The Latest: Wisconsin Senate limits governor’s power
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Republican lawmakers moving to limit the powers of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general (all times local):
The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate has passed a sweeping measure taking power away from the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general, and reducing how long early voting can take place.
The measure was approved on a 17-16 vote with all Democrats and one Republican voting against it. The Assembly was expected to give final approval later Wednesday morning and send the measure to Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has signaled his support.
The bill would limit the governor’s ability to put in place administrative rules that enact laws and give the Legislature the power to control appointees to the board that runs the state economic development agency until Sept. 1.
The legislation would also require legislative approval to withdraw from lawsuits, taking that away from the attorney general.
One provision allowing lawmakers to replace the attorney general with their own attorneys was stricken following all-night negotiations among Republicans.
The Wisconsin Legislature is preparing to vote on limiting the powers of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general.
Lawmakers were expected to vote early Wednesday morning on the proposal, after spending most of the night hammering out deals in private. The action comes just weeks before Republican Gov. Scott Walker is replaced by Democrat Tony Evers.
The proposal up for a vote would weaken the governor’s power to put in place administrative rules enacting state laws. It would also allow the Legislature to sidestep the attorney general and hire private attorneys. The Legislature, not the governor, would have the majority of appointments on the state’s economic development agency that Evers has said he wants to dismantle.
The power to withdraw Wisconsin from a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law would rest with a legislative committee, rather than the attorney general.
The proposal would also restrict early voting to no more than two weeks before an election.
Republicans who control the Wisconsin Assembly have passed a lame-duck bill enacting a Medicaid work requirement.
The measure would prevent incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers from withdrawing a federal waiver request to implement the work requirement for able-bodied adults younger than 50. The bill also would require new legislative oversight of waiver requests related to health care made by the governor.
The Assembly passed the bill 59-32 early Wednesday morning. The Senate passed the proposal earlier in the evening. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
The bill is part of a package of Republican lame-duck legislation designed to weaken Evers and incoming Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. Debate on the rest of the proposals was expected to stretch into early Wednesday in both houses.
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Wisconsin Republicans are working through the night to bring together enough votes to pass a sweeping package of lame-duck proposals designed to empower the GOP-controlled Legislature and weaken the incoming Democrat replacing Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Republicans pushed on Tuesday night into Wednesday through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition. The measures are designed to weaken both incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.
Both Evers and Kaul urged Republicans not to do it and warned of lawsuits that would bring more gridlock to Wisconsin when the new administration, and the first divided government in 10 years, takes over.
The measures would also limit early voting to no more than two weeks before an election, a move Democrats say is illegal.