Surveying the 2013 year in legislation

I will confess my favorite government is that which does nothing, as it is rare I find a new law that pleases me – or does what it intends. But one would have reason to think, living in the perfectly Red state of Wisconsin, that we could at least cough up a few laws in defense of the Republican agenda.

Hell no.

Oh, sure, Governor Scott Walker has signed a few things. (Here’s a link to his press releases. Type the word “signs” in the search box and have at it.) There’s some tax stuff that is fine, granted likely not as stupendous as argued, but fine. There are some bills labeled jobs that obviously haven’t done much – well not as much as approving a casino for Kenosha would accomplish.

But sadly, my favorite subject, voting integrity, has been forgotten in legislators’ file cabinets all over the state capitol. Want to wallow in the misery with me? Take a look at this summary of twenty-one laws that never made it to the Governor’s desk.

(If you are a careful reader, you will see that one of those, Assembly Bill 378 / Senate Bill 282 didn’t make it to votes in committee or in either house. You might realize that skipping that one is ok with me.)

So the count is at twenty. No, not every one of those bills is great, but most of them were meant to be a starting point working towards really sound election practices in our state. I attended hearings for a few of them. In a couple of cases – voting in our state’s nursing homes, for example – the new laws are really necessary to protect the voting integrity of some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

And for the year of 2013 we have nada. Nyet. Nothing.

I could go through each of the bills and tell you which legislators are fighting against each other to hold things up. You see, even though we have this beautiful R/R/R situation, we still don’t have people who lead. Instead our elected work towards two things: Re-election, or election to a new position.

It’s a shame. This state has the potential to button down some really sloppy voting practices and it’s not getting done. The Assembly leader and Senate leader jockey over each other daily to prove they are the most worthy to replace Scott Walker. Scott Walker acts as though he’s embarrassed by his Wisconsin address he spends so much time elsewhere.

Hey guys. I’m watching. And I’m starting to talk about it. This state needs leadership, not perpetual campaigners. It’s time to rise to the occasion.


  1. Whoa. Great minds and all that. He did it better than I did.