Thursday, February 20, 2014

Senate Hearing on AJR 48

The Senate Committee on Government Operations, Public Works, and Telecommunications held a public hearing on AJR 48 Wednesday afternoon. WEMTA submitted testimony and registered against AJR 48.

Unfortunately, only four committee members were present since the Democratic members were in the Joint Finance Committee meeting.

Senator Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) and Representative Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), the lead authors of the resolution, testified that the constitutional amendment is needed because the office has only one remaining duty—sitting on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. Both legislators pointed to the fact that current State Treasurer Kurt Schuller ran on, and was elected on, a platform of eliminating the office as an indication of public support for the measure.

Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) asked Representative Schraa if he was certain that the current wording of the amendment is constitutional and about the impact it would have on the BCPL.

Representative Schraa and Senator Gudex said that by removing the Secretary of State from the resolution, there are no longer constitutional concerns with the proposal.  Senator Gudex said the wording of the referendum questions will make it clear that voters will be placing the Lt. Governor on the BCPL by deleting the State Treasurer.

Representative Schraa said that he plans to pursue deleting the office of Secretary of State next session because there is not enough time this session to pass AJR 85.

The next step is for the committee to vote on the resolution. After which, it will head to the full Senate for approval. 

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