"Functioning government": State Democrats, Republicans react to lame-duck session

    The Wisconsin Assembly debates legislation early in the morning Dec. 5, 2018, in an extraordinary lame-duck session which includes bills to limit powers of the incoming governor and attorney general. (WLUK/Amanda Becker)

    MADISON (WLUK) -- Governor Scott Walker now has the final say on three bills that would change Wisconsin's executive and legislative powers.

    In a variety of ways, the proposals passed Wednesday would transfer powers from the governor's office to the State Assembly and Senate.

    Democrats said the measures are a desperate move to cling to power and undermines the wants of Wisconsin voters.

    "There's only been a lame-duck session here dating back to the 1920's about 7 or 8 times, but there has never been a lame-duck session used to go after a newly elected official," said Democratic State Sen. Jon Erpenbach. "You guys want to tell yourself that you did a good job of eliminating bad stuff in these bills but you didn't, you made things worse," he said.

    One new bill passed Wednesday would stop Evers from interfering with the state's job agency until September 1.

    The relevance? It ultimately effects any potential efforts to renegotiate the Foxconn deal.

    A separate bill requires the attorney general to get approval from the legislature before withdrawing from any lawsuit, something Kaul planned to do in the multi-state lawsuit seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

    A third bill passed Tuesday includes a work requirement for recipients of BadgerCare or FoodShare and also requires legislative approval for the governor to make changes to either program.

    "I think this is a great example of how quality functioning government works when you have a legislative branch and executive branch trying to move the state of Wisconsin forward," said Republican State Rep. John Macco.

    But despite the push-back from Democrats, Macco said this session was not an attempt by his party to maintain power, and they're looking forward to working with Democrats.

    "I've had some great conversations with my democratic colleagues and we have some great plans for next year," said Macco.

    Throughout this process Governor Walker has signaled his support for this legislation, but it is not clear if or when he will sign it.

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