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As I See It

WI lawmakers need to slow down, work longer



Finally, some lawmakers in Madison realize it may be a good idea to slow down. We have spoken here about the ridiculous schedule our lawmakers keep, meeting for only a few days, often into the middle of the night, their calendars packed with hearings and votes on hundreds of pieces of legislation. We think it is a good idea if members of the state Senate and Assembly give themselves time to catch their breath, by spreading their work out over a longer period of time. And at least one lawmaker is listening. Rep. Mark Spreitzer is introducing legislation that would limit the number of bills lawmakers could debate in a day. Such action is needed. Just look at the calendars over the past week. Members of the Assembly yesterday were scheduled to consider 110 separate bills. Another 88 bills are up for debate tomorrow. How can lawmakers even have time to read the bills in such a limited time? Are they even reading the bills they are voting on? How can the public weigh in on any of these issues when debate on any one issue takes just minutes? The Assembly is scheduled to adjourn after Thursday’s session, even though 10 full months remain in the year. They should use that time not to campaign, but to more thoroughly debate the issues. That would be good for our democracy.

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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