A proposed Constitutional amendment requiring a clear reason to recall an elected official is advancing in the Legislature. The amendment would only allow a recall to take place if an elected official has been convicted of a crime or it’s believed they violated a state code of ethics.
Republican State Representative Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee) says it’s intended to keep the recall process from being abused and to bring stability back to the system. The proposal comes after a year of historic recall efforts targeting the governor and several state senators because of their votes on a bill that effectively ended collective bargaining for public employees.
State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) accused the GOP of just trying to protect its elite status, and called the amendment “sour grapes” because of the recalls. While state Representative Kelda Roys (D-Madison) says lawmakers should be accountable to voters at all times, and questioned why Republicans “fear the will of the people.
Rochester Republican Robin Vos says the amendment will not remove the right of the people to recall an official. It simply requires a clear reason to do so, such as committing a crime. He says recalling an elected official because of a policy disagreement is what elections are for.
The measure now heads to the Senate. If approved there, it would have to pass both chambers again next session before going to a statewide vote.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:10)