Once again the Wisconsin Legislature has responded to a request for a Special Session by gaveling in and out, leaving the legislature "in recess"  while taking no action. It has now been 138 days since the legislature has passed a bill, and since the Assembly Chamber is currently being remodeled, even if they decided to come back into session it is not clear where they would meet in any case. 

The Republican leadership of the legislature continues to act as if there is no pressing business to be done for the people of Wisconsin. The raft of legislation proposed by the Democratic members and the Governor continue to be ignored and instead the legislature is proposing yet another committee to study the issues of government transparency and police reform. This has become a disturbing pattern in which the legislature continues to have committees and hearings on bills, and then completely ignores the will of the people as expressed in the hearings. The committees have become the place that legislation goes to die. 

Today Governor Evers responded to the abortive special session with a statement:

“The people of Wisconsin don’t want another task force or more delays—they want action and results, and they want it today, not tomorrow or some day months down the road. It’s disappointing that there’s no sense of urgency from Republicans, and it’s a let down to all the people who are asking us to lead. We have been talking about these bills for months, and Republicans have had plenty of time to consider them on the merits. I encourage Wisconsinites to contact their elected officials and ask them to show up and get to work to pass these bills. We don’t have time to wait.”The governor and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes announced a package of policing accountability and transparency reform legislation on June 19, 2020. In the wake of Jacob Blake being shot in Kenosha, Wis., Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #84 calling the legislature to take up the measures in a special session.

Earlier this year, Gov. Evers called special sessions on support for farmers and the agriculture industry and funding for education, respectively. Republicans in the Legislature ultimately adjourned these special sessions without sending any bills to the governor's desk. It has been 138 days since the Legislature last passed a bill.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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