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As I See It

Lawmakers should spend more time debating issues



Earlier this week, we talked about the importance of getting Wisconsin lawmakers to end their practice of pulling all-nighters when debating the state budget. We support the legislation introduced which would require the Assembly to only debate budget bills during normal waking hours. But perhaps it is time to go further, and look at how debate on all legislation, not just the budget, is scheduled. For example, our lawmakers are currently in the middle of a very brief floor schedule right now. They haven’t been in session since November, so the work has been piling up. The State Senate was scheduled to take up 60 bills just during yesterday’s session. The Assembly calendar is equally packed. Why try to cram all of this work into just a couple of days? They are scheduled to be in session through next Friday, meaning they have just a handful of days to debate and try to pass dozens of pieces of legislation. Why not spread that out over several weeks, so we can have a more substantive and meaningful debate? The Assembly didn’t even begin debate until 1pm yesterday. Why not get an earlier start? Under the current schedule, lawmakers were likely debating into the wee hours this morning. That is not how their best work is done. Lawmakers should revise the calendar so they spend more time in session, so they can be more thorough and thoughtful when they are trying to pass new laws.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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