The state Assembly approved the lame-duck legislation Wednesday morning. A bill that won Senate approval on a 25-12 vote over Democrats' objections would influence how Benson implements a new voter-approved constitutional amendment that establishes an independent redistricting commission to draw congressional and legislative maps instead of the partisan Legislature. That 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.
Gov. -elect Tony Evers said Wednesday that Republicans have overridden the will of voters who chose Democrats in last month's election. That decision - whether to join or withdraw from this kind of litigation - has been one for the attorney general and governor.
Meanwhile, in MI, the legislature will also remain in control of Republicans, but the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state will all be Democrats for the first time in almost three decades. Outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is mum on whether he will sign the bills if they reach his desk.
The pre-existing conditions measure failed after all 15 Democrats in the Senate and two Republicans voted against it. But the new legislation would add another party to the discussion: the legislature, which would essentially be given veto power over Kaul and likely keep the state in the suit. That move is created to block Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers from allowing the incoming attorney general, Democrat Josh Kaul, to withdraw Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.
"We're seeing more and more public policy issues being addressed in the courts, rather than exclusively in the legislative branch", he said.
State. Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) was the only republican senator to oppose the bill limiting early voting.
"This is a heck of a way to run a railroad", Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said as the Senate debate resumed at 5 a.m. Wednesday after a seven-hour impasse.
Walker is getting bipartisan pressure to veto the measures, including from Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers.
The changes would also weaken the governor's ability to put in place rules that enact laws.
Among the bills that have advanced so far during the lame-duck session are ones which create a campaign finance commission, give the legislature the ability to intervene in lawsuits, and rollback a previously-approved increase in the minimum wage and paid-sick-leave mandate.
Evers on the stump said he would disband the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a jobs agency that has come under intense scrutiny for its role in providing tax incentive deals to major corporations like tech manufacturing giant Foxconn. Attorneys general frequently decline to defend challenges involving legislation that conflicts with the views of the executive branch.
Wisconsin Republicans pushed through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition to pass the bills after an all-night session.
When both take office in January Wisconsin will experience the first divided government in 10 years.
The measures would also limit early voting to no more than two weeks before an election, a move Democrats say is illegal.