Assembly leaders have set the stage for a vote on state employee contracts. However, whether members will get a chance to approve them is still up in the air.
An Assembly panel on Tuesday authorized the extraordinary session of the Legislature needed to vote on the labor contracts, which have been under negotiation for the past two years. Outgoing Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) says his members are ready to vote and he plans to get them in to make that happen.
However, the Senate still has to sign-off on an extraordinary session before either chamber can meet and take action. Sheridan says outgoing Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Wausau) has not indicated when that will happen.
Decker was not in the Capitol Tuesday and the Senate has yet to schedule any meetings on the issue.
Sheridan still believes a vote will take place before the end of the year, even if it’s not this week. He doesn’t expect members to be at the Capitol on Christmas, but says there are plenty of dates left to act.
The current Legislature has until the end of the year to vote on the contracts. After that Republican majorities take over both chambers in January. If they fail to act before the end of the year, the contracts will likely be renegotiated.