MADISON — Republican lawmakers passed a series of bills designed to strip power away from the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general today, in an extraordinary session that started on Tuesday afternoon and didn’t end until after dawn on Wednesday.
The laws included measures that would force the incoming governor, Tony Evers, to seek legislative approval for any changes to the state’s public benefits programs, including Medicaid, and severely curtail the ability of the new attorney general, Josh Kaul, to bring or leave lawsuits on behalf of the state. Evers and Kaul ran on a promise to end the state’s legal fight against the Affordable Care Act.
The laws now go to Republican governor Scott Walker for final approval. Walker didn’t respond to a VICE News request for comment, but he has previously said he would be willing to sign the bills.
The Wisconsin Capitol dome has been home to a furious protests during the eight years under Walker, most notably in 2011, when he sought to end the state’s longstanding practice of collective bargaining for public employees.
The outrage this week was far more muted. But Democratic lawmakers decried the Republican policies as an attempt to change the rules of government in the aftermath of an…