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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

 1:56 PM 

Dems open Assembly session by railing on Milwaukee County bill

Assembly Dems opened today's floor period by railing on legislation that would cut the Milwaukee County Board budget and reduce supervisors' pay.

Dems delayed a final vote on the legislation the first time it was before the Assembly, requiring today's debate on passage.

Various Dem members acknowledged the legislation will likely pass. But they dismissed it as a needless intrusion in local politics and warned GOP members that some day the Legislature may go after counties in their own districts if they set a precedent by supporting today's bill.

"Today it is Milwaukee County, but who will it be next time? Who will be standing here next time trying to defend their county?" said freshman Rep. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee.

Rep. Fred Kessler, D-Milwaukee, complained the legislation sets an April 2014 referendum for voters to weigh in on the proposed pay cuts, saying the suburban communities in the county all have races on the ballot that spring. But Milwaukee does not have any significant races planned, and Kessler said that means fewer minority voters will turn out for that election and have their voices heard on the board issue.

"There is no other way to look at this but another attempt by the Republican Party, the majority party of this house to suppress minority votes," Kessler said. "I have absolutely no doubt about that."





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