G.A.B. to meet 2/7, 9AM to talk Tech School IDs and recall petition preparations

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Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board will meet Feb. 7 in a special meeting. According to their agenda they will “Approve Proposed Rule Permitting Use of Technical College Student Identification Cards for Voting”.

They will also report on recall petition preparations and then go into a closed session to discuss, very probably, a return to court in Waukesha.

GAB-watchers know that once the GAB policy approving tech school IDs for voting is turned into a ruling it will then be set on course to go back to Scott Walker’s desk where it will either be destroyed or languish. The Legislative rules committee [JCRAR] can pick up the matter if Walker does nothing. If the committee does pick it up, they’ll very likely kill it.

All Wisconsin state agencies got neutered last year.
After passage of Wisconsin Act 21 on June 8, 2011, Scott Walker gained new powers to approve or stifle all “rules”: interpretations of how state statutes are carried out. The JCRAR also gained powers to squash or promote rules through Act 21. Ronald Sklansky in Wisconsin Lawyer wrote perhaps the understatement of 2011– that Wisconsin may see “a reduction in the number of rules ultimately promulgated by state agencies”.

Back on November 16 when the JRCAR met for hours to discuss tech school ID’s, Assembly Representative Gary Hebl fought against Sen. Vukmir’s move to force GAB’s policy into the classification of “ruling”.

“It boggles my mind why you want to treat technical college students as second-class citizens, requiring them to jump through additional hoops. As you know, technical college students are the ones that stay around,” Rep. Hebl, Nov 16 WUWM

and

“The governor is going to be in control of his own recall election and even you as Republicans have to understand the consequences of this action. As a result of that, when we have a Democratic governor, he now has that same power, that same authority, and you’re going to regret this day, if we decide this today, or the day that we decide to give the governor the power that we as legislators should have, we’re giving that up and we won’t get it back easily,” Rep Hebl, also from the same WUWM source.

At the same Nov 16 meeting Sen Leah Vukmir said:
“I go back to what our job is in the statutes, in Chapter 227.10, each agency shall promulgate as a rule, each statement of general policy and each interpretation of statutes. So the determination that we’re making here today is whether or not the policies that are being put forth by GAB are statutory interpretations and if they are, they need to be put into rule format”.

Why tech school IDs for voting?
After sitting in on a GAB hearing November 10th I wrote, “G.A.B. reversed course on tech school IDs because they realized they had violated state statute in disallowing their use in voting. GAB’s Judge Cane made the argument that the tech schools pass 3 tests set forth for school IDs in Wisconsin’s new voting ID law. He said they fall under the definition of universities, the definition of colleges, and that of non-profit institutions.”

G.A.B. Special Meeting
Posted in G.A.B. Meeting
Time: 02/07/2012 – 9:00am – 12:00pm
Location: G.A.B. Office, 212 E. Washington Ave., Madison WI 53703
Agenda
A. Call to Order

B. Director’s Report of Appropriate Meeting Notice

C. Personal Appearances

D. Administrative Rules

1. Approve Proposed Rule Permitting Use of Technical College Student Identification Cards for Voting

E. Report on Recall Petition Review Preparations

F. Director’s Report

G. Closed Session

5.05 (6a) and 19.85 (1) (h) — The Board’s deliberations on requests for advice under the ethics code, lobbying law, and campaign finance law shall be in closed session.
19.85 (1) (g) — The Board may confer with legal counsel concerning litigation strategy.
19.851 — The Board’s deliberations concerning investigations of any violation of the ethics code, lobbying law, and campaign finance law shall be in closed session.
19.85 (1) (c) — The Board may consider performance evaluation data of a public employee over which it exercises responsibility.

The Government Accountability Board has scheduled its next meeting for Tuesday, March 20 and Wednesday March 21, 2012 at the Government Accountability Board offices, 212 East Washington Avenue, Third Floor in Madison, Wisconsin beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day.

Board Materials will be available on Monday, February 6, 2012.

footnote: A pretty good cheat sheet on Act 21 is here at National Law Review. I see that the author is hired by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP — the go-to law firm for the Wisconsin GOP.

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