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All options being considered if GOP lawmakers push to limit in-coming Governor’s powers

Governor-elect Tony Evers says his team is considering “all options” if Republicans use the lame-duck legislation to limit the powers of his office and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul become law.

Evers said he is calling on the public to reach out to their lawmakers to encourage them to vote against the legislation, which seeks to protect changes Republicans have made to state government over the past eight years.

“We are looking at all options,” Evers said at a Milwaukee press conference Sunday. “Obviously litigation is one of them, but there are maybe other options for us.”

Among other things, the bills which would remove the power of Evers to appoint the head of the WEDC, prevent the Evers administration from undercutting a series of drug screening and work requirements for food stamps, require the state Department of Health Services to implement the state’s plan to start work requirements for some Medicaid recipients, and compel the commissioner of insurance to abide by the terms of Walker’s “Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan.

The proposals would also move the 2020 presidential primary off the April ballot, make changes to in-person absentee voting and state tax law, and require the attorney general to get the Legislature’s permission to withdraw from any current lawsuit the state is involved in.

Evers said he is encouraging outgoing GOP Governor Scott Walker to consider his legacy as he decides whether to sign the legislation if it is passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

“His legacy will be tied to this,” Evers said. “As he thinks about signing this bill, whatever ends up coming to his desk, I hope he thinks about how he could govern under those circumstances and how this will impact his legacy.”

Evers called the proposed legislation an attempt to nullify the November 6th election in which Democrats won all statewide elected offices.

“The entire package is an effort on the part of the Republican majority to take us back to Nov. 6 and hopefully change that result,” Evers said. “It’s not going to change. I’m here. Tony Evers is going to be governor in a few short weeks.”

Evers succeeds Walker on January 7.

The GOP-run Joint Finance Committee was scheduled to take up the legislation December 3. Evers said he will not testify, but he expects there to be “good numbers” of people there to speak against it. He added there is a “good-faith effort to make sure civility reigns” during the process.

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