With all the focus on budget repairs at the Capitol, Jay Heck with Common Cause in Wisconsin says nobody noticed when a special session on campaign finance reform was ended last month without any action from lawmakers. Leadership in both the Assembly and Senate ended the special session quietly, without even having most members on the floor.
The Governor called the special session last November to take up issues such as public financing for Supreme Court races and disclosures for special interest spending. Heck says those are issues leadership wanted to avoid. However, he says it's a "tragic and cowardly act" to let those issues die for the year without even giving lawmakers a chance to debate or discuss them. The Senate did act on parts of the special session bill, but they never made it to a vote in the Assembly.
Heck remains hopeful that lawmakers will be able to push for a vote on reforms during the next session. But he says they could face the same fate if there's no real leadership trying to get them passed. Heck says legislative leaders and the Governor need to actually push for action on them, and they need to be brought to the floor so members can actually have a chance to vote on reform.