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GOP leader downplays attempts to limit Evers

Tony Evers 2.jpg

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is downplaying what Republicans may do to limit powers of incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers before he takes office.

Fitzgerald told reporters Thursday that Republicans don't want to undermine the new governor. He says they primarily want to put into law agency rules that have been enacted in recent years related to conservative priorities. He says that includes rules related to the voter ID law and creation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state agency Evers wants to disband.

Fitzgerald says, "it's not going to be groundbreaking territory."

He says Republicans are also looking at reconstituting boards to make sure they have equal representation. He didn't specify which ones.

Evers says GOP trying to 'cling to power'

Incoming governor Tony Evers is calling on Republicans who control the state Legislature to "stop any and all attempts to play politics and weaken the powers of the governor's office" before he takes over in January.

Evers issued a statement Thursday, the day after Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he'd be open to limiting Evers' power. Senate Republicans were meeting privately Thursday to discuss the issue.

Evers calls it a "desperate attempt to cling to power."

Republicans have not been specific about what they would consider changing.

Evers calls it a "complete violation of the separation of powers in our system." He says he is committed to working together with both Democrats and Republicans on issues including health care, education, infrastructure and other priorities.

Former Gov. Doyle accuses GOP of 'bad form'

Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle says it would be "bad form" for Republicans to strip power away from Evers before he takes office.

Republicans who control the Legislature are discussing that possibility.

Doyle told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that such a move is "what people don't want" in politics.

"The Wisconsin voters have elected a new governor and they want to see how this works, they want to have a change," Doyle said.

Doyle said he hoped Republican Gov. Scott Walker would oppose any such attempt.

Walker has not commented on whether he would sign a bill passed in a lame duck session limiting the governor's power.

The Legislature is to return in a lame duck session later this month or next.

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