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This Week in Statehouse Action: Ice Ice Baby edition

Wisconsin Republicans took to Twitter to justify their usurpation of gubernatorial power.

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… a veto. This literally describes a veto—something GOP lawmakers are none too eager about Evers having.

Cool It Now: Wisconsin isn’t the only place where Republican lawmakers are trying to kneecap their incoming Democratic governor. In neighboring Michigan, GOPers are up to similar shenanigans.

  • They’re not doing it marathon sessions in the dead of night, but Wolverine State Republicans are moving methodically forward with bills undermining the incoming Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state.
  • The measures would
    • Strip Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson of her authority to oversee elections and enforce campaign finance law by creating a hilariously-if-it-weren’t-so-cynically named “Fair Political Practices Commission,” an entirely new body made up of three Republican three Democrats, virtually ensuring that the commission would deadlock over any decisions and be completely ineffectual
    • Allow the legislature to intervene in lawsuits, a power currently reserved only for the attorney general (a post that will soon be held by Democrat Dana Nessel)
    • Dictate how the secretary of state selects members of the bipartisan redistricting commission voters elected to create via ballot measure just last month
  • Outgoing GOP Gov. Rick Snyder refuses to say whether he plans to sign any of these bills when they inevitably land on his desk.

Cold Weather Blues: Okay, so, let’s pretty safely assume that the outgoing Republican governors of Wisconsin and Michigan will sign these garbage bills into law.

What’s a new Democratic governor to do?

Sue, of course.

  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper sued to overturn his Republican legislature’s latest attempts to usurp his authority, mostly on separation-of-powers grounds.
    • He’s been largely successful, though the GOP legislature keeps rephrasing and passing the same laws in the hopes that they’ll find a wording that survives state Supreme Court scrutiny.
    • Cooper, however, has the benefit of a Democratic-majority North Carolina Supreme Court.
  • Govs.-elect Evers and Whitmer will sue to have these new laws overturned, no doubt about it. But they have a problem.
    • Both the Wisconsin and Michigan state supreme courts have Republican/conservative majorities.

Out In The Cold: Last week, I wrote in this space about how Michigan Republicans are gutting the minimum wage and paid sick leave measures they approved in September specifically to keep them off the ballot and reasonably guttable by the legislature.

This week I’ve got some fun updates!

  • Not only did GOP lawmakers exempt tipped workers from the $12/hour minimum wage, but they also delayed implementation of the hike to 2030.
    • Yes, you read that right. 2030. 20freaking30.
  • And not only did Republicans exempt any company with fewer than 50 employees—that’s most companies in Michigan—from having to provide paid sick leave for the workers, but they’re also requiring employees work at the same place of employment for at least a year before receiving that benefit.
    • These measures await Gov. Snyder’s (likely) signature.

Cold Sweat: Republicans in Michigan are super busy this month. They’re also moving to both gut public sector unions and hurt Democratic campaign efforts.

  • GOP lawmakers are rushing legislation through the lame duck session that would require public sector unions to hold re-certification elections every other year—but specifically in even-numbered years.
  • The measure also requires that these time-consuming and expensive re-certification election efforts take place between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30 of those even-numbered years—a stretch of time during which union members would likely otherwise be volunteering for political campaigns and doing get-out-the-vote work.
    • It’s no coincidence that, historically, union involvement in elections tends to benefit Democrats.

Gotta admit, this is pretty clever. Diabolical, but clever.

Welp, that’s all the bad news for this week. You should go warm yourself up, maybe knock off early for the week and spend tomorrow stockpiling firewood or knitting scarves or moving south. Just print this out and show it to your boss, I’m sure she won’t mind.


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