Frantic Wisconsin Republicans Rushing To Legislate Before They’re Recalled
The discontent with the way Republicans have governed Wisconsin — in particular, their anti-union legislation and they way they went about passing it — has them worried about recalls. In order to beat the tide, they are rushing through legislation before they’re thrown out.
Republicans, in a rapid sequence of votes over the next eight weeks, plan to legalize concealed weapons, deregulate the telephone industry, require voters to show photo identification at the polls, expand school vouchers and undo an early release for prisoners.
Lawmakers may also act again on Walker’s controversial plan stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights. An earlier version, which led to massive protest demonstrations at the Capitol, has been left in limbo by legal challenges.
“Everything’s been accelerated,” said Republican Rep. Gary Tauchen, who is working on the photo ID bill. “We’ve got a lot of big bills we’re trying to get done.”
Recall campaigns may affect up to six GOP legislators, while only three changed seats could mean Democratic control.
Major bills, like the one to legalize concealed weapons, were introduced just days before public hearings. A major revision to the photo ID proposal was released late on a Friday afternoon, just four days before a committee passed it, prompting complaints from the nonpartisan board that oversees elections.
“There has been no time for the careful evaluation and vetting needed to ensure the best options for voters and election officials is enacted,” wrote Kevin Kennedy, head of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board.
Republican leaders scheduled a full Assembly vote on a bill deregulating the telecommunications industry only a week after a hearing, leaving little opportunity for public comment.
Sounds like the political version of trashing a hotel room before checkout time.Click here for reuse options!
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