Wisconsin Republicans to vote on stripping power from Democrats

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That changing rules of who has marginally more power over various functions of the state government, they clearly believe, isn't the sort of stuff that will blow up in their faces.

Walker downplayed the significance of the legislation's proposed changes and said the measures seek to keep in place the current friendly dynamic between the Republican governor and GOP-controlled Legislature.

The Democratic leader in the Wisconsin Senate, Jennifer Shilling, accused Republicans of trying to steal power from Evers.

"Since the release of the extraordinary session bills on Friday night, I have been working tirelessly with my policy staff, legislative service agencies, my Senate colleagues, and leadership to understand and pare down these bills to common-sense codification and technical fixes that don't overstep the powers granted to the legislature". If approved there, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has indicated he's likely to sign them into law.

Gov. -elect Gretchen Whitmer, along with future Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel, all won last month, marking the first time in almost 30 years Democrats would hold all three offices.

The state Assembly approved the lame-duck legislation Wednesday morning.

Walker tweeted that he "can handle the shouts, but leave the kids alone".

The measures drew sharp reaction from Democratic lawmakers who called the move a power grab in advance of a Democrat gaining power over the executive branch after eight years of GOP control in Madison.

Tony Evers, the incoming Democratic governor of Wisconsin, offered that pithy appraisal on Tuesday night of Republican efforts to limit his authority and that of the incoming attorney general, who is also a Democrat. The attorney general will now need permission from the legislature to withdraw from lawsuits which will prevent the incoming attorney general from ending an ongoing suit by the state against the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin counties set their own early voting rules, and the biggest cities - Milwaukee and Madison - allowed early voting for six weeks.

Angry opponents filled the hallways of the Wisconsin Capitol, and the hearing room, banging on the doors and chanting "Respect our votes!" and "Shame!"

"The manufactured outrage by the Democrats right now is hilarious", Fitzgerald said.

The vote, coming after an all-night debate, was the height of a lame-duck legislative session aimed at reducing the authority of the office Republicans will lose in January. Debate in the Assembly finally began around 10:30 p.m., more than nine hours after it was scheduled to start. The measure had always been stalled in the Senate due to lack of GOP support.

Republicans did concede a portion of the measure. Backing out of a lawsuit challenging the 2010 federal health care law had been a major campaign issue for Evers and Kaul.

The bills are scheduled for a vote on Tuesday, with the plan of getting them on outgoing GOP Gov. Scott Walker's desk so he can sign them before losing his job in a few weeks. That panel, controlled 12-4 by Republicans, planned a vote immediately after the hearing was over.

Eliminate the attorney general's solicitor-general office. Other changes include weakening the attorney general's office by allowing Republican legislative leaders to dive into some cases with their own attorneys.

After eight years of Republican control over state government in Wisconsin, voters there went a different direction and elected a Democrat as governor.

But the constraints on Evers would stretch well beyond that, including a specific measure that would bar the governor-elect from making the state Capitol a gun-free zone.

The proposal would also restrict early voting to no more than two weeks before an election.

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.

Michigan Republicans have also introduced legislation to strip some powers from the offices of the state attorney general and secretary of state, which were both captured by Democrats, along with the governorship in the November 6 elections.

The Assembly passed the bill 59-32 early Wednesday morning.

A similar effort is underway in MI, where the Republican-controlled legislature is weighing new laws to hamstring incoming Democrats.

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