Gov. Evers fights to undo lame duck Walker bills

Claire Gelhaus, Editor

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 As Scott Walker left the office and Tony Evers, the newly elected governor of Wisconsin, and Josh Kaul, incoming attorney general were set to enter in December, Walker began passing laws during his ‘lame duck’ period.

  The bills limit the power of the attorney general and governor through many restrictions, such reducing the date for early voting to two weeks before an election, requiring approval from legislature to ban guns at the capitol, and allowing republican lawmakers to intervene in certain lawsuits, hiring their own lawyers to replace Kaul, and block administrative rules.

    Additionally, the laws prevent Kaul and Evers from withdrawing a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, set higher standards for voter ID, and include a work requirement for people on Medicaid.

  Walker “chose to ignore and override the will of the people,” said Evers, and Senator Tammy Baldwin sent supporters an email where she called the bills, “a craven partisan attack on democracy.”

  Similar scenarios have played out in North Carolina and New Jersey within power struggles between Democrats and Republicans and their successors.

  In North Carolina, the 2016 election produced a democrat, and Republicans similarly tried to restrict the new governors power. In New Jersey, Democrats attempted to dominate by making gerrymandering constitutional.

  In recent years, Wisconsin’s political elections have been flawed by gerrymandering scandals and re-elections in an extremely purple state.

  “Wisconsin, which Democrats had carried in presidential races since 1988, played an unexpected role in helping to seal Mr. Trump’s victory,” said Mitch Smith and Monica Davey in an article for the New York Times. “But a longstanding tone of congenial relations between Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans vanished after the Republicans took over eight years ago.”

     Walker lost by about 30,000 votes, about 1 percent.

  “Wisconsin law, written by the Legislature and signed into law by a governor, should not be erased by the potential political maneuvering of the executive branch,” said Robin Vos, speaker of state assembly, and Scott Fitzgerald, republican and Wisconsin senate majority leader in a statement released Nov 30.

 

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