Assembly Democrats don’t agree with a Republican plan to revamp the Milwaukee Area Technical College board; during a marathon session they flung dozens of amendments to block the bill.
The bill’s language would allow an appointment panel to instantly replace the existing board, an idea Minority Leader Peter Barca called a “lack of respect” for the long time volunteers. Milwaukee Democrat Christine Sinicki said the proposal is a “power grab.”
The minority cited legal experts, including MATC’s attorney, who said the college’s FCC license could be lost upon a change-over of the board. Barca said the GOP is just trying to silence the media, as they’ve done for the past year. Milladore Democrat Amy Sue Vruwink said the loss of the two public TV stations would jeopardize services like Amber Alert and the Emergency Broadcast System.
Republicans say the legislature’s attorney does not believe the TV license would be at risk.
Senate Republican Glenn Grothman claims his bill would improve MATC by requiring five-of-the-nine board members to come from the business community. He said local officials have promised to keep at least six of the current members for at least a year.
As of midday Friday, the chamber delayed continued debate on the MATC proposal.
AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (1:09)