Republicans prepare to move ahead with lame-duck session | Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

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You didn't tell people you would do everything in your power to take away the power of a newly elected governor and attorney general.

The battle spilled over Wisconsin's borders, with national political figures weighing in.

Republicans in both states have defended the moves as necessary to prevent Democrats from unraveling what they view as their legislative successes.

"Republicans are defiant and desperate in the wake of a new Democratic Governor and Attorney General".

"We'll have to see what they pass and we're hopeful that cooler heads will prevail", Lynch said when asked what Evers' next step would be.

They don't like the idea of Democrats being given the same power over the state they enjoyed when they won the governorship and the attorney general's office so they are acting in a lame-duck session to take away those powers.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin defeated Republican challenger Leah Vukmir by almost 11 percentage points.

Republican lawmakers have said they are trying to assert power for the Legislature before Evers takes office in January.

The legislation also would limit in-person early voting statewide to a two-week window before elections.

He said he will talk to Walker as soon as the bills reach his desk and that if he can not persuade the governor to veto the proposals, he will consider lawsuits and any other option "to make sure that this legislation does not get into practice".

"I am surprised at just how egregious these are", said Greig, the incoming House minority leader, who added that any effort to rewrite those laws would be challenged in court. Republicans maintained control of both legislative chambers in the November 6 elections.

Wisconsin Republicans forge ahead with power-stripping bills
Republican state lawmakers scramble to curb incoming Democrats' power

The Senate voted to pass the central piece of the legislation by 17 votes to 16, with only one Republican voting against it, according to results posted on the state legislature's website. The action comes just weeks before Republican Gov. Scott Walker is replaced by Democrat Tony Evers. "What we're dealing with is a political disaster". Democratic state senators decamped to IL to try to keep the bill from going through. "It is unfortunate that instead of respecting the prerogative of Wisconsin voters, Madison Republicans are serving themselves by gutting checks and balances and consolidating their own power".

One of the bills passed earlier in the session would require permission from the legislature before the state's executive branch could make waivers or changes to public assistance programs, including work- and drug-testing requirements for "able-bodied" adults, putting into effect Walker's controversial Medicaid work requirements and requiring Evers to get Republican support if he sought to end them. The initial version of the bill had also allowed legislative leaders to hire their own attorneys to work on behalf of the state, but that provision was removed in an amendment overnight.

The state's GOP leadership framed the undertaking as an attempt to safeguard Walker's policy agenda, as well as to check executive authority.

Kaul says that's created to prevent Evers from ordering him to withdraw from a multi-state lawsuit challenging federal health care laws. Put simply: the Republicans are sore losers. "Businesses take a look at this and say, 'What in the world is going on in Wisconsin'".

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.

But Republicans didn't plan on the furious wave of protests that would descend on the state capitol in Madison on Monday afternoon.

Opponents have said numerous changes will likely be challenged in court, a process that could create even more gridlock in state government next year. They did not make the bills public until late on Friday, after scheduling a Monday hearing before the joint finance committee.

That's because in May, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment which would damage the ability of legislators to gerrymander congressional districts-key to previous Republican electoral strategies in the state.

"This is a heck of a way to run a railroad", Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said as Senate debate resumed at 5 a.m. after a seven-hour impasse.

Assembly Democrats filibustered for 60 straight hours in 2011 in a vain attempt to stop Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining restrictions.

The Republican majority called a rare post-election legislative session this week to consider the proposals. In the days following Evers' win, it was clear that Wisconsin Republicans were going to fight hard to hang on to control.