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State GOP seek to strip power from incoming Dems

Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin and Michigan are seeking to strip the incoming Democratic leaders of key powers.

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 7:36 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 7:53 PM

The Republican-led Wisconsin legislature approved two bills that would diminish the powers of the state's governor and executive branch after a Democrat was elected to that office in November, Britt Cudaback, spokesman for Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers, told CNN Wednesday morning.

The Assembly and Senate are considering a number of bills designed to effectively prevent Evers and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul from delivering on their campaign promises.

Both approved bills will now go to Republican Gov. Scott Walker for his consideration, Cudaback said.

The first bill, SB 886, would require permission from the state legislature before the state's executive branch could make waivers or changes to public assistance programs, including work- and drug-testing requirements for "able-bodied" adults.

It would prevent the state's department of health and the incoming governor from applying for a change/waiver to the program without getting legislative approval.

The second bill includes a measure that would eliminate the state's Department of Transportation's authority to transfer state and federal funding between highway programs.

If the lame-duck governor signs those bills and others still under debate, the state could reduce its number of early voting days, restrict gubernatorial appointments to a powerful economic agency and require legislative backing for certain decisions traditionally made by the attorney general and governor -- a move that would likely block Kaul from withdrawing the state from a federal lawsuit against Obamacare.

During the campaign, both Evers and Kaul took their Republican opponents to task over health care issues, in particular the state's participation in that legal challenge, which would end coverage protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Walker had promised to call a special legislative session to reimplement the rule on a statewide level, but questions lingered over how robust those new protections would be and the Democrats have credited their strong midterm showing in large part to the party's health care pledges.

Divided along party lines, the GOP-run state budget committee in Wisconsin acted overnight to advance many of the controversial measures after less than 12 hours of debate and amid growing protests in and around the capitol in Madison.

Before the committee vote, Evers, in prepared testimony, called the legislation and the process behind it "unfettered attempts to override and ignore what the people of Wisconsin asked for this November."

"This is rancor and politics as usual," Evers said. "It flies in the face of democratic institutions and the checks and balances that are intended to prevent power-hungry politicians from clinging to control when they do not get their way."

Walker denied on Monday that the moves were a partisan power grab.

"Much of what we did over the last eight years is work with the Legislature," he told reporters, "not at odds with the Legislature."

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican, has been more open about the partisan machinations in play.

"I don't have any problem highlighting that right now," Fitzgerald said on Monday. "I want people to understand that, that there's going to be a divide between the legislative and executive branch."

In a statement Tuesday, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Jessica Post called the GOP lawmakers' actions "shameful."

"Just because Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan don't like the outcome of the election does not give them (the) right to put power over people and disregard the will of the voters," Post said. "After years of voter suppression laws enacted by Republican legislators who were elected on their own gerrymandered lines, this partisan gamesmanship has reached a new low."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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