This week, Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature have faced national fury after their successful lawsuits blocking Democratic Gov. Tony Evers from delaying the election and extending absentee voting.
But just one day after tens of thousands of voters were forced to stand in public lines and risk COVID-19 exposure just to exercise their constitutional right to vote, the Wisconsin GOP found yet another way to weaponize the pandemic for partisan gain.
According to Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Republicans in the legislature have slipped a provision into the state’s relief bill authorizing unemployment disbursement under the federal CARES Act, that would allow the state’s Finance Committee to make budget cuts without input from Evers — stripping him of power at exactly the moment when the public would be looking to the governor for help.
The move hearkens back to the GOP’s passage of a series of measures stripping Evers and other statewide Democratic officials of power to make certain appointments and manage state litigation, just before they took office.
Evers has told reporters he intends to veto the legislation — but that he also supports the portions of the bill providing coronavirus relief, and that he intends to work with the legislature to reach a compromise.