A legislative committee holds the first public hearing Tuesday, on a plan to help clean up politics in Wisconsin. All the players are on board for this latest reform effort; Governor Jim Doyle, and leaders in the state Assembly and Senate. But Jay Heck with Common Cause in Wisconsin says they're far from a finished product. “There's some things that really need to be fixed,” says Heck.
Chief among those problems, he says, is a provision blocking members of a new government accountability board from running for office for a year after serving on the board, which may be ruled unconstitutinal. Heck says there are other problems in the measure, including a “non-severable” clause which would invalidate everything if any portion of the new law fails in a court challenge. Heck says so far, everyone seems to be saying the right things. “I think everybody is pretty concerned about making sure that this is done right, and done constitutionally.”
Heck says he's pretty confident the problems with the legislation can be fixed, resulting in the most significant political reform in Wisconsin since the late 1970s.