A state Senate committee has further modified ethics reform legislation. Committee members acted on the bill passed by an Assembly committee on Monday, although state Senator Mike Ellis questioned why a Senate bill couldn't be developed separately from the Assembly version.
The Senate Committee on Campaign Finance and Ethics voted to get rid of the "nonseverability" requirement, which would delete the entire bill if any section is ruled unconstitutional. Assembly leaders had indicated that eliminating nonseverabilty would be a "deal killer," but Jay Heck with Common Cause said eliminating nonseverability was key, and that legislative leaders will have to agree if the bill is to succeed. Mike McCabe with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said the bill is better than it was Monday. Governor Jim Doyle said he believes a bill can be passed by the time he delivers his state of the state message next Tuesday.