This Week in Statehouse Action: ‘Tis The Season edition

Stuck With Him, Determined To Make Him Miserable: I wrote previously in this space about how Wisconsin Republicans suddenly want to strip powers from the office of the governor—a move they didn’t seem to be actively considering before a Democrat had the temerity to get himself elected to the office.

Now we have a few specifics regarding the GOP’s schemes of usurpation.

  • Some of the powers they’re reportedly considering stripping include:
    • Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ ability to make changes to the state’s voter ID law.
    • Evers’ influence over the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
    • Evers’ ability to set administrative rules to carry out new laws.
      • (By the by, the GOP-controlled legislature expanded the governor’s authority shortly after Republican Scott Walker took office in 2011.)
  • Also, GOP lawmakers want to move the date of the state’s 2020 presidential primary to help a conservative state Supreme Court justice win his election.

No, I’m not inferring this. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald came right out and said that’s the reason behind the proposed move.

  • Never mind that the cost to taxpayers of holding the Supreme Court and presidential primary elections on separate dates would be north of $6.8 million.

And while Wisconsin Republicans haven’t yet confirmed their intent to do so, Democrats fear GOP lawmakers will use the December lame duck session to strip the governor of his ability to veto the new legislative and congressional maps that they’ll draw in 2021.

  • No, Democrats aren’t being paranoid. There’s nothing in the state constitution that prohibits Republicans from changing the redistricting process to suit their partisan whims (though there is some case law holding that the governor should be included, fwiw).
    • There’d be something darkly poetic about Wisconsin Republicans using their artificial, gerrymandered majorities to rob Democrats of the opportunity to block another set of hyper-partisan maps, tbh.

Speaking of things that remind me of North Carolina (the original home of Republican legislators stripping an incoming Democratic governor of as much authority as possible) …

From Hell’s Heart, I Stab At Thee …With Affection: In actual North Carolina (because Wisconsin is turning into North North Carolina amirite okay no that was bad), Republican lawmakers are using the last gasp of their veto-proof majorities to pass the voter ID legislation they just rendered constitutional via ballot measure earlier this month.

  • A bill requiring North Carolina voters to present photo ID at the polls just sailed through the state Senate and is expected to pass the House.
    • And then Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will veto it, the GOP-controlled will override the veto, and that will be that.

We Need To Have More In Common Than Our Mutual Love Of Bourbon: So Democratic lawmakers in Kentucky are trying to do some cool things.

It’s super sad that they still need to be done but oh well.

  • After Floridians approved a constitutional amendment earlier this month that ended the state’s permanent disenfranchisement of those convicted of felonies, Kentucky is now one of only two remaining states with this racist policy still on the books (the other is Iowa, wtf).
  • Community activists and a (reportedly) bipartisan group of lawmakers are trying to change that.
    • It won’t be easy though—the change requires amending the state constitution.
      • First, the amendment must receive the approval of 60 percent of each legislative chamber.
      • Then, the amendment must be approved by voters (just a simple majority, though).
  • Also, a Democratic state representative has filed legislation for the upcoming session that would ban sexual harassment in the statehouse.
    • Because, yes, that’s a thing that hasn’t been banned there yet.
      • It’s clearly overdue, though. Just last year, four Republican state representatives—including the then-House speaker—secretly signed a settlement with a staffer who claimed that the lawmakers had harassed her.
    • The measure would also define sexual harassment, set up a tip line, and establish a complaint and reporting process.

Welp, that’s all for this week. You should go snuggle with someone you care about. Or tolerate. Or maybe just with your pet who’s definitely not looking for a short-term cure for loneliness. 

Or maybe you’re behind on the whole “cuffing season” thing and need to take tomorrow off to work on that. Just print this out and show it to your boss; she might look at you funny, but I bet she won’t mind.

Source link
Back to top button
Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!