Governor Scott Walker signed all three bills from the extraordinary legislative session into law without vetoing any of the measures. The bill signing took place in Green Bay Friday afternoon after quick notice that the bill signing would take place.
“Despite all the hype and hysteria out there, these bills do nothing to fundamentally diminish executive authority,” Walker said Friday. “The bottom line is the new governor will continue to be one of the most powerful chief executives in the country. This includes veto and line-item veto powers; appointing members of the cabinet and other government posts including judges, district attorneys, and sheriffs; broad executive order authority; administrative rule authority; issuing a state budget proposal; and more.”
Walker also said the bills met the criteria that he outlined earlier this week.
“My criteria when evaluating these bills were simple: Do they improve transparency? Do they increase accountability? Do they affirm stability? And do they protect the taxpayers? The answer is yes.”
Governor-elect Tony Evers is already complaining about the new laws.
“Today, Governor Walker chose to ignore and override the will of the people of Wisconsin,” Evers said in s statement released Friday. “This will no doubt be his legacy. The people demanded a change on November 6th, and they asked us to solve problems, not pick petty, political fights. The people of Wisconsin expect more from our government than what has happened in our state over the past few weeks.”
Almost immediately following the bill signing, Evers sent out a fundraising email to supporters asking for campaign contributions:
BREAKING: Moments ago Scott Walker signed the lame-duck Republican legislation that is his attempt to undo the results of the election.
If we want to stop the GOP’s attempt to nullify the will of the Wisconsin people, Tony needs your help NOW.
Can you donate $10 or more to help Tony fight back?
If Evers decides to sue to try to overturn the laws, he would likely be represented by Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul, not a private attorney that he would pay out of campaign funds.
Already Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now is pledging to sue the state of Wisconsin over the law that makes early voting uniform in Wisconsin. The new law that gives the legislature to have its own attorney means that Republicans will not have to depend on Kaul to defend the early voting law.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) praised Walker’s decision to sign the bills.
“I would like to thank Governor Walker for signing the extraordinary session proposals into law,” Vos said. “Through his actions, he’s acknowledging the importance of the legislature as a co-equal branch of government.”
Vos also said that despite Democratic rhetoric, he is willing to work with the new administration.
“As Democrats and the media continue to inflate these laws into something they’re not,” Vos said. “Assembly Republicans are focusing on the new legislative session and will work to find common ground in divided government.”
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said the new laws will protect Walker’s legacy.
“Today’s bill signing by Governor Walker helps protect reforms that have been eight years in the making,” Fitzgerald said Friday. “I want to thank him, Speaker Vos, and my colleagues in the Senate for their work.”
Fitzgerald added that, despite the new laws, the office of the governor in Wisconsin is still one of the most powerful in the country.
“These bills protect taxpayers, expand transparency over the pardoning of convicted felons, provide a sense of stability moving forward in economic development, and more,” Fitzgerald said. “The incoming governor-elect will remain one of the most powerful executives in the country.”