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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Legislature needs to act

From an editorial in The Journal Times (Racine):

Let us count the ways in which this Legislature has failed in its duty. We do not speak of any particular issue or any particular position which the Legislature took, because the truth is that it took few.

There were some good results from this session, such as the law which formalized a transportation authority to make progress on KRM commuter rail. But there is much that didn’t move — bills on regional transit, election reforms, and energy and jobs. We do not advocate for every clause of every one of those bills. We decry the lack of action. It is true that one function of a legislature is to let bad ideas expire quietly, but the overarching issues of transit and jobs and energy must not fail. They must be dealt with in some manner.

The Democratic leadership bears a large portion of the blame, for many major bills did not come to the floor until the closing days of the session, leaving members little time to digest, discuss and amend. But Republicans must also be held responsible for an amazing rigidity and intransigence that produced few constructive suggestions or compromises.

Mordecai Lee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political science professor, labeled the Legislature’s inaction an example of what is wrong with modern lawmaking. That presumes the goal is to make laws or decisions.

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