Evers to appeal to Walker to veto GOP power play

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Michigan House votes to extend legislative power

The GOP-led Michigan Senate voted along party lines on Thursday to gut a citizen-initiated law approved by voters in November that would make it easier to vote. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair, said the legislation would not in "any way" affect Proposal 2 but rather follow its goal of partisan "evenness and equity" by restricting people affiliated with a political party from providing legal and accounting services to the commission.

In Michigan, the Republican-led legislature on Wednesday hollowed out minimum wage and sick leave laws, three months after it passed those statutes as part of a political strategy to keep them from appearing on the ballot as a voter referendum.

The former measure is seen as a maneuver to ensure that Republicans could support laws if Democratic Gov. -elect Gretchen Whitmer and Democratic Attorney General-elect Nessel are lukewarm about GOP-passed measures and drop appeals in cases the state loses. The Michigan Constitution prohibits the legislature from making changes to citizen-initiated laws in the same legislative session.

The Promote the Vote ballot proposal passed 67-33 percent on November 6 and - among other provisions - would allow the state to automatically register a resident to vote when they get a driver's license or state identification card.

The measure was approved on a 17-16 vote with all Democrats and one Republican voting against it.

"I mean, most of these items are things (that) we never really had to kind of address because guess what - we trusted Scott Walker and the administration to be able to manage the back and forth with the Legislature".

The bills also limit in-person early voting to two weeks before an election, and give the legislature ability to hire private attorneys.

The Legislature passed another measure to enact Medicaid work requirement rules that Walker recently won a federal waiver to establish. The Assembly approved it on a 56-27 vote about two hours later, with a single Republican defecting.

Democrats also criticized the bill that would prescribe how Benson randomly selects the four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents to sit on the redistricting panel.

The bill would limit the governor's ability to put in place administrative rules that enact laws and give the Legislature the power to control appointees to the board that runs the state economic development agency until September 1. They've also voted for legislation that would undermine the new attorney general, allowing Legislature, House or Senate "to intervene in any suit at any stage". The Legislature, not the governor, would have the majority of appointments on the state's economic development agency that Evers has said he wants to dismantle.

In one concession, Republicans backed away from giving the Legislature the power to sidestep the attorney general and appoint their own attorney when state laws are challenged in court.

The changes would also weaken the governor's ability to put in place rules that enact laws. The bill also would require new legislative oversight of waiver requests related to health care made by the governor.

Both Evers and Kaul urged Republicans not to do it and warned of lawsuits that would bring more gridlock to Wisconsin when the new administration, and the first divided government in 10 years, takes over.

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