‘Hysteria’? Outgoing Republican Scott Walker signs legislation that could curb his Dem successor’s power

DCNFEvie Fordham, DCNF

Outgoing Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation Friday that could weaken the power of the state executive when his Democratic successor Tony Evers takes office.

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Despite protests at the state Capitol, state Republican lawmakers passed legislation Wednesday that could reduce the powers of both the incoming governor and incoming attorney general, reported NBC News.

“Despite all the hype and hysteria out there, these bills do nothing to fundamentally diminish executive authority,” Walker said in a statement Friday, according to CNN. “The bottom line is the new governor will continue to be one of the most powerful chief executives in the country.”

“My criteria when evaluating these bills were simple: Do they improve transparency? Do they increase accountability? Do they affirm stability? And do they protect the taxpayers? The answer is yes,” Walker continued.

One of the changes included in the legislation requires the state legislature to give permission to the executive branch to change or waive aspects of public assistance programs, reported CNN. That could make it harder to alter work and drug-testing requirements.

The legislative package will also make it harder for Wisconsin Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul to withdraw the state from a multi-state federal lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

The legislation Walker signed Friday will also limit early voting, reported NBC News.

“I think it’s the wrong message, I think it is an embarrassment for the state and I think we can stop it,” Evers said Sunday.

Democrats are expected to sue over the legislation, reported Politico.

Evers defeated Walker by 1.1 percent in the November midterm election, according to The New York Times. Walker had been governor of Wisconsin since 2011, according to Ballotpedia.

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