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As I See It

If lawmakers have to meet they should have to talk too

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It has become little more than a game. Wisconsin state representatives were called into a special session of the Legislature to discuss the Governor’s plan to accept federal money for Medicare. Under state rules, legislators are required to convene in a special session. But the rules say nothing of a requirement to cast votes, to hear public testimony, to have debate or even to discuss the issue at all. They simply have to meet. Seems the law is missing a little teeth. We have seen this too often with the Wisconsin Legislature. Whether it is gun control in the wake of the death of George Floyd, or police reform and racial justice measures, or fixing the state’s unemployment systems, lawmakers do the bare minimum. They bang their gavel to call the meeting to order to make it official, then adjourn the meeting, often in less than a minute. Then what is the point, really? It is ok not to like the Governor’s ideas. Perhaps one of those lawmakers whose salary we pay has a better one. Certainly the people of the state should be allowed a voice. It makes no sense for taxpayers to pay for our state representatives to drive to Madison and claim another per diem while doing nothing but going through the motions.

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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