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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

 9:14 PM 

Prospects dim on CEJA, elections overhaul, RTA bill

It's not looking good for the "Clean Energy Jobs Act," an overhaul to the state's election laws and legislation to create regional transit authorities.

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, sent signals today that none of the three would make it through his chamber this session.

Decker said the election bill was introduced "a little bit late in the process."

"I'd like to see it happen," Decker said. "If it started up a few weeks earlier, I think members could have gotten their arms around it and gotten a better feel for it."

Decker reiterated Republican votes were needed to pass RTA legislation, which has yet to make it out of the Assembly.

"If there's six Republican votes, we'll look at it," Decker said. "I don't believe there's enough Democrats that would support it straight up."

Responding to speculation that he won't get six GOP votes, Decker quipped, "Well, we'll go for seven then."

Meanwhile, state Rep. Spencer Black, D-Madison, accused Decker and Sen. Jeff Plale of standing in the way of the "Clean Energy Jobs Act," while the Sen Dems shot back the Assembly doesn't have the votes and Black's just trying to cast blame.

Black, D-Madison suggested the Assembly would only take up the bill if the Senate showed some progress on it.

But that looked unlikely. Decker told reporters this afternoon he didn't think the Assembly had the votes to pass the bill anyway and his chamber wouldn't vote on it unless it was first taken up by the special committee set up to handle the legislation.

Plale, a co-chair of the special committee, said he's been rebuffing requests to convene an exec session because the bill doesn't have the votes needed to pass either house.


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