Citizen Rights Group Call on WI Legislature to "Respect Our Votes"

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The Wisconsin Senate voted just before sunrise Wednesday following an all-night session to pass a sweeping bill in a lame-duck session created to empower the GOP-controlled Legislature and weaken the Democrat replacing Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Republican-led legislatures in Wisconsin and also MI are using lame-duck sessions to try and limit the powers of incoming Democratic governors in their states, prompting sore loser allegations from opponents who say lawmakers are undermining voters.

The protests, coming at the end of Walker's eight years in office, were reminiscent of tumult that came shortly after he took office in 2011 and moved to end collective bargaining powers for public sector unions.

The proposals in Wisconsin would weaken the governor's ability to put in place rules that enact laws and shield the state jobs agency from his control.

Republican lawmakers defended the measures, saying they were meant to codify into law a more active role in the state for the GOP-led legislature.

"They've got this pretty sweeping measure that would restrict the powers of the incoming Democratic governor, the incoming Democratic attorney general". That would stop Evers and Kaul from fulfilling their campaign promises to withdraw Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit seeking repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the health care legislation also known as Obamacare.

Wisconsin Gov. -elect Tony Evers said he is prepared to fight Republican-backed proposals to limit his power, even if it means litigation. Assembly Republicans said they would vote in their chamber by midnight.

Last month, he voiced support for ideas including moving the 2020 presidential primary from April to March. But Fitzgerald said Walker and his chief of staff had been deeply involved in crafting the measures. They approved three bills on party-line 12-4 votes, but did not take up one measure that would have moved the 2020 presidential primary from April to March at a cost of almost $7 million to taxpayers. "I will take any steps possible to assure the people of Wisconsin that I will not invalidate those votes".

They also sought to reset the 2020 primary election date and reduce the length of early voting - efforts seen as helpful to future Republican candidates.

A similar limit was found unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2016 and Democrats have threatened to take legal action again should the plan be signed by Walker.

Evers called the Republicans' move an "embarrassment" in a Sunday news conference and suggested he might sue to challenge the new measures.

"Democracy dies in darkness. or perhaps in the early morning light", wrote The Nation's John Nichols, a Wisconsin native, after the measure passed the state Senate and headed toward an Assembly vote, the final hurdle before the legislation reaches outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker's desk.

The votes to pass the sweeping package of bills would come about a month before Evers is slated to take office.

Evers said the GOP agenda was an embarrassing look for the state.

"Just because Republicans in Wisconsin and MI 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.

Roughly 565,000 people voted during the midterms, and Brown said Republican leadership should stop and listen.

The last lame-duck session in Wisconsin was in 2010, when Democrats tried unsuccessfully to enact labor agreements.

"After these antics, the Republican legacy will be one of corruption, dishonesty, and misplaced priorities", tweeted Wisconsin Democrat Jennifer Shilling, the minority leader in the state senate.

State Sen. Tim Carpenter, left, a Democrat, speaks at the Capitol in Madison on Tuesday as legislators pressed ahead with legislation to curtail the incoming Democratic governor's powers. Jon Erpenbach. "They lost and they're throwing a fit".

Vos said Wednesday that the legislature has "allowed far too much authority to flow to the executive".

Despite the victories by Evers, Kaul and every other Democrat running for statewide office, Republicans maintained majority control in the Legislature for the next two years.

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