“That’s what this is about: power-hungry politicians using their grubby hands in their last-ditch effort to desperately cling to power,” state Rep. Katrina Shankland, a Democrat, said before the vote Wednesday morning. “All we’ve seen demonstrated today and over the past few days is a contempt for the public.”
The fight over power in Madison came after Republicans, who have controlled the state for the past eight years, lost the offices of governor and attorney general during the midterm elections. Tony Evers, a Democrat, defeated Scott Walker, a two-term governor who drew national attention with a brief run for president.
Republicans explained the moves to limit to the authority of the governor as part of a long-needed change in the balance of power, which they said had become tilted in favour of the executive branch. Robin Vos, the speaker of the Assembly, accused Democrats of fanning hysteria and exaggerating the effects of the bills.