The Wisconsin State Legislature is winding down to the end of the Legislative Session. If they weren't already as extremist as they could be they've saved the
best worst for the last: limiting recalls, supressing voters, giving business and fellow Republicans control of the Milwaukee Area Technical College
Soooooo, they're rolling out even more extremist bills. Like eliminating voter registration at our high schools. Sound familiar? It is. It's on the table at other state legislatures, too. Sounds like another ALEC sponsored bill. Of course:
Democrats argued the bill is an assault on voting rights and part of a broader Republican agenda to suppress voting among people who are more likely to support Democrats.
But Republicans say high school students have many other options for registering and it's a burden for elections officials to offer it at the schools.
It already passed the State Senate on a party line vote (yes, Republican Dale Schultz voted for it) and it's heading to the vastly Republican State Assembly for a quick ram-through. Republicans remember all those high school students who joined the protests in Madison in support of those teachers and certainly don't want to have them voting!
In other Voter Suppression news, the League of Women Voters lawsuit against the Voter ID Law is proceeding in the courts. Walker tried to block the suit by saying that the plaintiff has no standing and that he is not the proper defendant, but the court found otherwise. Kudos to the League for their action on this voter suppression law.
And yet another recall related bill. This Republican sponsored bill makes enticing signatures on a recall petition a felony:
That is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and three years and six months in jail.
Hahahahaha! Theonly ones enticing signatures were paid Republican signature gatherers who were attempting to recall Democrats (remember the whole bar room "shots for your signatures" audio?).
They're also hard at work trying to change the reasons an elected official can be recalled.
The proposal would limit the grounds for a recall only if the targeted office holder has been charged with a serious crime or if there is a finding of probable cause that the person violated the state code of ethics.
Because it would change the Constitution, it requires passage and then a vote by the citizens. If passed, it would severely restrict the reasons citizens can recall an elected official, something the GOP would love to have in place now.
They're still trying to ram through a bill to change the makeup of the Milwaukee Area Technical College board. They would like to increase the "business community" membership on the MATC board from it's current 2 to 5 of the 9 board members, a majority that allows business to control the school. It also changes who appoints board members by including representives for surrounding counties that are not served by MATC (those surrounding counties, however, are heavily Republican) giving surrounding counties a say in how Milwaukee County tax dollars are spend on vocational and technical education. Can we all say "Republican power grab"?
Critics contend it's a power grab by the business community, and that it's unfair to single out MATC, when no changes would be made to other technical college boards.The name Glenn Grothman should ring a bell. He's the Republican State Senator who called Madison protesters "slobs" and worse.
Critics also say the appointment process would be unfair to Milwaukee County taxpayers, who foot a majority of the bill for MATC, but would not have majority representation on the appointment committee. The board currently has substantial representation of area businesses because of the professional backgrounds of board members who serve as at-large members, several critics have said.
Grothman said change is needed "because we must improve the quality of Milwaukee area employees."
The bill only affects MATC. It doesn't make any change to any other technical college. Right now this horrid bill is still stuck in committee. I hope it stays there.
Update while I'm writing this:
While a key vote scheduled Tuesday in an Assembly committee was canceled because it would have failed, a sponsor of the bill to change the makeup of the Milwaukee Area Technical College Board isn't giving up.Right now he doesn't have the votes in the Republican dominated Assembly committee which shows how extreme this measure is even in the eyes of the goose stepping GOP. The Republican sponsors aren't giving up, though. Likely they'll increase the pressure on non-supportive Republican representatives to vote it through.
"I don't think it's dead," said Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who was able to get a Senate version through committee two weeks ago.
There's a lot they're trying to ram through in the last weeks of the session including wolf hunting, student restraints, juveniles and their families, etc. Certainly they see themselves losing power so the legislative wish list has been placed on the fast track.
This just in: A Wauwatosa man featured in a news report about his frequently vandalized Recall Walker sign has given police a letter he received addressed to "crybaby":
"You look pompous now. You need a Stand for Walker sign in your front yard by next week," the letter read. "Then no more problems. Otherwise your windows go."Threats and violence. It's the only thing Walker supporters have. Immensly sad.
The vile mining bill looks like it's dead. Republican State Senator Dale Schultz has been blocking it.