Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill that removes the ability of the Secretary of State to decide when new laws take effect. From now on, the Legislative Reference Bureau will publish and implement bills one day after they are signed, unless they specifically call for later dates.
Republicans pushed to make the change after Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette waited the maximum ten days to publish Governor Walker’s controversial collective bargaining law in 2011. La Follette said he was trying to give the public time to digest the new law, although Republicans were angered by what they described as a stall tactic while court challenges were filed.
The bill passed in the state Legislature just last week, with Democrats arguing it was nothing more than political payback. However, Republicans say the new policy will treat bills with more consistency and does away with an “archaic” provision in state law that modern technology has made largely unnecessary.
The Secretary of State will still be responsible for publishing notice of new laws in the state’s paper of record.