An election bill passes, with something for everybodyA campaign and elections bill approved by the state Assembly Wednesday is being touted as a bipartisan triumph. Both parties say they got at least some of what they wanted.
By: By Gilman Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A campaign and elections bill approved by the state Assembly Wednesday is being touted as a bipartisan triumph. Both parties say they got at least some of what they wanted.
When it was first introduced, the omnibus bill faced almost unanimous opposition from the minority Democrats who called it an attempt to enact the photo voter ID bill that is now tied up in state and federal courts. Over the last week, however, it was stripped of those measures. Milwaukee Democratic Rep. Jocasta Zamarripa called the bill “a mixed bag,” but praised the one thing both parties like about the final product: the stepped up transparency for campaign contributions.
“Under this bill our disclosure requirements will increase, so that the public ... will know who is giving to us and what we're spending it on. And I believe that the great state of Wisconsin and her people do not mind — and in fact I think they may even appreciate — seeing us compromise once in a while.”
The bill passed, albeit with less than unanimous support. Some Democrats voted against it because it doubles the amount of money an individual can give to a candidate: it's something opponents say will give special interests more clout in elections. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos did vote for the bill, but was disappointed that the voter ID provisions were removed.
“We didn't get [them], but we will taking [it] up this fall, ensuring that we have a voter ID [law] that is able to be upheld by the Supreme Court. That will be coming up this fall, but we wanted to take some more time over the summer to ensure that the bill that we pass will meet that constitutional muster.”
The state Senate has not yet agreed to take up this compromise bill. It must pass both houses and be signed by the governor before any of its provisions take effect.