Wisconsin nuclear option?

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There may be a way to compel the missing in action Wisconsin legislators to do their job. It’s one that will cause all the screaming class to cry “foul!”, but I believe it will be effective.

As I understand the situation, the Wisconsin legislature may not act on budget matters unless there is a super-quorum of the current members of the body present. The Democrats think they have stopped the process by hiding out in Illinois. And they HAVE for the moment.

But I think I have a solution. Declare vacancies in the seats of law makers who don’t show up for work.

The Wisconsin constitution has this to say about vacancies.

(1) The legislature may declare the cases in which any office shall be deemed vacant, and also the manner of filling the vacancy, where no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.

The Wisconsin legislature CAN act on non-budgetary issues with a simple quorum. And they do have enough people to form a simple quorum. What I suggest is they change the statutes on vacancies to include something like:

A legislative office may be deemed vacant if any member of the legislature is absent for 5 or more consecutive scheduled sessions and if a majority of those legislators present vote to confirm the vacancy.


Or some such language wrapped in lawyerly style that accomplishes the same thing. Basically this is a threat “come to work or get fired”.

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Brian Hibbert
Midwestern conservative, Precinct Committeeman, county GOP Executive Committee secretary and currently a candidate for the Board of Trustees at Illinois Central College.
It's amazing what can happen if you just show up and put in a little effort.

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