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
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Coburn Dukehart joined Wisconsin Watch in 2015 as the Digital and Multimedia Director. She is currently head of product and audience, directs visual and digital strategy; creates visual content; manages digital assets and trains student and professional journalists. Dukehart previously was a senior photo editor at National Geographic, picture and multimedia editor at NPR, and a photo editor at USATODAY.com and washingtonpost.com. She has received numerous awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International and the White House News Photographers Association.
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.