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As I See It

Wisconsin legislators continue their 2020 vacation

Scott Robert Shaw

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Where is the Wisconsin legislature? It has been months since we have seen hide or hair. Our state representatives in Madison have not met since mid-April. Imagine not having to go to work for four months, while still getting full pay. Our lawmakers were only in session until March before declaring themselves done for the year. The pandemic changed those plans, but only slightly. Governor Evers called lawmakers back for a special session in April when they agreed to accept federal coronavirus relief money, and to make it easier for those who have been laid off to file for unemployment benefits. But that hasn’t worked out, with a huge backlog of claims remaining. They are far from solving that problem. Still, lawmakers remain on the campaign trail. They said the bills passed in April would be a first step. They have yet to take a second. Even as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the state, and protests over police brutality continue, our lawmakers are sitting this one out. Even as Dane county pulls out of an agreement to build a new youth prison, threatening plans to close the Lincoln Hills School for Boys, our lawmakers are otherwise engaged. And according to their legislative calendar, they are not scheduled to meet again for the remainder of 2020. Can someone tell me again why Wisconsin has a full-time legislature but can get by with working only a few months of the year?

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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