Wisconsin Senate limits governor’s power

Wisconsin Republicans forge ahead with power-stripping bills

Session Is "An Embarrassment" To Wisconsin | News

In the wee hours of the morning, the plan narrowly passed the state Senate, later the Assembly and now the bill moves to Gov. Scott Walker's desk for his signature.

The action comes as Democrats and their allies warned they would sue over numerous elements of the plan, especially over a measure that would limit early voting in Wisconsin to two weeks.

Other provisions would give the Legislature full control of a state economic development agency, block the governor's ability to write regulations and allow the Legislature to hire its own lawyers to file lawsuits on behalf of the state.

"They've got this pretty sweeping measure that would restrict the powers of the incoming Democratic governor, the incoming Democratic attorney general".

The legislation also would limit in-person early voting statewide to a two-week window before elections.

Republicans in Wisconsin sought Tuesday to curb the authority of the USA state's newly-elected, incoming Democratic governor, in a move critics decried as a blatant power grab.

They also sparked protests at the Capitol reminiscent of the raucous demonstrations that resulted when Walker all-but eliminated collective bargaining for public workers in 2011.

Require state health officials to implement a federal waiver allowing Wisconsin to require childless adults to work to receive health insurance through the BadgerCare Plus program for the poor. "You know, we saw record turnout in this November midterm election in which people very clearly said they were ready for a change; they've had enough of the partisan games, they wanted people to work together to solve problems".

Republicans are rushing a sweeping package of bills through a "lame duck" extraordinary legislative session, with a public hearing in the Joint Finance Committee Monday, and floor votes in the Senate and Assembly on Tuesday.

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

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

Republicans also want to enact a protection in state law for people with pre-existing conditions but make it more hard for the attorney general to remove Wisconsin from a federal lawsuit seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

One Wisconsin successfully sued to strike down a previous Republican effort to limit early voting.

Walker, who was booed and heckled during an afternoon Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the Capitol rotunda, has signaled support for the measures that he would have to sign before they take effect.

Democrats are opposed to the plan because the state can't offer protections as extensive as those provided under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

The legislation would also require legislative approval to withdraw from lawsuits, taking that away from the attorney general. The legislation, he said, ensures that Evers will have to negotiate with lawmakers and can not unilaterally erase Republican ideas.

The proposal up for a vote would weaken the governor's power to put in place administrative rules enacting state laws.

The power to withdraw Wisconsin from a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law would rest with a legislative committee, rather than the attorney general.

About 565,000 people voted early in the November elections.

"I think that governor-elect Evers is going to bring a liberal agenda to Wisconsin".

GOP lawmakers are trying to pass the bills before Walker leaves office in early January. Republican committee co-chairs said after the meeting that it didn't have votes in the Senate to pass. "Be fair. Give the voters the right to choose their governor and attorney general".

Republicans pushed on Tuesday night into Wednesday through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition. Former Democratic attorney general and Gov. Jim Doyle said the moves were unconstitutional.

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