After hours of debate and secret negotiations that dragged on into the early hours of the morning amid a backdrop of mass protests, Wisconsin's Senate on Wednesday approved a Republican plan to strip power from Democratic governor-elect Tony Evers and transfer major authority over the state's legal affairs from the incoming Democratic attorney general to the GOP-dominated legislature.
Numerous changes to Evers' power involve rulemaking, giving the Legislature more power over a process that Republicans had concentrated in the hands of Walker over the past eight years. The Assembly followed, voting 56-27 to pass and send the bill to the governor's desk.
The sweeping measures to bolster Republican legislative power come after North Carolina took similar steps two years ago. "This is part and parcel of a new philosophy of governing". In the meantime, Republican Gov. Scott Walker faced a chorus of boos from protesters at an event in the state Capitol.
Walker will have to sign off on any legislation limiting Evers' power. Backing out of a lawsuit challenging the 2010 federal health care law had been a major campaign issue for Evers and Kaul. Evers said during the campaign he would disband the organization.
Democrats and other opponents argue that the measure provided inadequate coverage and would cause premiums to skyrocket, making coverage unaffordable. The legislation, he said, ensures that Evers will have to negotiate with lawmakers and can not unilaterally erase Republican ideas.
Democrats have decried the bills as defying the voters' will.
The Legislature met deep into the night Tuesday to pass a series of bills, first unveiled Friday, that would weaken the governor's office and transfer power away from the Democratic-elect attorney general and give it to the Legislature. "These people are sore losers". "I want people to understand that, that there's going to be a divide between the legislative and executive branch".
Require Evers to get permission from the legislature before banning guns in the capitol.
Walker has not explicitly endorsed the bills, but indicated to reporters he'd support it.
Democrats said the legislation would lead to increased legislative spending on lawyers.
"Stop these legislatures from taking these shameful actions".
Burden said that the Governor of Wisconsin has a powerful veto power including the ability to strike line items and even words.
Meanwhile protesters outside the hearing room are chanting "Shame!" A public hearing on Monday lasted almost nine hours, with the testimony from the public overwhelmingly against the GOP agenda. "The state is going to be mired in litigation in 2019".
"The manufactured outrage by the Democrats right now is hilarious", Fitzgerald said. Two of the eight people who signed the statement were appointed by outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Evers, who defeated Walker by just over 1 point last month, called the measures an attempt to invalidate results of the election.
Much of the current controversy amounts to "inside baseball", in the words of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, that hasn't broken through with much of the voting public.
"This is a heck of a way to run a railroad", Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said as debate resumed at 5 a.m.
Republicans were battered in the midterm election, losing all statewide races amid strong Democratic turnout.
Republican lawmakers defended the measures, saying they were meant to codify into law a more active role in the state for the GOP-led legislature. More than likely, that's why they chose a strategy of secrecy and haste in order to ram their bills through the legislature.
The bills up for a public hearing and committee vote Monday, setting the stage for legislative action Tuesday, would move the 2020 presidential primary to help a conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, restrict early voting in way a federal court already disallowed and give the GOP-controlled Legislature the power to sidestep Kaul in legal fights.