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As I See It

More Wisconsin laws being written out of state

Scott Robert Shaw



If someone writes a book, it is easy to identify who the author is. It is written right there on the book’s cover. If a police officer writes you a ticket, his or her name is right there too. But when it comes to making laws in Wisconsin, the public is being kept in the dark when trying to identify who wrote the legislation. And more it more, it seems, the answer to who wrote Wisconsin laws is someone not even living in the Badger state. Instead a growing number of our laws are being written not by those we elect to public office, but by think-tanks, industry groups and corporations. In fact, in Wisconsin nearly 50 state laws passed since 2009 were so-called model bills, drafted by people outside of the state. These pro-business groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council draft these plug and play bills, wine and dine the out of state lawmakers, put money into their political campaigns and send them on their way with the model legislation which they then introduce in their state legislature. But the public deserves to know who is behind these bills. We should know when the work is basically plagiarized. We should know what groups are behind them, and why they want them passed. Our representatives in Madison should write a law insisting that if a piece of legislation is copied from somewhere else the public should be told where it came from. That is if they still remember how to write laws without someone telling them how to do it.

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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1 Comment

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    May 23, 2019 at 11:30 am

    What is the solution to this in terms if what we the citizens of Wisconsin,can be doing?

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