Thursday, March 2, 2017

Assembly Committee Votes 8-4 to Advance AJR2

The Assembly Committee on State Affairs voted 8-5 yesterday to approve AJR2, which deletes the state treasurer from the constitution and adds the lieutenant governor to the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL).

Committee Democrats offered an amendment to the bill, which would have added the state superintendent to the BCPL instead of the lieutenant governor.  Representatives Hesselbein (D-Middleton) and Ohnstad (D-Kenosha) spoke in favor of the amendment, referring to Tia Nelson’s testimony and the call for a separation of powers.

Representative Gannon (R-Slinger) spoke against the amendment, calling it interesting and suggesting it be considered in the future but said he would vote against it simply because it would delay the process of amending the constitution. Constitutional amendments must pass each house of the Legislature in identical form during two consecutive sessions. Since the Legislature already approved the proposal in 2015-16, any change to AJR2 during this session would require the Legislature to take another vote in 2019-20.

The amendment failed 4-8.

The Committee voted 8-4 to send AJR2 to the full Assembly, which will vote March 9th.  After the Assembly votes next week, the only step left in the legislative process is for the full Senate to vote. If the full Legislature passes AJR2/SJR3 this session, voters will decide whether or not to eliminate the state treasurer in a statewide referendum to be held in April 2018.

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