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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

 2:01 PM 

Senate in recess to hear from Dalai Lama

Debate has been suspended on a bill to curtail the Milwaukee County Board’s budget, salaries and term length so senators can join the Assembly for an address by the Dalai Lama.

As the chamber waited for an amendment to AB 85 to be completed, Dems hammered the measure as an attack on local control.

Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, said the bill represented a pattern of the GOP believing they knew better than the state’s citizens.

“This bill is undemocratic,” Hansen said. “It undermines the very democratic process that our state was built on.”

Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, charged the bill was motivated by the area’s largely Dem politics.

“I think Milwaukee County is being picked on ... and there’s a mentality that, ‘I’m from Madison and I know what’s best for you,’” Carpenter said.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills and the chamber’s lead author of the bill, insisted the measure was not an anti-Milwaukee proposal but had been designed to “make Milwaukee County function more efficiently.”

“The county board, as members, are not supposed to be managing the department heads, they’re not supposed to be managing the day-to-day operations of the department,” Darling said, saying it has effectively created a “logjam” in county government.

“On the ground, the business community’s saying it’s almost impossible to deal with the county board,” Darling said.

At the outset of debate, the chamber approved a technical amendment differentiating the measure from the language that passed the state Assembly last week.


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