By State Representative, Leon D. Young
The people of Wisconsin demanded a change on November 6, but obviously state Republicans didn’t get the message. In the extraordinary lame-duck session held recently, the Republican controlled legislature had the audacity to pass a package of measures that shifts and stifles powers from the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office and gives it back to the Legislature.
What’s even more stunning is the outgoing governor’s (Scott Walker) public comments regarding this legislation, as to whether he would sign off on this very intrusive package. Scott Walker is on record as having said that this legislation would not make Tony Evers a weak governor. Moreover, Walker also said that he doesn’t agree with the criticism that legislation shifts powers from the governor and the attorney general and gives it to the Legislature.
But, in life, there are many a twist between the cup and the lip. And, when finally given an opportunity to officially to weigh in on this aggressive power grab by the Republican controlled legislature, Walker proved true to form; opting to sign all the lame-duck measures into law.
More specifically, the legislation that Walker signed gives Republicans control of litigation authorized by Walker to try to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The legislation will initially give lawmakers control of the (WEDC) board and allow the board – instead of the governor – to choose the leader of the agency. In addition, the legislation will allow the legislature to intervene in lawsuits when state statutes are challenged and use private lawyers at taxpayer expense instead of the attorney general’s office. Lawmakers want that power because they fear Kaul won’t vigorously defend the state’s voter ID law or other measures approved by republicans in recent years.
This blatant hypocrisy is just unbelievable. If this wasn’t a calculated power grab, then why was it suddenly necessary to enact these legislative changes now? Moreover, it must be noted that Walker conveniently neglected to point out that some of the measures giving the Legislature more power is similar to those he had vetoed in the past for intruding on his gubernatorial authority.
If nothing else, Scott Walker has been consistent during his tenure as chief executive. His administration began in very unsavory fashion with the enactment of Act 10, and then proceeded with its downward spiral that culminated in the signing of these egregious lame-duck bills.
Scott Walker’s reign of terror is finally over … and Good Riddance!!!