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State Rep. Steve Doyle on board with lawmakers getting paid by the hour, after GOP held 30-second special session Monday on policing policies

Rick Solem

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Turns out, State Rep. Steve Doyle spent more time on morning chores than he did in session on Monday.

Doyle

“Well, I had to feed the horse, the alpacas and goats,” Doyle said. 

The Onalaska state rep. said he was up at 5 a.m. to do those chores. 

He then drove from Onalaska to Madison for what turned out to be less than 30 seconds of work, after Republicans, who control the state legislature, gaveled in and immediately out of a special session to debate bills regarding policing policies.

There was a time, Doyle said Monday on La Crosse Talk PM, when bills were debated.

“In, what I’ll call a normal situation, what would happen is, we would get called in and we would go through the bills — one at a time, debate and vote on them,” he said. 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called the special session last week in wake of the Kenosha police shooting. The nine bills had been proposed back in June, however.

Doyle doesn’t believe lawmakers are doing their jobs. 

“Let’s just talk about these issues, instead of it being Democrats vs. Republicans,” he said. “People rightfully have varying opinions on these issues. And I respect both sides of it — I’ve heard both sides of it. 

“But what we’re not doing is giving it the credibility that you get by having it in a forum, such as the legislative process.”

Doyle also had a little fun on the show, playing along with the idea that, instead of a salary, perhaps lawmakers should get paid by the hour.

“Not a bad idea,” Doyle said laughing. “I think that having some incentive to actually show up for work makes sense. I can’t think of any other job where you get paid even if you don’t show up for work.”

It’s the second time since November the GOP has recessed out of a special session in less than 30 seconds. 

“We get paid to go to Madison and vote, so that we can go back to our constituents and say, ‘Here’s how we voted,’ and they decide if we made the right choice or the wrong choice,” Doyle said. “If we go and it takes us hours and hours or days and days to get through the debate and have a vote on each individual bill, that’s what we get paid for.”

This was also the first time the legislature had met in session since mid-April — though many were not present Monday in Madison.

“The really frustrating thing is, some of these bills I will agree are controversial,” Doyle said. “Republicans aren’t going to support them. But there are other ones that really are not particularly controversial.”

Doyle said a bill on banning choke holds or no-knock warrants may not pass, but they’d still be worth discussing.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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