UPDATE: Wisconsin Legislature OKs weakening governor, AG powers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Republican lawmakers moving to limit the powers of the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general (all times local):

8:20 a.m.

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has approved a sweeping package of bills weakening the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general.

The state Assembly approved the lame-duck legislation Wednesday morning. The Wisconsin Senate did the same less than three hours earlier after lawmakers worked through most of the night.

The bills now go to outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has signaled his support.

The measures would limit the governor’s ability to promulgate administrative rules, which enact laws and give lawmakers the power to control appointees to the state economic development agency’s board.

The measures would also require the attorney general to get legislative approval to withdraw from lawsuits. That move is designed to block Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers from allowing the incoming attorney general, Democrat Josh Kaul, to withdraw Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.

The measures also restrict early in-person voting to two weeks before an election.

12:45 a.m.

Republicans who control the Wisconsin Assembly have passed a lame-duck bill enacting a Medicaid work requirement.

The measure would prevent incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers from withdrawing a federal waiver request to implement the work requirement for able-bodied adults younger than 50. The bill also would require new legislative oversight of waiver requests related to health care made by the governor.

The Assembly passed the bill 59-32 early Wednesday morning. The Senate passed the proposal earlier in the evening. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

The bill is part of a package of Republican lame-duck legislation designed to weaken Evers and incoming Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. Debate on the rest of the proposals was expected to stretch into early Wednesday in both houses.

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12:35 a.m.

Wisconsin Republicans are working through the night to bring together enough votes to pass a sweeping package of lame-duck proposals designed to empower the GOP-controlled Legislature and weaken the incoming Democrat replacing Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Republicans pushed on Tuesday night into Wednesday through protests, internal disagreement and Democratic opposition. The measures are designed to weaken both incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.

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.

The measures would also limit early voting to no more than two weeks before an election, a move Democrats say is illegal.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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