UPDATE: Sen. Fitzgerald downplays possible policy changes during lame-duck session

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UPDATE (WKOW) — Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald said changes during the lame duck session will be “inside baseball” legislative decisions, downplaying ideas of taking authority away from Gov.-elect Tony Evers and moving the 2020 presidential primary date.

Fitzgerald met privately with his caucus before talking to reporters on Tuesday. He said moving the 2020 election would boost Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly’s chances of keeping his seat.

“A better chance if there’s not this competitive Democratic primary for president, that’s the concern I think,” said Fitzgerald.

Lawmakers are considering changing the primary from April to March. County clerks expressed last week the numerous complications that could follow holding two elections and the cost burden on taxpayers.

Fitzgerald also said ideas about changing the makeup of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Board of Regents before Gov.-elect Evers is sworn in would be minor.

“’It’s kind of the same list I’ve been discussing…kind of stuff that is hard to believe people will get too excited about,” said Fitzgerald.

Republicans are trying to reducing the number of appointments Evers can make to boards and commissions.

As of Tuesday, there is no official date set when lawmakers will come back. Fitzgerald said he’s hopeful to be on the floor next week.

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1:46 p.m.

MADISON (WKOW) — Assembly and Senate Republicans met privately Tuesday to discuss ideas for the lame duck session.

Among the ideas floating around since Gov.-elect Tony Evers won the election are limiting his powers on administrative rules and reducing his ability to appoint board members. Evers has called them a desperate power move.

Before the holiday, Gov. Scott Walker said he supported changing the date of the 2020 presidential primary election, which falls on the same date as the Supreme Court election. It’s an idea that could increase chances for Republicans to keep a conservative on the court because of expected heavy Democratic turnout for the primary.

However, Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald said he’s aware of several county clerks who are concerned that two elections held closely together would cause “chaos.”

Other topics up for possible discussion are legislation to keep open Kimberly Clark plant in Wisconsin and accepting new Medicaid requirements for those to receive BadgerCare.

Wisconsin state capitol
Emilee Fannon

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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