Highlights of bills proposed by Wisconsin Republicans
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A proposal by Wisconsin Republican lawmakers to move the state’s 2020 presidential primary to benefit a conservative Supreme Court justice is likely dead, but the GOP is taking up many other proposals Tuesday that would weaken the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general. Highlights of the bills in Tuesday’s lame-duck legislative session:
— Limit early voting to no more than two weeks before an election.
— Weaken the attorney general’s office by allowing Republican legislative leaders to intervene in cases and hire their own attorneys. If lawmakers feel they represent the state’s best interests, they could push the attorney general aside.
— Give the Legislature’s budget committee, rather than the attorney general, the power to withdraw the state from lawsuits. That would prevent Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul from withdrawing Wisconsin from a multi-state lawsuit to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act.
— Eliminate the attorney general’s solicitor general office. The office currently handles some of the highest- profile, most political lawsuits.
— Institute a state-level guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions that would be weaker than the one in place under federal law.
— Ensure appointees by Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers can’t control the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the quasi-private job-creation agency that Evers wants to reorganize.
— Require state health officials to implement a federal waiver allowing Wisconsin to require childless adults to work to receive health insurance through the BadgerCare Plus program. The legislation prevents Evers from seeking to withdraw the waiver request.
— Require Evers to get permission from the Legislature before he could ban guns in the state Capitol.
— Require all settlement money Kaul wins to go to the state’s general fund rather than the state Justice Department.
— Prohibit judges from giving greater weight to state agencies’ interpretations of laws in court challenges. That change could make it easier to win lawsuits challenging environmental regulations.
— Require the governor to get permission from the Legislature before asking for changes in programs run jointly by the state and federal governments, limiting the governor’s authority to run public benefits programs.
— Reduce income tax rates next year to offset about $60 million in online sales taxes from out-of-state retailers.
— Require state agencies to file quarterly spending reports.