By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
In a few short weeks, it will be a new year and with it, an inauguration for Wisconsin’s recently elected officials. Included among those is Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lieutenant Governor-elect Mandela Barnes and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. However, before they can assume their positions, the current government officials have one last session.
Wisconsin’s lame-duck session has caused quite a stir. Aside from what some consider unfair legislation, there have also been protests in Madison that have caused Wisconsin to be the talk of the nation.
Currently, Republicans have control, but this January there will be a democratic governor. Some of the legislation that has been passed will purposefully restrict the power of high-level officials. Other legislation will restrict in-person absentee voting and early voting. There could also be changes made to Wisconsin’s voter ID law.
The argument for such a move was based on Gov. Scott Walker’s actions during his years as governor. His current actions have brought him under fire from opponents and supporters alike.
In response, Evers released a statement. Wisconsin has never seen anything like this, he said. It is happening because these politicians want to expand their power instead of listening to what Wisconsinites want as evidenced by the Nov. 6 elections.
“Wisconsin values of decency, kindness, and finding common ground were pushed aside so a handful of people could desperately usurp and cling to power while hidden away from the very people they represent,” Evers stated.
Evers concluded that he hasn’t given up hope quite yet. in his statement, he urged Legislatures to rise to the occasion and fix the issues on hand.
Before the lame-duck session’s announcement which was made on Wednesday morning, Evers met with Mayor Tom Barrett. According to an article by FOX6 News, Barrett said before Ever’s visit it had been a long time before a governor had visited the mayor’s office. After their meeting, Evers spoke to the Common Council where he assured council members that he plans to be a good partner for the city.
“There’s no other city in the state that drives efforts around education, around economics, around adversity and around our democracy than the City of Milwaukee,” he said.
The new governor’s power isn’t the only one being restricted. The legislature is also trying to restrict the attorney general’s power. The new laws would give more power to the Legislature. In an interview with MSNBC, Kaul called the actions embarrassing. It happened in the middle of the night and behind closed doors, he said.
During the interview, Kaul said he expects there to be several lawsuits concerning the Republican’s actions.
Evers urged Wisconsin residents to voice their concerns and to encourage Walker not to sign the bill into action. On Tuesday night, a group of demonstrators gathered to protest the Republican’s actions.
According to the Associated Press, Evers said he planned to personally request Walker to veto the legislation that is approved during this lame-duck session.
So far, current Walker hasn’t made a move to sign the legislation although he demonstrated his support.