Wisconsin Lawmakers Vote To Limit Powers Of New Democratic Governor

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker delivers his budget address to a joint session of the legislature at the capitol

A spokeswoman for Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said the latter bill would transfer oversight to a "bipartisan entity, rather than a political officeholder".

A news conference where Fitzgerald and other Republican leaders spoke was peppered with catcalls from protesters.

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.

"Democracy dies in darkness. or perhaps in the early morning light", wrote The Nation's John Nichols, a Wisconsin native, after the measure passed the state Senate and headed toward an Assembly vote, the final hurdle before the legislation reaches outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker's desk.

Walker was booed and heckled during an afternoon Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday. "Don't let our democracy be stolen", Holder tweeted.

A similar effort is under way in MI, where the Republican-controlled legislature is weighing new laws to hamstring incoming Democrats. Those protests were massive and lasted weeks.

Republicans passed the legislation in an all-night session marked by stops and starts.

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Republicans were poised Tuesday to complete their work much more quickly.

"This morning, fresh of an election defeat, the Republican-controlled legislature voted to subvert the will of the people".

Evers is the first Democratic Governor in eight years, and he urged the GOP to halt the lame-duck bills.

Fitzgerald and Republican leaders told reporters Monday before a public hearing that several of the ideas, including moving the 2020 presidential primary, remain a work in progress. He says the measures codify current practices of working together.

"The people aren't asking for this", Democratic Rep. Chris Taylor said. "You did not run on this".

"Republicans are defiant and desperate in the wake of a new Democratic Governor and Attorney General. You rig the system when you win, and you rig the system when you lose".

Defending the rushed process and content of the bill package, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that Democrats unfairly "whipped up people" and that he was sickened that they "so grossly" exaggerated its goal, according to the New York Times. Wisconsin Democrats in 2010 unsuccessfully tried to push through public union contracts after Walker won election while promising to get tough with organized labor. The goal: keep the Court's 5-4 Republican majority by saving the seat of hard-right Supreme Court Justice David Kelly. State elections workers would have to run three elections in three months.

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It didn't even get a vote in the committee.

"They have even gone so far as to thumb their noses at the voters and a federal court order by re-imposing limits on early voting".

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.

After a rancorous, sleepless night of debate, Republican lawmakers early Wednesday pushed through a sweeping set of bills that will limit the power of Wisconsin's incoming governor, a Democrat.

Michigan Republicans have also introduced legislation to strip some powers from the offices of the state attorney general and secretary of state, which were both captured by Democrats, along with the governorship in the November 6 elections. 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.

"Not only are Republicans trying to emasculate a new elected Democratic governor, they're doing so to empower a legislature they will control only due to gerrymandering", Krugman writes.

Opponents have said numerous changes would likely be challenged in court, a process that could create even more gridlock in state government next year.

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