Wisconsin Republicans seek to restrict secretary of state's powers

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January 31, 2013

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette

By Greg Janetka

MADISON, Wisconsin: In a move that Democrats are calling political payback, the Republican-led state Senate passed a bill to remove the power of the Secretary of State to delay new laws. The legislation stems back to the passage of the state's collective bargaining law, known as Act 10, in 2011 that led to numerous recall elections and a sharp partisan divide.[1]

Secretary of State Doug La Follette (D) delayed publishing Act 10, which gave opponents time to go to court and delay it by months. Under state law, the secretary of state has up to 10 days to publish a law, a power that would be removed if Republicans have their way. LaFollette, who has currently served in the office since 1983, said he nearly always waits to publish new laws but that it has never been an issue before. “It’s hard not to see this as some sort of retribution issue. The only reason they’re doing this is because they couldn’t get what they wanted immediately,” he stated.[2]

The bill, which was passed in the Senate on a party line, now goes to the Assembly.