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07 December 2018, 06:02 | Devin Moran
GOP Wisconsin State Legislature Passes Bill Limiting Incoming Democratic Governor's Powers. Here's What That Means
Greg Magarian, professor of law at the School of Law, doesn't see any constitutional roadblocks to recent movements by the Wisconsin and Michigan Republican-majority legislatures created to limit power of newly elected Democratic governors.
The legislature is also expected to pass a law allowing it to intervene in litigation involving the state, a power normally reserved for the attorney general's office, which will be occupied by a Democrat starting next month.
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.
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Ryan speaks inside the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, Dec. 3, 2018 in Washington.
Wisconsin's lone Democratic Senator, Tammy Baldwin, who recently won re-election by a wide margin, called the plan a "attack on the will of the people and our Democratic process".
In a statement, Evers said: "Wisconsin has never seen anything like this".
"Maybe we made some mistakes giving too much power to Gov".
Evers hopes Walker will consider vetoes of lame-duck bills
Kaul vowed to withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit that seeks a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare. But before she even takes office next month, her duty to oversee Michigan's campaign finance system could be gone _ stripped if a new Republican-sponsored bill is enacted into law. Michigan Republicans have also passed last-minute bills to gut the minimum wage and paid sick leave.
Democratic Gov. -elect Gretchen Whitmer takes office on January 1.
Over 350,000 Michiganders signed petitions to place the initiatives on November's ballot, an effort rendered moot when they were passed by the legislature.
The campaign finance commission would assume a number of responsibilities now under the purview of the state secretary of state. Democratic Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson ran in part on a pledge to advocate for election transparency, so the public knows more about people and groups spending to influence races and ballot drives.
Democrats countered that the legislation is an unconstitutional overreach. Benson, who wrote a 2010 book on state secretaries of state, is widely thought to be highly qualified for the position following stints as a law school dean and Southern Poverty Law Center board member. Hamilton posed. "Well, sure the state legislature can use their lawful authority granted them by the state constitution to do what they believe is right; however, it's pretty plain to me that if this had been in reverse - in terms of political party affiliations - then you'd have lots of people on the Republican side of the aisle very upset at this particular maneuver".
The attorney general's office could also be weakened by a proposal to require a legislative committee, rather than the attorney general, to sign off on withdrawing from federal lawsuits.
The bill is part of a package of Republican lame-duck legislation created to weaken Evers and incoming Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.
The incoming Democratic governor has already threatened a lawsuit over this move.
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