A bill clearing the way for the Great Lakes Compact passed the state Senate after sometimes emotional debate. An angry Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) objected to the timing of the 153 page bill, which passed out of committee on Wednesday. “I'm probably the number one opponent in this state, to this compact,” Lazich said. “To take it and ram it down my throat when I can't even read it, can't even look at the amendments . . . is absolutely disgusting and appalling.”
But Green Bay Republican Rob Cowles argued for passage of the measure. “This is Great Lakes water wars,” said Cowles. “We didn't have to worry about this until recently, but people want the water that shouldn't get it, and it could be very dangerous for the long term sustainability of the lakes. That's why we're here.” The compact is a multi-state treaty which, among other things, is intended to prevent large scale diversions of Great Lakes water.
The bill passed on a 26-to-6 vote. Madison Democrat Mark Miller , the bill's chief sponsor in the Senate, was asked about prospects in the Assembly. “I'd like to see them take it up and pass it next week,” said Miller, who added that “that's perhaps unlikely,” and that the bill could be the subject of an extended or special session of the legislature.