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Shawn Johnson @SJohnsonWPR
, 45 tweets, 11 min read Read on Twitter
The Wisconsin Legislature is getting a late start today for the lame duck session to restrict the powers of Gov.-elect Evers and Attorney General-elect Kaul. The Senate was scheduled to begin at 11, the Assembly at 1. Neither chamber is going yet.
This is what the Senate and Assembly chambers looked like moments ago. That's @MarkPocan chatting with a handful of Democrats waiting in the Assembly.
An official announcement just now: The Wisconsin Senate will convene at 2 pm.
Interesting start to the Senate as Democrat Caleb Frostman is officially sworn in. He won a special election in June, lost the general in November. He'll be replaced by Republican Andre Jacque in January, but in the mean time, he will be here voting on these lame duck bills.
Debate begins. @SenShilling says Republicans' actions today are "defiant" and "desperate." She continues: "You want to override the will of the people."
Strong words from @SenShilling in her opening statement as she accuses Republicans of stealing and cheating. "The Republican legacy will be that of corruption and power grabs."
The Senate is now debating 80+ appointments including for positions on the Board of Regents and Public Service Commission that would last until mid-2023.
Wisconsin Senate President Roth orders the gallery cleared and the crowd *erupts.* Deafening chants of "shame" filling the chamber.
Loud chants of "Whose house? Our house." Police are clearing the gallery.
People who were ordered to leave the Senate gallery are mostly just standing around outside the chamber. Pretty calm when I was out there.
Pretty chill inside the Senate chamber right now. Senators are just hanging out, talking. Senators from different parties even.
Republicans are now going to reopen the public gallery.
As debate resumes on the extraordinary session, Democrats are asking why the appointments on today's calendar don't have statements of economic interest. They say it's a violation of law.
The Senate voted 18-15 to confirm the long list of @GovWalker appointments. Some of these people will be able to serve during the entirety of @GovElectEvers' first term and then some.
In case you're wondering why you haven't heard much from the Senate or Assembly in a while, it's because this is still a work in progress.
Senators back debating a bill that would make changes to transportation funding & taxes:…
.@JonErpenbach just now on the extraordinary session, referencing @SpeakerVos: "We have a speaker who has this little Napoleon complex right now and a senate majority that's falling in line, surprisingly, with a lot of what the speaker wants to do."
The Senate passes the transportation & tax bill 18-15. And they're now recessing for private caucuses.
Senate is back.
Senate is caucusing.
They're discussing the extraordinary session bill that would prevent @GovElectEvers from rescinding federal waivers initiated by @GovWalker.…

An amendment proposed on the floor would limit the bill to the WI Dept. of Health Services, i.e. Medicaid.
Part of the bill that's currently holding up debate would lock in Wisconsin's work requirements for FoodShare recipients.
The Senate is back. @SenShilling weighs in on the waiver bill. "It continues to follow the path of handcuffing the incoming administration." Says it's giving the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee so much authority that it might as well be its own agency.
.@VinehoutK the bill will make it hard for the Evers admin to solve problems like providing better prenatal care. Every pilot program will need approval from the Legislature's budget committee. "This is like the middle school child asking permission to go to the bathroom."
Democrats read from a letter sent by 30 health care providers who said they had significant concerns with this bill.
Democratic Sen. Janet Bewley says this bill and others infuse more power in the Legislature's budget committee than was ever intended. "We have the responsibility to check ourselves. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
The lame duck session bill restricting @GovElectEvers' ability to rescind federal Medicaid waivers has passed the Senate on an 18-15 vote.
The Senate is in caucus. No telling right now when they will be back.
Both the state Senate and Assebly are debating the major restrictions on Gov.-elect Tony Evers and AG-elect Josh Kaul. Democratic Sen. Fred Risser, the longest serving legislator in the U.S., is talking about all the governors he has served under in WI.
"The seeds you're planting may grow into something you will regret," Risser says. "Be fair. Give the voters the right to choose their governor and attorney general."
Democrats move for the Senate to adjourn. That motion fails. Back to debate on the session has been going off and on since yesterday.
An amended version of the bill is posted online. It still restricts early voting and would still block Gov-elect Evers & AG-elect Kaul from dropping the ACA lawsuit without the Joint Finance Committee's ok.…
The bill passes the Senate 17-16. Republican Sen. Robert Cowles joins Democrats in opposition.…
The Senate is now taking up a bill on preexisting conditions:…
16-17, the preexisting conditions bill is *not* concurred in.
GOP Sens Craig & Kapenga join Democrats in voting against the preexisting conditions bill. Dems said the bill did not go far enough because it would still allow lifetime caps. Sen. Fitzgerald had said recently that some Republicans viewed the bill as too much of a mandate.
And this was never really in any doubt, but the Senate did *not* take up the Kimberly Clark bill, which was originally the reason GOP lawmakers said they would consider a post-election extraordinary session.
Sen. Fitzgerald said last week that he only had 10-11 GOP votes for the Kimberly Clark bill.
The Wisconsin State Senate is adjourned.
.@SenFitzgerald releases a statement after the extraordinary session vote. "Citizens from every corner of Wisconsin deserve a strong legislative branch that stands on equal footing with an incoming administration that is based almost solely in Madison."
.@GovElectEvers on the lame duck session bills. "Power-hungry politicians rushed through sweeping changes to our laws to expand their own power and override the will of the people of Wisconsin who asked for change on November 6th."
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