February 10, 2016

Grothman pushes for quicker enactment of laws

A state lawmaker wants to shorten the period of time it takes new laws to take effect in Wisconsin.

Currently, after a bill is passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, the secretary of state has up to ten days to publish notice of the new law before it takes effect. State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) wants to remove that delay with a bill allowing new laws to be enacted the day after they are signed.

The measure would still allow the effective dates of laws to be delayed until a certain date, if it’s written into the bill. However, Grothman says there’s always someone waiting for a law to be in place after it is passed, and he finds it arbitrary that the secretary of state can delay the will of the people on a “whim.”

During recent a hearing on the bill, Senate Democrat Fred Risser (D-Madison) noted that the grace period has been there for decades, and questioned what good it would actually do to eliminate it. Risser, the longest serving state legislator in the country, says he has a hard time thinking of any law that was harmed by taking a few extra days of review before it was published.

A similar bill passed in the Senate last session, but never received a vote in the Assembly. It was introduced after Secretary of State Doug La Follette delayed implementation of Governor’s Walker’s bill to do away with collective bargaining for most public employees. That delay gave opponents time to file court challenges and win an injunction that stopped the law from taking effect for several months.

The bill is currently pending before a state Senate committee.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:10)

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