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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Democrats attempt to force state Assembly vote on ethics reform fails

Democrats in the state Assembly motioned Tuesday to have an ethics reform bill pulled from committee to be voted on by the full Assembly body. This non-traditional way to receive full body consideration was prompted by Democratic lawmakers urging for an immediate vote on what they claimed to be an extremely important bill. 

 

The motion, however, was overturned because it did not receive a two-thirds vote to bring Senate Bill 1 out of committee. Ten Republicans and three Democrats originally wrote the bill, which would merge the Ethics and Elections Board into one entity. It previously passed the Senate in a non-partisan vote. 

 

SB1 gives us an opportunity, a modest opportunity, to restore public confidence in Wisconsin,\ said state Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison. ""SB1 may well be the most important bill this session. It affects our ethics as elected officials and how we govern ourselves."" 

 

After the pulling motion failed, Pocan unsuccessfully tried to add the bill as substitute amendments to subsequent campaign finance and reform bills.  

 

State Rep. Terri McCormick, R-Appleton, one of the authors of the bill, urged fellow members to show bipartisan support for the bill. 

 

""I see the bill as a bipartisan effort to look at ourselves very carefully in the mirror,"" she said. ""I would hope that we would all take a look at this and we would all give it due consideration."" 

 

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However, McCormick said she wished the bill had come to the Assembly in a more traditional fashion. 

 

""I would love this bill to be scheduled and given the time it deserves,"" said state Rep. Joe Parisi, D-Madison, in agreement with McCormick.  

 

Since six Wisconsin legislators have been convicted on criminal charges this past year, Parisi said the American public is disgusted with Wisconsin politics. By not voting to pull this bill from committee, he said Assembly Republicans are reinforcing these claims and losing the faith of the citizens who elected them.  

 

""Right now the difference is clear,"" he said. ""Assembly Democrats stand for ethics reform, and Assembly Republicans are blocking it.""  

 

State Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, said he was drawn to the Wisconsin legislature 22 years ago because of its clean record in politics, and encouraged the Assembly to continue this trend by voting on the bill. 

 

""We have a sacred responsibility as state legislators to be stewards of this state's legacy,"" he said. 

 

 

 

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