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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

 1:24 PM 

Succession plan scratched from bill

A succession plan to replace legislators in case an enemy attack has been scrapped for now.

The Senate will vote on a bill that would change the rule that the state Legislature can meet only in Madison, and would allow the Legislature to hold a virtual session in case a pandemic or other emergency makes meeting at the Capitol unfeasible.

Bill author Sen. Bob Jauch said prior to the floor session that an amendment to create a successorship plan in the legislation was submitted mistakenly. He said a consensus has not been reached.

"It's a very difficult challenge to figure out how you create a succession until you face a tragedy which opens our eyes to the need to do it," Jauch, D-Poplar, said. "Right now we can't come up with an alternative."

Under the most recent proposal, county chairs of the party that holds the district would submit a list of interim successor nominees to the state party chair. The state party chair would submit between three and five names to the Senate or Assembly party leader within seven days of the vacancy occurring. The leader would have to name a successor within 14 days of the vacancy.

The succession plan would kick in if there are nine or more simultaneous vacancies in the Senate, and 25 or more in the Assembly.

The original plan, which was pulled back in September, would have required legislators to submit secret lists of successors from their district.

UPDATE: SB 227 passed unanimously as amended.


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