Deadline looms for Walker on decision to limit Evers power
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov Scott Walker has until Wednesday to sign or veto the package of bills Republican lawmakers sent to his desk to limit the powers of incoming governor Tony Evers.
Wisconsin law dictates bills must either be signed or vetoed six days after they are presented to the governor. Unlike the presidential "pocket veto" at the national level, in Wisconsin, the bills become law by default if Walker does nothing. State documents show no Wisconsin governor has passed legislation this way in decades.
Wisconsin Democrats say they're not alone in having their power threatened before they even take office.
"This is a trend," Lt. Gov elect Mandela Barnes said just after the legislation was passed. "We saw it happen in North Carolina. It's also happening in Michigan as we speak. It's happening here in Wisconsin. It's a very dangerous way to govern."
Michigan Republican lawmakers are also in the midst of a lame duck session to curb the powers of an incoming Democratic governor.
North Carolina Republicans did the same in 2016 and many of those laws are still being challenged in court.
"States looking at what other states are doing and sort of copying this strategy because they found that it's been effective, and making it harder for elected officials to govern," Marquette political science professor Philip Rocco said.
Before he took the floor to pass the bills, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said it was about making government balanced.
"I respect the fact that Tony Evers is the governor, and he's going to be starting on January 7th," Vos said. "But he's not the governor today, and that's why we're going to make sure that the powers of each branch are as equal as they can be."
The bills are in the hands of outgoing governor Scott Walker, who put out a series of 21 consecutive tweets Saturday defining his legacy. Tony Evers says Walker did not give him a definitive answer on his plans during their conversations, but he is hopeful.
"People of Wisconsin voted, and those votes mean something. And I don't believe that what's passed by the legislature is consistent with what the people of Wisconsin did."