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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

 6:36 PM 

Assembly to take up voter ID, other controversial bills Thursday; Dems decry packed calendar

The Assembly Committee on Rules has scheduled a packed Thursday calendar including voter ID provisions, a bill that would make the chief justice of the Supreme Court elected by peers and bills limiting the ability to recall local and state officials.

Democrats decried the calendar of the last day of fall floor period as anti-democratic.

"When you want to have power grabs of the judicial branch, as you did earlier in the year ... when you have [a bill] eliminating early voting for people, I truly think you are cutting into the heart of our democracy here in Wisconsin," said Assembly Speaker Peter Barca, D-Kenosha.

Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Ft. Atkinson, said his caucus will respond by attempting to pull their redistricting reform bill to the floor on Thursday as well.

"They're there because you're giving into the extreme districts that you've drawn up," Jorgensen said of the bills on Thursday's calendar. "Extreme begets extreme."

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he does not support any changes to the current process.

"There's no doubt whatsoever they're constitutional," Vos said of the redistricting lines. "I have said over and over and over, I support the process that's currently in our constitution."

The body has also special ordered 13 of the bills on the calendar, ensuring that Democrats cannot block passage on a procedural vote and that they'll receive a final vote on Thursday.

Republican leadership said debate could extend to about 2 a.m., based on debate times agreed to on each bill.


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