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As I See It

Should average citizens have more say in law-making process?

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It is easy to feel detached from the political process. So much so, that some people don’t think it even matters who gets elected. Others are left scratching their heads at the votes of our lawmakers. But what if we got more of a say in the process? Some Wisconsin lawmakers are now proposing a constitutional amendment that would give the state’s residents more of a say in what laws we want to live by. They are pushing a plan that would let average citizens like you and I determine what bills are introduced in the legislature. Under the plan, a person who wanted to force the state legislature to vote on an idea they hope will become law would need to gather enough signatures. If they do, their proposal would go to the state and would be put on the statewide ballot. If it wins approval from voters, the bill would be introduced in the legislature the following session. If it doesn’t get passed and signed into law, the question would go before voters again, and if its approved there, it would become law. It is an interesting idea, given that lawmakers don’t always vote how we want them to. Polls show strong support for legalizing medicinal marijuana in Wisconsin, as well as for some gun control measures, but lawmakers won’t even hold a vote on the issues. Critics say the idea undermines our state’s legislative process, but perhaps that is the entire point.

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    Tom Fitzpatrick

    November 16, 2019 at 8:44 am

    This is a last resort measure which is made necessary by the lack of responsiveness of the legislature, and the inability of the legislators to work together and find a middle ground and moderate policy supported by a majority of the voters instead of catering to the factions within the extremes of their political parties.

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