The Wisconsin state Assembly is set to act on almost 100 bills, as lawmakers come to the floor today for what’s expected to be their final session day of the year.
Proposals on the calendar include regulations for high capacity wells, legislation intended to keep someone from serving in the legislature and as a county executive at the same time, and several bills produced by an Alzheimer’s and dementia task force. Many of the bills up for a vote passed out of committees with bipartisan support, although the floor period for the chamber will still likely to stretch in to the early hours of Friday morning. It’s the second time this week the Assembly has met for a floor period that’s expected to last more than 10 hours.
Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) argues cramming the agenda full of proposals makes it nearly impossible for the public to know what’s going on in the Legislature. “When they set up calendars like that, it’s specifically to make sure that the public is not aware of all the harmful things they are doing,” the Kenosha Democrat claims.
Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) says it’s not unusual though for a large number of bills to get pushed off to the final days of the session. “It’s just the process that we go through every two years,” Vos said earlier this week, while noting that most of the bills have gone through full public hearings and some have even been waiting for a vote since the beginning of the session over a year ago.
While the Assembly could finish its work for the year this week, the state Senate is not done yet. Members of the chamber are expected to be back at the Capitol in March.