Bill strips power from Democratic victor

SHUTTERSTOCK

On the heels of significant Democratic midterm victories in MI and Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled legislatures in both states have advanced plans to limit the authority of the states' newly elected governors.

The vote by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature to strip power away from the incoming governor and attorney general split for the most part along predictable partisan lines.

Michigan Democrats in January will jointly hold the governor, attorney general and secretary offices for the first time in 28 years, but the Legislature will continue to be controlled by Republicans.

Republicans in MI are considering a similar tactic to push legislation that would allow the state legislature to intervene in legal battles before the Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state take office in January.

Alternative bills which seem to be consented next week involving manifestos would debilitate the capacity of the government and attorney general to regulate the state's situation in court cases.

Evers said his staff has been reaching out to outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to urge him not to sign the bills into law.

All over the country, Republicans are so angry that they lost the last election that they're finding ways to undermine not just their opponents, but voters as well. The Assembly approved it on a 56-27 vote about two hours later, with a single Republican defecting. Eric Doster, a former long-time lawyer for the state GOP, testified that the commission would operate similarly to those in other states and said "now the time is right".

Perhaps recent court rulings redrawing district lines in some states, or even the mid-term election results, caused counter legislative acts in Wisconsin and MI, but while these will make governing for Democrats in those states more hard, they're not illegal, says a constitutional law expert at Washington University in St. Louis. Legislative director Shelli Weisberg said the bills now would let people registering to vote in the two weeks before an election submit an affidavit if they do not have photo identification, which she referred to as "an important hurdle" that was addressed.

State. Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) was the only republican senator to oppose the bill limiting early voting.

The Wisconsin legislation passed in a session marked by stops and starts as GOP leaders tried to muster enough votes in the Senate.

Nessel, for example, has said she probably will not defend a law allowing faith-based groups to refuse to serve same-sex couples who want to adopt children. Should it pass, the bill could weaken both the governor and the attorney general's ability to make certain decisions without approval of the state legislature. The sponsor, Rep. Rob VerHeulen of Walker, said it would simply let the Legislature intervene without the court approval that it now needs, regardless of which party is in power. We want more people involved in our democracy - not less. "This in an institutional bill created to ensure that the legislative branch has a voice".

But the new legislation would also require that Evers obtain permission from the GOP legislature before seeking to tweak the conditions of federal waivers or making changes to public assistance programs.

In a statement, Evers said: "Wisconsin has never seen anything like this". He beat challenger Brad Schimel by less than one percent of over 2.5 million votes cast.

The legislation to execute the voting-related ballot measure drew objections from Democrats and other proponents of the initiative.

"The incoming secretary of state was elected to preside over election matters", said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich of Flint.

The Legislature passed another measure to enact Medicaid work requirement rules that Walker recently won a federal waiver to establish.

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