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Wisconsin Republicans prepare to move ahead with lame-duck session

Wisconsin Republicans prepare to move ahead with lame-duck session”

The legislation now goes to the desk of departing Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has signaled he will sign off on it before he leaves office in early January. In the meantime, Republican Gov. Scott Walker faced a chorus of boos from protesters at an event in the state Capitol.

Reporters at the scene described chaotic all-night negotiations with lawmakers wandering the Capitol building in Madison unsure of the current state of bill they were rushing to move forward.

The Republican majority called a rare post-election legislative session this week to consider the proposals.

During the campaign, both Evers and Kaul took their Republican opponents to task over health care issues, in particular the state's participation in that legal challenge, which would end coverage protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

At the same time, in a seeming acknowledgement that the protests are working, Fitzgerald said that he doesn't yet have the votes for all of the legislation. Why are we here today?

An hours-long Monday public hearing on the bills before a Wisconsin legislative committee was repeatedly disrupted by protesters' shouts, while Democratic lawmakers railed at Republicans. What are we doing?

He is vowing to fight it, saying lawsuits are being explored, and called on the people of Wisconsin to contact their legislators even as the bills were speeding through.

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has approved a sweeping package of bills weakening the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general. "It's about power and self-interest".

He added that he "proposed none of this" but declined to say whether he would sign any of the measures.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker arrives for the lighting of the state Christmas Tree in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday Dec. 4 2018 at the Capitol in Madison Wis. The Senate and Assembly are set to send dozens of changes in state law to Walker’s desk Tuesda

Switch who can approve withdrawing from lawsuits from the governor to the Legislature's budget committee, a move that would prevent Evers from ordering Kaul to remove Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit challenging the federal Affordable Care Act.

Never in Wisconsin history "has an extraordinary session been used to deny the will of the people and take away powers from the newly elected governor and newly elected attorney general", Democratic Rep. Chris Taylor said.

Other provisions would give the Legislature full control of a state economic development agency, block the governor's ability to write regulations and allow the Legislature to hire its own lawyers to file lawsuits on behalf of the state. The measures are created to weaken both incoming Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters Tuesday that his constituents want him to protect everything the GOP has accomplished over the last eight years under Walker.

Republicans will maintain their majorities in the Legislature next year when the Democratic Evers takes over.

"This legislation will work to nullify a lot of what this last election was about", Evers said Sunday. That measure is meant to prevent Evers and the incoming Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul, from following through on their campaign promise to end Wisconsin's challenge to the federal Affordable Care Act. They made opposition to that lawsuit a central part of both of their campaigns.

Another element of the bill would make it more hard for Evers to alter some GOP-backed laws, including Wisconsin's voter ID law.

Republicans who control the Wisconsin Assembly have passed a lame-duck bill enacting a Medicaid work requirement. Michigan Republicans also are discussing taking action before a Democratic governor takes over there.

If numerous changes are challenged in court, opponents have said, the process could create even more gridlock in state government next year. The Legislature would be allowed to substitute the attorney general with private attorneys, funded by tax-payers, whenever state laws are challenged in court.



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