Dee J. Hall, WCIJ managing editor, writes that the controversial measures approved by the Legislature fit into a recent pattern of secretive, rushed maneuvers by state leaders in the most recent Your Right to Know column.
From Dec. 3 through the early morning of Dec. 5, 2018, members of the press, the public, and legislators bustled through the halls of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison as the Senate and Assembly held an extraordinary session to push through a series of fast-tracked bills before Gov. Scott Walker leaves office in January.
The bills represent sweeping efforts to shift power to the Legislature from the executive branch, limit early voting and enact major changes to road spending, agency oversight and public benefits. Critics say they were clearly aimed at stripping power from incoming Gov. Tony Evers and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul, but Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said the bills were little more than legislative “inside baseball.”
Center reporters Emily Hamer and Coburn Dukehart were at the Capitol during the lame duck session and present a snapshot of images and videos from those contentious few days.
Chants of “respect our votes” and “shame” are heard outside of the Joint Finance Committee hearing room in the Wisconsin State Capitol on Dec. 3. Doors were locked to prevent protesters from entering the already full room. pic.twitter.com/k23WRIMfyK
After waiting more than three hours for the Wisconsin Senate to convene, members of the public were cleared from the gallery shortly after the session began by @SenatorRoth, who had twice warned them to stay silent. Chants and shouts followed the order, prompting a temporary recess. pic.twitter.com/yqM0BHERE8
Coburn Dukehart is the digital and multimedia director for the Center. Her role includes directing its visual strategy, creating visual and audio content, managing digital assets and training student and professional journalists. Dukehart has a master's degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri, and has previously worked as a senior photo editor at National Geographic and NPR. Her multimedia work has been honored with a Webby, a Gracie, a Murrow and duPont awards, and she was nominated for a national Emmy. She specializes in documentary storytelling and visual reporting, and is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She is based in Madison, Wisconsin. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Hamer is a recent graduate of UW–Madison with degrees in journalism and philosophy. She has formerly worked as an intern for University Communications and WisPolitics, and as an editor at The Badger Herald newspaper.