WisDems: Sen. Darling’s corrupt lame duck law puts settlement funds at risk

Contact: Katie Iliff, [email protected], 608-260-2417

Attorney General Kaul blocked by Joint Finance Republicans from settling lawsuit

MADISON – Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) met in unprecedented fashion to approve a settlement agreement recommended by Attorney General Josh Kaul on an undisclosed case. Prior to the lame duck Extraordinary Session held last December, the Attorney General had the power to enter settlement agreements without legislative interference. The Extraordinary Session and 2017 Wisconsin Act 369, championed by Senator Alberta Darling and legislative Republicans, changed state law to require the Attorney General to have settlement agreements approved by the JFC.

JFC Democrats vehemently opposed Republican insistence on meeting in an unlawful closed session as well as meddling in the business of the Department of Justice. In an open session, Democrats offered a motion to approve Attorney General Kaul’s settlement plans only to have the motion voted down by Sen. Darling and JFC Republicans.

“Sen. Darling’s decision to limit the powers of the Attorney General and block him from doing the job he was elected to do is a complete disservice to her constituents and every single Wisconsinite,” said Katie Iliff, SSDC Executive Director. “We continue to see how Sen. Darling’s lame duck power grab has created more secrecy, chaos and confusion. Because of yesterday’s inaction, the state is at risk of losing out on settlement funds. It is clear that Sen. Alberta Darling is more concerned with political power and partisan gamesmanship than doing what is best for Wisconsin.”

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