State Representative Jon Richards thinks the legislature ought to abide by Wisconsin’s open meetings law — something that didn’t happen earlier this years when Republican leaders rushed a vote on collective bargaining. “It’s usually in the most controversial and far-reaching proposals that things get sloppy, and the public is left out, and the open meetings law is violated,” said Richards. “I disagree with the court decision that said that the legislature is not bound by it. The legislature should take the next step, and say that we’re going to voluntarily comply with the open meetings law, because it’s the right thing to do.”
Jay Heck with Common Cause agreed. “It seems to me, and I think seems to a lot of people, that the very least that the legislature could do is comply with a law they passed, that they force all other governmental entities in the state of Wisconsin to comply with,” said Heck. Richards and state Senator Kathleen Vinehout have proposed an amendment to the state constitution to require this — but that’s a lengthy process unlikely to even start this session, with the GOP controlling both chambers of the legislature.