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Saturday, June 22, 2024
Democrat proposes change to Senate quorum rules for fiscal bills

senate: State Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, proposed an amendment to remove the requirement for a 20-person quorum for fiscal bills in the Senate, a rule Democrats used to stall Gov. Scott Walker?s budget plan.

Democrat proposes change to Senate quorum rules for fiscal bills

State Sen. Timothy Cullen, D-Janesville, introduced a constitutional amendment last Tuesday that would end the quorum requirement for fiscal legislation, which would prevent senators from fleeing the state to block legislation.

Cullen, who left with 13 other Democratic senators to stop Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, said he has ""no regrets"" about leaving the state, but would not do it again and fears it could set a dangerous precedent, in an interview on ""UpFront with Mike Gousha,"" a news show on WISN-TV. Cullen said he hopes the amendment acts as an ""olive branch"" to Republican senators after the bitter battle.

""I also acknowledge that this action did damage to my obligation to the institution of the state Senate,"" Cullen wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ""Minority parties in the future may well repeat this action on legislation less important but pushed by powerful interest groups.""

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Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, co-sponsored the bill, saying he hopes it will mend relations in the senate after the past month, and allow senators to focus on fixing the economy and balancing the budget.

""I'm glad to see at least one member of the minority realizes that the deep problems facing our state need cooperation going forward,"" Fitzgerald said in a statement. ""It's disappointing that a constitutional amendment would be necessary to make sure this kind of thing never happens again.""

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