame!" and hurled complaints at senators, temporarily halting debate, as they walked out under police escort.

"Gov. Walker fought a hard campaign", Evers said.

Walker burst onto the national political scene in 2011 with an aggressive anti-union agenda.

But Republicans didn't plan on the furious wave of protests that would descend on the state capitol in Madison on Monday afternoon.

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.

"Members of the legislature were elected not to a term that ends on Election Day", he said. "After years of voter suppression laws enacted by Republican legislators who were elected on their own gerrymandered lines, this partisan gamesmanship has reached a new low".

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A proposal to move the 2020 presidential primary election from April to March appears to be dead after the committee did not vote to advance it. No one traveled from the far ends of the state to wait in cramped overflow hearing rooms for ten hours for their turn to say this was a good idea. "You did not run on this".

He also signaled support for other bills in the package that would weaken the governor and attorney general's offices. "How is it that you have more power when you lose?"

"We're protecting taxpayers of this state", said Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin.

Republicans defended the measures, saying their goal is to keep a proper balance between the legislative and executive branches.

Hannah Katch, a Medicaid expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said it's unusual for a governor to have to get the legislature's approval for even small changes to a state-federal program.

The 141-page bill also sets out protections for the state's voter ID law and places tight restrictions on early voting, which is historically decided by counties and typically boosts turnout among Democrats, especially in cities in 2018. Both chambers also convened later than expected Tuesday - nine hours later in the case of the Assembly.

It's official. The power-grab bill cleared the Wisconsin State Senate before sunrise. (In fact, according to staff on the Joint Finance Committee, of the 1,426 constituents who registered to testify, six spoke for informational purposes only, 1,420 spoke against - and zero spoke in favor.) Then, amidst thunderous protests from constituents and from Democratic colleagues, Republicans amended and passed their bills through committee late at night, once television newscasts were over.

Evers called the extraordinary session an embarrassment to the state, which has been known for years as having a divisive political climate.

The last lame-duck session in Wisconsin was in 2010, when Democrats tried unsuccessfully to enact labor agreements.

After an all-night session, lawmakers reconvened just before 5 a.m., with Democrats blasting the Republican majority for trying to grab power after they lost the governorship in elections on November 6. Where traditionally the CEO was chosen by the governor, the corporation's board of directors will now have the ability to select its own CEO and maintain the current Republican majority on the board until September when seats would be evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

Democratic groups and voters packed the Capitol this week to voice their discontent, and some parts of the bill, like the provision to limit early voting to two weeks, are likely to face litigation.