Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Michigan House votes to extend legislative power

Donald Trump and Mike Pence meet with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office of the White House Modal Trigger Donald Trump and Mike Pence meet with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office of the White House AP
Melinda Barton | 07 December, 2018, 17:15

Republicans in Madison were successful early Wednesday approving bills to limit the powers of the next governor, Democrat Tony Evers, and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.

"The big takeaway from the Wisconsin legislature's sabotage of its voters' mandate, and the similar action in North Carolina in 2016, closely following Republicans' federal proceduralist approach to matters like the Supreme Court and Obamacare, is that this is the new normal", Magarian said.

This gives the appearance of a concerted national strategy by the Republican Party to assert partisan politics as a matter of rule of law, Magarian said.

In neighboring Wisconsin, the GOP-led Legislature has passed legislation to restrict the incoming Democratic administration's powers.

"Republicans have declared all-out partisan war rather than make it a legal battle", he said.

When both take office in January Wisconsin will experience the first divided government in 10 years. They said the anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative approved last month is self-executing, and the legislation is unconstitutional and is not supported by organizers of the ballot drive nor people who voted for it.

"The will of the people has officially been ignored by the Legislature", Evers said at a press conference, "Wisconsin should be embarrassed by this", Evers said. There could also be cases where legislators want to take the same side as the attorney general but make a different legal argument.

The bill failed by one vote Wednesday during a lame-duck legislative session where Republicans are focused on measures created to limit the powers of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general.

"Now, whether or not Governor Walker and the state legislature believe that the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general are detrimental to the forward advancement of the state of Wisconsin, that may be so, but the people of Wisconsin - according to their votes - have determined that they no longer wanted to retain Governor Walker, and they wanted to transfer leadership of their state to a Democratic governor and a Democratic attorney general", Hamilton explained. The bill next goes to the GOP-led Senate.

The vote came after the state House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow lawmakers to sidestep the attorney general in litigation involving the state.

The votes early Wednesday were the height of a rare lame-duck legislative session. That chamber ultimately approved the package 17-16, with one Republican, state Sen. "If you vote for this, shame on you".

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos countered that the bills would ensure a balance of power between the Legislature and the executive branch. "To me, it's about the institution".

The Senate also approved measures to implement a voter-approved constitutional amendment that allows same-day voter registration, over criticism that the legislation could conflict with the voters' intent and should wait until after the frenetic lame-duck session.

The measures would also require the attorney general to get legislative approval to withdraw from lawsuits.

Please also veto legislation that restricts early voting. 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 Legislature passed another measure to enact Medicaid work requirement rules that Walker recently won a federal waiver to establish.