Evers visits Appleton, plans to talk to Walker about lame-duck legislation

Governor elect Tony Evers speaks to reporters in Appleton, December 6, 2018. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- Gov.-elect Tony Evers visited Appleton Thursday morning.

After speaking at the 15th annual New North Summit, an event that brings business, education and community leaders together from around the state, Evers talked with reporters on his next step after the Republican-controlled Legislature approved sweeping changes Wednesday that weaken the governor's ability to make rules that enact laws.

The legislation also shields the state jobs agency from his control until September and cuts into the powers of the incoming Democratic attorney general.

Evers said, "The people of Wisconsin wanted me to be governor, they wanted me to be an active governor and they wanted me to solve problems and taking away authorities of both the attorney general and myself, I think was a step in the wrong direction. Hopefully we can get some support from Governor Walker to veto the legislation but absent of that, we will be looking at all other options going forward."

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is weighing whether to sign the bills.

Evers is hopeful Walker will veto the legislation and says he plans to talk to Walker soon.

"Within a couple days. That's my... that's our plan. We're trying to set up a phone call at this time," Ever said.

Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said Thursday confirmed the governor is reviewing the bills.

Evenson didn't give a time frame for when Walker would act. Walker has 6 days to take action once the bills are delivered to him.

He also said he will make a personal appeal to outgoing Republican Gov. Scott Walker to veto legislation that weakens the new administration's powers.

When asked what arguments Evers has for a veto that haven't been used before, Evers said, "The arguments? It's a little different this time. This particular legislative session was really quite extraordinary and it spent its time figuring out, the legislators spent time figuring out how to take away authority of the recently elected governor. Now, my pitch to Gov. Walker will be a couple things but, most importantly, it's part of his legacy as he's walking out the door... I believe to the right thing for Wisconsin and consider some vetoes."

If that doesn’t work, Evers said he might sue.

"We're hopeful Gov. Walker can make some adjustments," Evers said.

When asked what Evers will do if the bills are signed, he said, "Then we go to plan C and plan C is we're already making those discussions. We're not prepared to say exactly what they'll be but we will not just lie down and accept this."

FOX 11 tried to get a hold of Walker to find out if he'd talk to Evers. However, he did not respond to our requests.

Many Republicans in the state Legislature have defended the bills. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said earlier this week saying "It's about ensuring equal branches of government exist in Wisconsin."

"Because most of you realize that when the Constitution was written, the first branch of government is the Legislature. We are the most representative and I believe the one that is the closest to the people," Vos said Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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