Outgoing GOP state legislatures are cramming through conservative laws before they lose power
- Republican lawmakers in several states are planning to push through last-minute conservative policies or stifle the power of incoming Democratic governors.
- In Michigan, Republicans plan to alter measures that would have raised the minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave during the lame-duck session.
- In North Carolina, Republican lawmakers have a veto-proof majority they intend to use to pass stricter photo ID requirements before January, when new Democrats break the state's House supermajority.
Democrats are replacing Republicans in seven states' governors mansions, but before power changes hands in January, Republican lawmakers in several states are planning to push through last-minute conservative policies or take power from incoming Democratic governors.
In Michigan, Republicans plan to alter measures that would have raised the minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave during the lame-duck session between this month's election and the swearing in of the state's new Democratic governor early next year.Read more: 2,000 women are taking state legislatures by storm, even as men hold on to the vast majority of seats
Just days after Wisconsin Democrat Tony Evers won a razor-thin victory over Republican incumbent Gov. Scott Walker, GOP leaders in the state are discussing plans to limit Evers' ability to appoint officials to his government, limit Evers' control of the rule-making process, make it harder for the Democrat to stop a work requirement for those on Medicaid, and move the date of the 2020 presidential primary.
Democrats have already voiced outrage about the plans, which include making it more difficult for Democrats to change or overturn laws championed by Walker.
"Let me be clear: the Republicans and Speaker Vos should stop any and all attempts to play politics and weaken the powers of the governor's office in Wisconsin before I take the oath," Evers tweeted two days after the election, calling the GOP effort to reduce his power "desperate antics to cling to power and violate the checks and balances of Wisconsin government."
The efforts in Wisconsin mirror many of those made in North Carolina two years ago, after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper was elected to replace Republican Pat McCrory.
Wisconsin and Michigan are two of four states where Republicans are losing control of their governorships and both state legislative chambers.