GOP-led Michigan Senate to vote on bill to strip Dem's power

Blanche Robertson
December 7, 2018

The Republican state Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, called the blowback to the plan "manufactured outrage by the Democrats", and said that while they trusted Walker, a Republican, to handle the "back and forth with the legislature", they do not trust Evers, a Democrat.

The Republican-led Michigan Senate is expected to pass a bill that would strip the incoming Democratic secretary of state of her power to oversee campaign finance.

Evers says the state "should be embarrassed" by the Republicans' actions and that they have ignored the will of voters.

"You're here because you don't want to give up power", Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said as debate concluded in that chamber.

However disgraceful, the power grab by Wisconsin's Republican legislators is hardly idiosyncratic. One Republican notably broke ranks and also voted against it.

Walker is getting bipartisan pressure to veto the measures, including from Democratic Gov. -elect Tony Evers. The Assembly approved it on a 56-27 vote about two hours later, with a single Republican defecting.

The attorney general's office, meanwhile, wouldn't be allowed to withdraw from federal lawsuits.

The new legislation tries to protect some of the GOP's achievements in recent years, including a work requirement for some people receiving state health care and the state's role in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

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The changes would also weaken the governor's ability to put in place rules that enact laws.

The bill would limit the governor's ability to put in place administrative rules that enact laws and give the Legislature the power to control appointees to the board that runs the state economic development agency until September 1.

The Wisconsin Legislature is preparing to vote on limiting the powers of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general.

"The Legislature makes the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws and the judicial branch interprets the laws", said Rep. Robert Wittenberg of Huntington Woods.

The Assembly passed the bill 59-32 early Wednesday morning. Democrats expect to challenge some of the bills in court. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair, said the legislation would not in "any way" affect Proposal 2 but rather follow its goal of partisan "evenness and equity" by restricting people affiliated with a political party from providing legal and accounting services to the commission.

"The Republican motivation to take the power away and push these bills is to take power away from elected Democrats", Greimel said.

Republicans pushed on Tuesday night into Wednesday through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition. That measure is meant to stop Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul, both Democrats, from following through on campaign promises to end Wisconsin's challenge to the federal healthcare law known as Obamacare.

Both Evers and Kaul urged Republicans not to do it and warned of lawsuits that would bring more gridlock to Wisconsin when the new administration, and the first divided government in 10 years, takes over.

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