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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

 1:36 PM 

GAB bill picks up two Republican amendments

Republicans have approved two amendments so far to the bill that would split the Government Accountability Board into two arms, one for elections and one for ethics.

The first amendment clarifies the number of people on the two boards and that appointees can serve prior to confirmation. It also clarifies the terms for board chairs.

The second amendment covers technical changes identified by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, is making the Dem case against the bill. He's stressing reports the Senate is not completely on board with the GAB bill or the campaign finance proposal.

"Maybe you don't want an organization to do their job stamping out corruption in ethics," Barca said.

Rep. Dean Knudson's bill would:

*Require each commission would have six appointments, four of them by the legislative leaders. The leaders would then forward a pool of candidates to the guv to select the final two spots on each commission.

*Each commission would select an administrator.

*The new commissions would be charged with developing written policies for negotiating settlements when a complaint is filed as well as handling investigations. There would be additional due process for those who have been accused or are being investigated, including a notice to the target and a period of time in which to respond.

*The bill would keep the current secrecy requirements for staff, which is prevented from discussing details of a complaint.

*Advisory opinions requested by individuals would be public, though identifying information would be redacted.

*Any single investigation would be limited to $25,000 in cost. If additional money were needed, the agency would have to submit it to Joint Finance for passive review. The request wouldn't identify who was being investigated, but it would outline the general nature of the probe.


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