Republicans at the Capitol are making moves this week to limit power of newly elected Democrats before they take office in the spring.
Democratic lawmakers and a variety of protesters are attempting to slow those measures. People packed the legislature’s finance committee room during their public
Lawmakers started their public hearing shortly before 2 pm, and said they would cut off debate at 9:30 Monday.
Lawmakers threw out multiple onlookers for disrupting the hearing today. The committee is made up of legislators from both parties and both houses but has a Republican majority.
One bill would change the date of the presidential primary in 20-0. State Senate Majority Leader Sen. Scott Fitzgerald said last week that that would make it easier for conservative supreme court justice Daniel Kelly to win reelection. That’s because presidential primaries typically have higher turnout than state or local office elections.
Another change would limit early voting to two weeks before an election.
Lawmakers are also attempting to change the composition of the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation — the state’s jobs group. The change would give the governor fewer appointees on the board.
The state senate has a 18-15 GOP majority, meaning not more than one Republican can vote with Democrats. Five Republicans have been identified as swing votes.
Rabbi Bonnie Margulis from Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice was one of the dozens of Wisconsinites who waited hours to speak out against the bills at today’s public hearing.
“I come before you today to speak in opposition of these bills, which are a blatant attack on the separation on the constitutional separation of powers between the Legislature, the governor’s office and the state Attorney General.”
Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the capitol in opposition to these proposals
Scott Gordon contributed to this story.