Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sen. Mike Ellis Makes Three

Although I haven't been able to find a direct statement from Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) to confirm it, there are a number of people who have added him to the list of Republican state senators opposed to the amendment to restrict public revenue in Wisconsin.

At a listening session on the amendment held in Ashland on Tuesday, State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) quoted Ellis as saying: "You don't have to muck up the constitution to cut the budget."

If Ellis is in fact opposed to the amendment, that would mean there are at least three Republican state senators who have spoken out against it. The other two are Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) and Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon).

I imagine the goal now for proponents is to muster enough votes in the Assembly to pass the amendment there and then turn to Sen. Glenn Grothman to do some arm-twisting in the Senate in hopes of getting enough votes there. Assembly Majority Leader Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) promised yesterday that the amendment would get a floor vote in the during the April 25-27 session.

But with the in-fighting that's taking place within the Assembly GOP ranks, I can't imagine passage there is going to be easy. Rep. Frank Lasee (R-Bellevue) and Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) have both pledged to vote against the current form of the amendment, which they claim isn't restrictive enough.

At the same time, Rep. Sue Jeskewitz (R-Menomonee Falls), despite voting for the amendment in committee yesterday, said she will not vote for the amendment in full session if it remains in its current form; however, Jeskewitz--contrary to Lasee and Nass--seems to think it should be made less restrictive. She is demanding to know more about the effects of the amendment on local government before she votes for it again.

With the Senate opposition and the Assembly in-fighting, it's pretty clear at this point that the amendment is going to fail, just like TABOR did last year. I just wonder whether conservatives will learn a lesson with this or just come back for more again next year.

What do you suppose they could propose restricting in next year's version of the amendment? Last time it was spending, this time it was revenue. Perhaps next time it could restrict thought. Governments would not be allowed to have any more ideas than the average of the three previous years plus population growth. And if they want to think any more than that, they're going to need to ask the voters first.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home