Thursday, September 7, 2017

Budget Riders on the Storm edition

The weather sucks and everything is terrible.
If it’s not a record-shattering hurricane, it’s raging wildfires or a swarm of earthquakesright on top of our continent’s very own supervolcano.
Who’ll Stop The Rain? Republican majorities in the Wisconsin legislature are truly desperate to woo a massive new Foxconn plant to the state.
  • How desperate are they? Glad you asked! Not only are Republicans pushing a $3 billion incentive package to attract the Foxconn LCD screen plant, but they’re also waiving state environmental regulations and protections to speed the plant’s construction.
Oh, and they’re also changing the state’s legal system to accommodate the corporation. NBD!
  • Under the incentive package that’s likely to be approved by the legislature later this month, any lawsuit involving Foxconn will skip the state appeals court and go directly to the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Fun fact! No other Wisconsin business is or has ever been granted this expedited (and unquestionably pro-corporate) process.
Rock You Like A Hurricane: Last week, the GOP-controlled North Carolina legislature approved some truly awful new state legislative maps to comply with a court order striking down the previous, illegally racially gerrymandered ones. (The new maps are extreme partisan gerrymanders, arguably creating just 15 competitive districts out of 170 total House and Senate seats in the state.) They convened a special session to do so, and when they adjourned, they plotted to return in October. 
  • In North Carolina, special sessions must be called for a specific purpose. Often the purpose is set forth in the adjournment resolution of the current session.
In the most recent adjournment resolution, North Carolina Republicans basically allowed themselves to consider any issue they dang well please. But some of the more interesting items on their October agenda include:
  • Redrawing (read: gerrymandering) the state’s judicial districts, something Republicans first floated to understandable outrage last June. A gerrymandered judicial district map would effectively allow the legislature to stack the state’s court system with Republican judges.
  • Impeachment proceedings. Back in June, a GOP lawmaker launched impeachment proceedings against Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marhsall, who, by the way, has done nothing wrong.
    • Republican Rep. Chris Millis began laying the groundwork for impeachment charges back in February when he requested information on whether Marshall was illegally allowing non-citizens to become notaries public. (She wasn’t.) In March, Millis demanded that Marshall resign. (She didn’t.)
    • Then, despite the fact than none of his inquiries or investigations turned up evidence that Marshall did anything improper or illegal, Millis pushed his GOP toward impeachment proceedings anyway.
Read the rest of this week's Statehouse Action here, or sign up to have it delivered to your inbox each week here

No comments:

Post a Comment