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Wisconsin Lame Duck

In an extraordinary “lame-duck” session, majority Republican lawmakers in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate have this week pushed through legislation that weakens the position of incoming Democratic Governor Tony Evers.

Despite days of public protest and vehement opposition from Democrats and others, the legislation was passed for approval to soon to be ex-Governor Scott Walker.

Walker has signaled his support for the bill. He has 10 days to sign the package from the time it’s delivered to his office.” [1]

Consequently, the Wisconsin GOP is being accused of imposing its mandate, hampering Evers ability to govern on arrival in office in January, despite the Republicans losing the gubernatorial race in November.

Key points of the lame-duck session include:

  • Legislation that weakens the “Governor’s ability to make rules that enact laws” by shifting power away from the Governor to the GOP controlled Senate and Assembly. [2]
  • The lame-duck package includes “legislation that also shields the state jobs agency from his control until September and cuts into the powers of the incoming Democratic Attorney General.” [3]
  • 82 Scott Walker appointees to various state positions were approved in just one day, Tuesday December 4th 2018, with Walker set to stand down in just a few weeks. [4]
  • The Republican lame-duck legislative package also launched an assault on early voting in Wisconsin, something that has historically been helpful to Democratic candidates at election time, restricting it to no more than two weeks in advance. [5]

Opponents of this legislative maneuvering, including Tony Evers, have vowed to challenge the legitimacy of the GOP lame-duck package.

Evers has indicated that he will appeal directly to Walker to have the legislation vetoed. [6] Additionally, Evers and Democrats are exploring the possibility of legal challenges to the legislation. [7] Evers’ tenure as Governor is likely to be born into the midst of legal wrangling and political acrimony.

[1] https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/midwest/ct-wisconsin-governor-powers-voting-bill-20181205-story.html

[2] & [3] https://www.apnews.com/dbded03c16ce4c3c8609d01b403e57d9

[4] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scott-walker-82-appointees_us_5c084080e4b0844cda4f9959

[5] https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/12/wisconsin-gop-seeks-to-limit-democrat-everss-powers/577411

[6] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tony-evers-walker-republican-power-grab_us_5c087993e4b0844cda4fbb25

[7] https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/05/politics/wisconsin-democratic-lawsuits/index.html

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