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

07 December 2018

The Republican-led Michigan House has voted to empower the Legislature to intervene in any lawsuit at any stage, a right already granted to the state attorney general. Rather than respect the decisions of voters, these "lame duck" Republicans (the term for officials who have been voted out of office but still have time to serve before their replacements are sworn in) are using their last few weeks in office to make it harder for Democrats to enact change.

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

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved sweeping changes early Wednesday that weaken the governor's ability to make rules that enact laws. 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.

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The legislature passed the bill as an election fraud investigation is under way into a absentee ballot scheme in a USA congressional race in the state.

On Wednesday, Evers said he was planning on making a personal appeal to Walker to veto the bill. The measures would shift power to the Republican-controlled Legislature and weaken the authority of the governor and the attorney general.

It's a move similar to that carried out by Republicans in North Carolina two years ago - and Republicans in MI are talking of similar action this week. Do we think that has something to do with Wisconsin's participation in a multi-state lawsuit from Republicans attempting to invalidate the Affordable Care Act? In North Carolina, where voters in November approved a voter ID constitutional amendment, Republicans said they were simply implementing the people's will.

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In neighboring Michigan, Republicans who control the Legislature voted to advance a measure that strips campaign-finance oversight power from the next secretary of state, a Democrat. Instead, the legislature's budget committee would have to sign off on such withdrawals.

Wisconsin Republicans pushed through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition to pass the bills after an all-night session.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has steadily amassed power during his eight-year tenure.

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Robin Vos, the apeaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, told reporters the day after the election that the plan is meant to "re-balance" power following the Walker administration. The Assembly approved it on a 56-27 vote about two hours later, sending it on to Walker, with one Republican, Rep. Todd Novak, defecting. There could also be cases where legislators want to take the same side as the attorney general but make a different legal argument. "This in an institutional bill created to ensure that the legislative branch has a voice". Democrats would likely need a permanent injunction to stop the changes for good, but Republicans would nearly certainly pursue appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, which is controlled by conservative justices. The Senate passed the proposal earlier in the evening. "She's perfectly capable of figuring out who is a Democrat and who is a Republican without the help of this lame-duck Legislature".

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