A rush and a push
December 6, 2018

Early Wednesday, Wisconsin's Republican-led state Assembly and Senate pushed through a slate of bills that would limit the power of Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D) and the newly-elected Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul. Evers said Wednesday he will personally ask outgoing Gov. Scott Walker (R), whom Evers defeated, to veto the legislation, and if that fails, he will likely sue "to make sure that this legislation does not get into practice." A few of the GOP proposals, including one on pre-existing conditions and moving a state election, were either defeated or dropped.

"The will of the people has officially been ignored by the legislature," Evers said. "Wisconsin should be embarrassed by this."

But the legislature, which will also be controlled by Republicans next session — thanks in part to heavy gerrymandering — didn't just shift power from Evers and Kaul in its rare lame-duck session. On Tuesday, the state Senate also approved 82 of Walker's appointees to various state jobs, including confirming top Walker aide Ellen Nowak as new head of the state Public Service Commission. Walker also made defeated Attorney General Brad Schimel (R) a judge on the Waukesha County Circuit Court and named new district attorneys for Burnett and Columbia counties — positions that don't require Senate approval.

Evers had asked Walker earlier Tuesday to withdraw his nominees so they can be "fully vetted" next year, noting that "many of them have had no public hearing and some have not filed a statement of economic interest." Walker had made a similar request of outgoing Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle in 2010, asking him not to "finalize any permanent civil service personnel" after the election. "I believe these appointees should be required to go through the same application process as any other civil servants," Walker added, "and my administration will review any new permanent hires during the next two months so they can be considered for termination during the probationary period." Peter Weber

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