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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wisconsin Senate Passes Budget Bill

The Wisconsin Senate passed a budget repair bill, on a straight party line vote, with no input from the minority party, no floor debate between the parties.

Confused? That was May 12, 2008. About an hour after a conference committee made up only of Democrats and Governor Jim Doyle's staff came up with a repair bill it was brought to the Senate floor, and voted on with two readings, no amendments allowed, and no input from the minority party. The bill passed on a 17-16 vote with 0 Republicans voting for the bill, and 1 Democrat voting against it.

The GOP knew they'd lose the vote, and knew there was nothing they could do about the bill, but did their jobs and voted. Then, in 2010 they beat the Democratic party over the head with it to take control of both chambers and the governors mansion.

The Wisconsin Jewish Conference has a nice summary of the bill and timeline of it's passing, and the vetoes the (then) Governor used to reshape it.

State Representative (now State Senator) Leah Vukmir had this take on the bill. It's a warning from 3 years ago that this year's day of reckoning was coming.

That folks, is how our Democracy works. If the current bill is so flawed, the Democrats have about 18 months to sell that case to the voters, and take back control and undo the bill. I think the problem is they know the majority of the voters like the bill. In 10 or 12 months they won't be able to show that it wasn't a workable solutions, and that the state is still spiralling out of control.

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