Milwaukee Mayor, community leaders speak out against special session

MILWAUKEE (CBS) - Voices of opposition are growing against a proposed special session in Madison.

Republicans want to hold the session to pass bills aimed at limiting Governor-elect Tony Evers’ powers, and move the Presidential primary in 2020.

Mayor Tom Barrett calls the session unprecedented.

“We are face with something that is, in my estimation, unprecedented in the history of the State of Wisconsin right now,” said Mayor Barrett.

One thing he’s concerned about, is the cost of what is being proposed.

Republicans want to move the primary in 2020 in order to break it off from a State Supreme Court race for a seat currently held by a conservative judge.  The GOP anticipates more Democrats will show up for the primary, and they will lose a Supreme Court  seat.

But creating an entirely new election would cost taxpayers.

“It would be hundreds of thousands of dollars of an unfunded state mandate,” said Mayor Barrett.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission says statewide,  it would cost taxpayers $7 million.

“It would be requiring a complete city election with all of the election workers that come along with that, all the mailings that come along with that, all the notices that come along with that,” said Mayor Barrett.

Another bill would limit the power of incoming Governor Evers, something that has become a priority for Republican leadership since Evers won, and they held their majority in the Legislature.

"I think Governor-elect Evers is going to bring a liberal agenda to Wisconsin,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

"The number one priority for us is to make sure that we restore the balance of powers between the two co-equal brunches of government,” said Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

“Elections matter,” said Pat McFarland, who attended a public town hall meeting at MATC in West Allis Monday.

McFarland thinks the session is just plain wrong.

“If it was fair to have these powers for Scott Walker, it’s not fair to make the change in the game right now,” said McFarland.

Democratic lawmakers say they plan to take to the floor of the Assembly Tuesday afternoon.

They are encouraging protesters to go to Madison and have their voices heard.

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