Publicado: Jue, Diciembre 06, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Wisconsin Lawmakers Vote To Limit Powers Of New Democratic Governor

Wisconsin Lawmakers Vote To Limit Powers Of New Democratic Governor

Jon Erpenbach said during Senate debate.

Wisconsin Republicans are forging ahead with a rare lame-duck session giving outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker a chance to limit the powers of his incoming Democratic successor.

Walker drew boos and howls of "Hey Walker!"

Protesters held signs that read "Stop the GOP Madness" and "All I Want for Christmas is Democracy" as Walker attended the ceremony. "Our house!" after the order for police to clear the galleries.

Walker left without taking questions. North Carolina lawmakers took similar steps two years ago. The bills were moving quickly in Wisconsin, having just been made public late Friday afternoon.

The protests, coming at the end of Walker's eight years in office, were reminiscent of tumult that came shortly after he took office in 2011 and moved to end collective bargaining powers for public sector unions.

The legislation prevents Evers from putting in place any rules that enact laws and prohibits him from controlling the state jobs agency until September.

The Wisconsin Senate has narrowly rejected a bill that would have created a state guarantee that people with pre-existing conditions can have access to health insurance. All but one person testified against the measures, and the bill's sponsors, breaking with normal practice, did not appear or send surrogates to speak in support on their behalf. "We won fair and square", the Democrat said. "You did not run on this". They will maintain that majority in the statehouse when Gov. -elect Evers takes over. "You rig the system when you win, and you rig the system when you lose".

"We're going to work with the governor-elect, but we're going to do it in a way that's balanced between the legislative and administrative level", Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, said during debate.

"We will actively be looking at either to litigate or do whatever else in our power to make sure the people of Wisconsin are represented at the table", said Evers, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That plan passed on a party-line vote in the Assembly and Senate, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against.

Protesters descended on the Capitol on Monday trying to block a committee vote on the legislation, shouting "Shame!" and "Respect our votes!"

Walker signaled Monday he largely supports it and would be willing to sign it before he leaves office January 7.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach speaks out against proposal to allow legislative leaders to hire their own attorneys
Sen. Jon Erpenbach speaks out against proposal to allow legislative leaders to hire their own attorneys. Credit Screenshot WisconsinEye

Stung by their election loss in the governor's race last month, Republicans treated the lame-duck session as a final opportunity to use their political clout to weaken the next governor before time runs out. The last lame-duck session in Wisconsin was in 2010 when Democrats tried unsuccessfully to enact labor agreements. Scott Fitzgerald said was meant to help re-elect a conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.

Commission staff handed the panel a memo Monday concluding the switch could cost at least $7 million and create a logistical nightmare for local clerks.

It didn't even get a vote in the committee.

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

The changes would also weaken the governor's ability to put in place rules that enact laws.

Fitzgerald and other Republican leaders said that changes to that proposal, and others including limiting early voting to two weeks before an election, were being considered and could be offered during floor debate Tuesday.

Eight former leaders of Wisconsin's economic development agency who served under both Republicans and Democrats are speaking out against changes proposed in a lame-duck legislative session.

The legislation would also require legislative approval to withdraw from lawsuits, taking that away from the attorney general.

Under current law, Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul could move forward with removing Wisconsin from the ACA lawsuit with Evers' approval.

They are also skeptical of the GOP plan because the lame-duck legislation would allow Republican lawmakers to keep alive a lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act that Evers and Kaul want to drop.

Barry C. Burden, a professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin -Madison says that the session was so unprecedented that political scientists are still examining the details of what was passed, but some of the threatened measures that would have certainly spurred legal challenges were removed before passage.

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