Evers not optimistic Wisconsin Gov. Walker will veto bills

 

Dec. 10, 2018

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2018, file photo, Democratic challenger Tony Evers, left, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, shake hands during gubernatorial debate in Madison, Wis.

MADISON Wisconsin's Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers said Sunday he's not optimistic that outgoing governor Scott Walker will veto bills approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature that would limit the new governor's power.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Evers said he talked by telephone with Walker recently and appealed to him to veto the legislation, but that Walker was noncommittal.

Evers, who will be sworn in Jan. 7 after narrowly defeating the two-term Republican last month, said Wisconsin voters did not elect him to fight over administrative powers with the GOP legislative majority. He said the lame-duck legislation approved by lawmakers after an all-night session last week "gets us off to a bad start. And I think that's a mistake."

"But we'll continue working to get the people of Wisconsin to convince Scott Walker to think about his legacy and make sure that he vetoes this language," Evers said.

Walker has indicated that he generally supports the legislation though his office late last week said only that he was reviewing it. Walker has six days after the bills are delivered to him to either sign them into law, allow them to become law without his signature or veto them. He may also be able to line-item veto portions of them, depending on how they are drafted and whether they spend money.

If Walker signs the bills, lawmakers can decide when the state can withdraw from lawsuits, and Evers would have to request permission to adjust programs that are run jointly with the federal governor, such as Medicaid. The GOP measures also would empower legislators, not new Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul, to decide whether to withdraw Wisconsin from a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care act. The bills also could make it harder for Evers to renegotiate a $3 billion subsidy spearheaded by Walker for a Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin.

In neighboring Michigan, where a Democrat also won the governor's office this year, Republicans are considering proposals to strip campaign-finance oversight from the new Democratic secretary of state. Lawmakers also want to have authority to intervene in lawsuits, with a Democrat poised to take control of the attorney general's office.

Evers said Sunday that if Walker had won in Wisconsin, "we wouldn't be sitting here talking about this today." The incoming governor said the GOP moves are "directly related" to a Democrat's win.

Though Evers has said he might have to sue unless Walker vetoes the legislation, he said Sunday that "all issues are on the table" and that he is "not making any promises one way or the other,"

"I need to stand up for the people of Wisconsin," Evers said.

A Walker spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.


Evers, Barnes to go on statewide budget listening tour

MADISON Wisconsin Gov. -elect Tony Evers and incoming Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will go on a statewide budget listening tour starting this week.

The "Building the People's Budget" tour kicks off Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Green Bay. Other stops are planned Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Wausau, and Tuesday, Dec. 18, in La Crosse before the tour ends Wednesday, Dec. 19, in Milwaukee.

Each session is open to the public. Participants will be able to share their budget priorities with Evers, Barnes and transition policy staff.

Anyone interested in attending any budget session can register online.



Evers names criminal justice council

MADISON, Wis. Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers has put together a council to advise him on criminal justice policy.

Evers announced the make-up of the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Policy Advisory Council on Monday.

The council includes 30 people, including former state Supreme Court justices Louis Butler and Janine Geske; Rick Raemisch, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections and a former Wisconsin corrections secretary; attorney Dean Strang, who defended convicted murderer Steven Avery; and several circuit court judges.

Evers has said he wants to cut Wisconsin's prison population in half, end solitary confinement and give ex-convicts more help.

 


Associated Press