Efforts to pass legislation that publicly finances Supreme Court campaigns faces an uncertain future in the Legislature.
Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (R-Weston) says lawmakers need to seriously consider the issue to bring respect back to the State Supreme Court. He says Senate Democrats consider it a priority to remove special interest dollars from those campaigns.
However, Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) appears to be leaning towards contribution disclosure instead. Huebsch says greater disclosure will better empower voters to know where dollars are going and how they are being spent. An Assembly hearing on the bill in December was cancelled, and a new hearing date has not yet been set.
Decker says how the Assembly handles public financing could show how far Republicans are willing to go with other campaign finance reform issues.
A recent poll by the Justice at Stake Campaign shows nearly two-thirds of Wisconsin voters support public financing for Supreme Court races.