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As I See It

Wisconsin doesn’t need a full-time Legislature



We’ve complained often about Wisconsin’s do-nothing legislature. Members of Wisconsin’s Assembly and Senate have not met in session since March 8. They are not scheduled to convene again until 2023, having given themselves the rest of the year off. That despite the spate of issues awaiting government action, like debating abortion rights and spending the state’s budget surplus. Keep in mind that being a Wisconsin legislator is a full-time position, despite the small workload. Wisconsin is one of just ten states to have a full-time Legislature. Among those states, Wisconsin’s population is the smallest. You could say no other state legislature does less with more. Our lawmakers earn in excess of $50,000 a year. They also receive a per diem, making them eligible for food and lodging reimbursement when they are in Madison on official business. Some add nearly $20,000 to their annual salary through per diems. All Wisconsin lawmakers also are given a nice budget to hire a big staff and operate an office in their district, all at taxpayer expense. Despite all we give them, we get very little in return. When called into special session, lawmakers open and close the meeting without taking any action. It is time to stop the charade. Our lawmakers don’t put in their 40 hours a week, so we shouldn’t pay them as if they do. Wisconsin should join the majority of states and trim down to a part-time Legislature. Maybe then we’ll get our money’s worth.

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

1 Comment

  1. Steven Muller

    June 21, 2022 at 10:46 am

    I agree completely with Shaw’s commentary. I believe that as long as we have legislators like Republican leaders like Voss willing to give 600 thousand plus of taxpayers harp earned money to a crockpot reroofed Judge who is using the hideous Trump stolen election scam the citizens of Wisconsin deserve a hell of a lot more accountability for their tax dollars? I might suggest a state fuel tax reduction if they are serious about protecting our farmers and minimum wage workers in the state, after all isn’t this state recognized for it’s agriculture Speaker Voss?

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