Here's how Wisconsin Republicans want to strip power from incoming Democrats

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is on his way out, defeated in November by Democratic Gov.-elect Tony...

Posted: Dec 10, 2018 5:42 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2018 5:42 PM

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is on his way out, defeated in November by Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers. But with an assist from his GOP allies in the state legislature, Walker appear poised to sign off on a suite of measures designed to strip power from his successor.

The bills on Walker's desk would weaken the state's executive branch at precisely the time Democrats are set to reclaim it after nearly a decade on the outs. The legislation also targets the authorities of incoming Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul, who, like Evers, campaigned heavily on promises to expand health care and protect welfare programs.

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Republican leaders in the state have made their motivations clear. On Tuesday, before the voting began, state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos set the stakes for his Republican colleagues: "We are going to have a very liberal governor," he said, "who is going to enact policies that are in direct contrast to what many of us believe in."

Unless, of course, they voted to limit that governor's power. After a number of the bills passed, Vos pledged to "stand like bedrock" against the agenda of the state's newly elected Democrats.

How is he going to do it? Here are the actions, authored and passed by Republicans, that are now before Walker. Walker has six days from when the bills arrive on his desk to make a decision on what to do with them.

Tom Evenson, Walker's communicators director, tells CNN that Walker has yet to request the bill from the legislature, meaning the six-day countdown clock has not started.

Cutting early voting

One of the new measures would limit early voting to a period of two weeks, a substantial cut for places like Milwaukee, where Democrats have a significant advantage over Republicans.

Evers, who won the statewide election by fewer than 30,000 votes, defeated Walker in Milwaukee County by more 138,000 votes. Milwaukee's early voting began in late September 2018 and went on for about six weeks ahead of Election Day.

This move will almost surely be challenged and decided in the courts, which previously shot down a similar initiative.

Cementing Medicaid work requirements

As part of the package passed early Wednesday morning, Republicans codified work requirements for some Medicaid recipients. The Trump administration in October granted Walker's request for a waiver that would allow the state to enact the controversial policy, which Evers opposes and recently told reporters he might seek to unwind using his executive power.

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.

Diminishing the new attorney general's powers

Both Evers and Kaul committed during the campaign to pulling Wisconsin out of a multi-state lawsuit seeking to invalidate Obamacare. That decision -- whether to join or withdraw from this kind of litigation -- has been one for the attorney general and governor. But the new legislation would add another party to the discussion: the legislature, which would essentially be given veto power over Kaul and likely keep the state in the suit.

The lawmakers would also grant themselves the power to hire private lawyers to defend state laws facing court challenges -- another move designed to chip away at Kaul and the new administration's powers.

Protecting a state jobs agency

Evers on the stump said he would disband the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a jobs agency that has come under intense scrutiny for its role in providing tax incentive deals to major corporations like tech manufacturing giant Foxconn. The company received around $4 billion in tax breaks and other financial inducements as part of its agreement to build a factory in Wisconsin. But by the state's own estimates, the lost revenue will not be made up for nearly 25 years.

Under the new provisions, Republicans in the legislature would appoint a majority of the agency's board, which would until later next year (when the power would be returned to the governor) get to name its own leader, effectively guaranteeing GOP control of the agency until September 2019.

Correction: This story has been updated to correctly state the timeframe in which Gov. Scott Walker has to sign the bills passed by the legislature.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto952799
Hinds9520193
Harrison6801105
Jackson6043116
Rankin521996
Lee477094
Madison4595102
Forrest360685
Jones341687
Lauderdale3340142
Lafayette312047
Washington3043106
Lamar273849
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Lowndes227562
Neshoba2170113
Panola210347
Marshall206547
Leflore200389
Pontotoc192527
Monroe188877
Sunflower188754
Lincoln183664
Warren171757
Tate163049
Pike159958
Union159025
Copiah158840
Yazoo149538
Scott149429
Coahoma146742
Itawamba144433
Simpson143153
Alcorn142724
Pearl River142067
Prentiss138426
Grenada135844
Adams134148
Leake131643
Holmes124261
George121523
Tippah120430
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Winston115824
Wayne115522
Hancock113337
Marion109046
Attala106133
Tishomingo105542
Newton102829
Chickasaw102132
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88153
Clay86226
Jasper80421
Walthall73728
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Stone71014
Carroll70114
Lawrence69814
Noxubee68917
Smith68616
Yalobusha67626
Perry63925
Tunica59519
Greene58222
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis53817
Humphreys52318
Amite50714
Benton48217
Quitman4766
Webster41614
Kemper40615
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson33511
Franklin3155
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1094
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 232506

Reported Deaths: 3457
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30318491
Mobile19260356
Tuscaloosa12446148
Madison12204146
Montgomery12000232
Shelby971276
Baldwin819984
Lee750464
Morgan610447
Calhoun5964113
Etowah585764
Marshall579453
Houston503338
DeKalb460835
Cullman409636
Limestone400844
St. Clair396055
Elmore391061
Lauderdale378353
Walker348096
Talladega334042
Colbert294341
Jackson290524
Blount275436
Autauga261739
Franklin243633
Coffee230315
Dale225454
Dallas219631
Russell21753
Chilton216137
Covington212333
Escambia194031
Tallapoosa168590
Chambers167548
Clarke154919
Pike154714
Marion133935
Winston122523
Lawrence121436
Geneva11678
Marengo116424
Barbour116010
Pickens114118
Bibb113617
Butler113341
Randolph99521
Cherokee98524
Hale91531
Washington89818
Clay88823
Henry8386
Fayette83116
Lowndes78529
Monroe76811
Cleburne74214
Crenshaw70030
Macon69420
Bullock68919
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Wilcox62318
Lamar6227
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene39917
Coosa3064
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