State News

A month before stepping down, Walker successfully enacts lame-duck legislation

Under new legislation, previously accessible powers will be stripped from Gov.-elect Evers. 

Image By: Michael Makowski

Outgoing Gov. Scott Walker signed lame-duck session legislation to limit his successor’s power merely 24 days before leaving office. 

Although Walker spoke about potential provisional vetoes, all parts of the bill were signed and passed in Green Bay on Friday, despite a media frenzy calling the December session a GOP power grab and highly energized bi-partisan protesting across the state.

"The overwhelming executive authority that I as governor have today will remain constant with the next governor," Walker said at the signing ceremony. 

Contrary to this claim, the extraordinary session legislation would have prevented him from signing off on the $28 million incentive plan enacted Thursday without permission from the GOP legislature. This economic move intends to convince Kimberly-Clark Corporation to keep 388 jobs at a Fox Valley production facility. 

Walker utilized a venn diagram during the Friday conference to highlight the equal authority he claims Gov.-elect Tony Evers will have regardless of the legislation. 

However, the venn diagram failed to describe the changes the regulations have created, including trimming early voting from about seven weeks to two.

Now, Evers will be restrained from pursuing many of the platforms that his administration promised. 

Without first gaining the approval from the GOP legislature, Evers’ will be unable to remove Wisconsin from the multi-state lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. Further health care restrictions enacted include stricter work laws for childless adults and potential premium changes for BadgerCare. 

The lame duck session legislation granted the GOP legislature the power to block new proposals from Evers, in addition to ruling over the practices of all state agencies, including responsibilities of Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. 

"The people demanded a change on November 6th, and they asked us to solve problems, not pick petty, political fights,” Evers protested in a statement. “The people of Wisconsin expect more from our government than what has happened in our state over the past few weeks."

Just a few hours after the enactment, One Wisconsin Now announced their commitment to a legal battle against the extraordinary session legislation. Many expect multiple lawsuits.

“This attack by Republicans in the legislature is not just unprecedented — it’s undemocratic, it’s unconstitutional, it’s un-American,” Scot Ross, head of One Wisconsin Now, tweeted. “With the support of the National Redistricting Foundation, our legal counsel will be taking legal action to defend the voting rights...of Wisconsin voters, present and future.”

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