Skip to main content

Wisconsin Legislature criticized for lame duck session to limit governor's power, restrict early voting

Democrat Tony Evers takes office in January, but the GOP still controls the Legislature.

With a month to go until Wisconsin gets a Democratic governor and attorney general, the Republican-led Legislature is attracting attention for its attempt to limit their power.

It was revealed last week that the GOP-led Legislature intends to hold a "lame duck" session ahead of Democrat Tony Evers taking up office, replacing outgoing Republican governor Scott Walker.

Among the measures being considered by Wisconsin GOPers includes one that would shift the power over Wisconsin's involvement in federal lawsuits from the governor's office to the Legislature's budget committee, which the Associated Press reports would prevent Evers from withdrawing Wisconsin's challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Another proposal would allow Republican leaders in the Legislature to hire their own attorneys when state laws are challenged in court, a responsibility currently belonging to the Attorney General (an office that will also become Democrat in January).

Other policies being considered would be one to limit early voting to a two-week window before elections, which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Democratic attorneys have already vowed to fight in the courts, saying it would be unconstitutional.

Another measure being considered by Wisconsin is one that would shift the presidential primary from April to March.

Moving the primary would cost the state $6.8 million, WMTJ reports, but it's being considered so that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly, a conservative judge who is up for re-election, doesn't appear on the same ballot as the presidential primary.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

With Democratic turnout expected to be higher for the primary, the GOP think Kelly's chances of being re-elected would be better if the primary is held separately from the state general elections.

The lame duck session is starting on Monday with potential votes being taken on Tuesday. The idea is to get bills passed for Governor Scott Walker to sign before he leaves office.

Before the plan was released, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told the Journal Sentinel that the proposals were "inside baseball" and "it’s hard for me to believe people will get too excited about."

But since its release, it's been described as a "lame duck power grab" by Democrats and has attracted attention in the national media, with Madison365 reporting a protest is due to be held on Monday evening on the steps of the Capitol in Madison.

Next Up

Ellie Ragin

Police obtain 'valuable information' in search for missing 6-year-old Elle Ragin

The 6-year-old is still missing following the death of her mother by suicide.

ambulance

Fatal crash involving 18-year-old in western Minnesota

The 18-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt, the State Patrol said.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

2 women stabbed during parking lot brawl in St. Cloud

Police are searching for another woman in connection with the attack.

Screen Shot 2022-07-04 at 10.02.43 AM

One killed in St. Paul house fire

Two firefighters were injured as they battled the blaze.

fireworks-gad76f1de1_1280

Minneapolis: Stop calling 911 for fireworks noise complaints

The city wants people to submit complaints online instead.

American flag at half-staff/half mast.

What's open and closed in Minnesota on the Fourth of July

Grocery stores are open, though some have limited hours.

ambulance

18-year-old killed by exploding firework in Brooklyn Park

Police arrived at the scene to see the victim's friend performing CPR.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 9.31.25 PM

Boy found in Brooklyn Park is reunited with parents

The boy was found shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.

police tape, crime scene

1 dead, 1 arrested after shooting involving teens in Duluth

A 17-year-old was arrested around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Neither the victim nor the suspect has been identified.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 1.03.19 PM

NASCAR driver joins MN boy in reclaiming 'Let's go Brandon' slogan

Brandon Brundidge gained recognition when his mother shared the story of how he found inspiration in "Let's go Brandon" signs.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 10.20.27 AM

White supremacist propaganda flyers distributed in Cottage Grove

The department said the flyers have been left in driveways throughout the city.

Related

Wisconsin GOP passes measures to weaken its new Democratic governor

The measures are expected to be signed by outgoing Gov. Scott Walker.

masks, coronavirus, covid-19

Wisconsin Assembly votes to overturn Gov. Tony Evers' face mask mandate

The GOP-led Legislature has opposed the Democratic governor's COVID measures.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin governor

Teachers unions urge Wisconsin governor to move classes online in the fall

Gov. Tony Evers had previously stated he supports classes beginning in-person instruction in the fall.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin governor

During Shelter in Place order, Supreme Courts say Wisconsin vote will go ahead

The court overturned Gov. Tony Evers executive order to delay Tuesday's election by two months.

A Minnesota House race was decided by just 4 votes

That, and more interesting state and county results from Tuesday's elections.

restaurant-602894_1280

Judge in Wisconsin reinstates governor's COVID-19 capacity restrictions

It comes amid surging cases and hospitalizations in the state.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin governor

Wisconsin to allow retail stores to re-open, with strict customer limit

It's the latest 'turn of the dial' on Gov. Tony Evers' Stay at Home order.