Following passage of a right-to-work bill in the state Senate this week, an Assembly committee has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for next Monday at the Capitol.
State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere), who chairs the Assembly’s Labor Committee, has currently scheduled about 10 hours for the public to speak. However, the De Pere Republican says that’s not a “hard and fast time.”
A hearing in the Senate earlier this week saw hundreds of people turn out to testify, many of whom were not given a chance to speak before the committee chair cut the hearing short after about eight hours. The chair of the committee, Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), cited concerns that protesters were planning to disrupt a vote on the bill at the end of the hearing.
Assembly Democrats on Thursday called on Republicans to allow for a full hearing on the bill and to allow everyone who shows up on Monday a chance to speak. State Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) says the hearing is “not just a checkbox that you tick off on the way to pass a bill…it’s actually supposed to inform legislators like us about how a proposed piece of legislation will impact the public.”
Jacque declined to say Thursday how long he might allow the hearing to go, only saying his biggest concerns is that it is “a hearing, not a filibuster.”
Majority Republicans currently plan to bring right-to-work legislation to the Assembly floor next week for a vote, after the Senate approved the bill Wednesday night.