New legislative district boundaries approved earlier this year will not be in effect until elections until next November, although lawmakers do represent those new areas already.
State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) is worried that will lead to confusion if recall elections take place next spring. She believes it would result in voters a recalled senator no longer represents deciding whether they should remain in office, while some residents in the new districts would not have a say in who would replace a recalled lawmaker.
Lazich is sponsoring a bill that would put the new district lines in effect for Senate seats right away, rather than waiting until next November. The bill would not impact recalls against Assembly seats, which are all up for election next fall. It would also have a limited effect on Senate seats that up for reelection in 2012.
Democrats charge the proposal, which was introduced last Friday, is meant to protect Republicans from being recalled in new districts that favor them.
State Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) says it could also create confusion if a court challenge is successful and the new maps are thrown out. During a hearing on the bill Monday, he also argued that the voters who put him office this term should be the ones to decide whether he will face a recall.
A Senate committee is expected to vote on the bill later today. However, Republican state Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) says he does not support the legislation, which means it may not have enough votes to pass in the full Senate where Republicans hold only a single seat majority.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:11)