Wisconsin Republicans to Vote on Curbing Newly Elected Democrats' Power

Wisconsin Bill Hurts DEmocrats

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The legislation, which Democrats vehemently opposed and protesters chanted their anger over, passed through the Republican-held state Legislature after hours of closed-door meetings and some amendments. Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said as the debate of more than nine hours began late Tuesday night.

The final bill will weaken Evers' ability to institute rules to enact laws and grant the legislature control of the state economic development board through September of next year, the AP reported.

In fact, the Republicans' new laws would require the Republican-controlled state legislature's permission before the attorney general can get involved in any litigation challenging a federal law.

"I'm concerned. I think that Gov. -elect Evers is going to bring a liberal agenda to Wisconsin", he said.

Gov. Walker lost his election to Tony Evers by fewer than 30,000 votes out of more than two million cast.

Republican-led legislatures in Wisconsin and also MI are using lame-duck sessions to try and limit the powers of incoming Democratic governors in their states, prompting sore loser allegations from opponents who say lawmakers are undermining voters.

Require health officials to implement a federal waiver allowing Wisconsin to require childless adults to work in order to receive health insurance, and stop Evers seeking to withdraw the waiver.

Democrats say the measure provided inadequate coverage and would cause premiums to skyrocket.

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.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald downplayed concerns and criticism.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker supported the measure, which became an issue in his failed re-election campaign.

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The new rules block the governor and attorney general from fulfilling one of their signature campaign promises: to withdraw Wisconsin from the multistate lawsuit to torpedo the Affordable Care Act and eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions. The Senate approved the package 17-16, with just one Republican voting against, around sunrise.

During debate, Democrats decried the plan as an abuse of power.

"This legislation is an effort to undermine the results of the elections we just had for governor and for attorney general", Kaul told reporters Tuesday. The bill would also give the Legislature oversight over the governor seeking future waivers for health care, a change Democrats said would handcuff the new administration. The Legislature wasn't expected to complete its work until early Wednesday morning. Michigan Republicans are also discussing taking action before a Democratic governor takes over there.

Other measures would weaken the attorney general's office by allowing Republican legislative leaders to intervene in cases and hire their own attorneys.

About 565,000 people voted early in the November elections. The last lame-duck session in Wisconsin was in 2010 when Democrats tried unsuccessfully to enact labor agreements.

Faced with a Democratic governor for the first time in eight years, legislative Republicans came up with a package of lame-duck bills to protect their priorities and make it harder for Evers to enact his.

The bill passed the Assembly, where Republicans hold a large majority, by 56-27, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The Wisconsin maneuvering is similar to what Republicans did in North Carolina two years ago and to what is being discussed in MI before a Democratic governor takes over there.

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.

Republicans pushed on Tuesday night into Wednesday through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition.

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