MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker was hoping for a much quieter state legislative session as he plots his re-election in 21 months.
Instead, Republican senators have brought back an issue from the 2011 battle over the near-elimination of public union bargaining.
Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette held up the adoption of that law by imposing a 10 day delay in getting it published. Monday, the Senate Organization Committee voted 3-2 – with Democrats voting no – to take La Follette’s office out of the process and eliminate the 10 day delay option.
The full Senate will vote on the change Tuesday, and GOP Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says it would add clarity to the lawmaking process.
But La Follette is furious over the change. He said it’s clear that those in power, “think they can rush everything through.” And he called it “one more thing in diminishing the people’s ability to learn what’s going on.”
La Follette said the union law was the only time the publication delay was ever controversial.
Under the change, the Legislative Reference Bureau would publish bills the day after they’re signed. And the new laws would immediately take effect, unless designated otherwise.
It’s similar to what Republicans tried using in 2011 to do an end run around La Follette, and speed up the start of the union law.