Dec 14, 2018

Scott Walker signs bills to curb power from Democratic successor

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Photo: Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call

Scott Walker, Wisconsin's outgoing Republican governor who was denied a third term last month, signed sweeping lame duck legislation into law on Friday to diminish the power of incoming Democratic governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, and consolidate the power of the GOP-controlled state legislature.

Why it matters: This last-ditch effort by Republicans, which Democrats have referred to as a blatant "power grab," will extend years of fierce ideological skirmishes in the battleground state that the GOP has controlled for years. One measure, which will limit early voting, is almost certain to trigger a court challenge because a federal judge struck down a similar proposal as unconstitutional in 2016.

The backdrop: The move mirrors a similar decision made by North Carolina Republicans two years ago, when they successfully stripped powers of Democratic governor Roy Cooper. Meanwhile, Michigan's Republican-controlled legislature is considering measures to weaken the powers of the incoming top Democratic governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

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