Assembly Democrats want to make sure they are represented in appointments to special task forces. That didn’t happen when Speaker Robin Vos appointed only members of his own Republican caucus, to a task force that will study the future of correctional facilities.
“We want to make sure that this really doesn’t happen again,” said state Representative David Bowen, a Milwaukee Democrat who wants to serve on the panel. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this week that Vos appointed three white, male Republican lawmakers to the prison task force.
Bowen‘s district includes part of the 53206 zip code, which has one of the highest incarceration rates of any zip code in the nation. “It’s important to make sure that we are having real, evidence-based decision making around our corrections system, and that hasn’t been happening for so long, it has exploded our prison population,” he said.
Democrats have introduced legislation that would statutorily require both majority and minority members of the legislature be named to any committee or task force that is formed when it includes members of the legislature.
“The creation of task forces and study committees are supposed to bring a broad cross-section of lawmakers, stakeholders, and concerned citizens together to solve real problems facing our state,” said Assistant Democratic Leader Dianne Hesselbein of Middleton.