Rep. Steineke: 608-266-2418
Recall Reform Bill
Passes State Assembly
restore original purpose of recall elections
. . . Representative Jim Steineke (R – Kaukauna) announced that a
constitutional amendment he authored passed the Wisconsin state Assembly today.
Under Assembly Joint Resolution 25, a recall election can only occur if the
elected official has been charged with a serious crime or if a finding of
probable cause has been made that he or she violated the state code of ethics.
A constitutional amendment must be passed twice consecutively by the
Legislature and supported by a public referendum.
time that we restore predictability back to the election process,” Rep.
Steineke said. “Elected officials shouldn’t have to fear that a tough vote
might escalate to a recall election. Voters shouldn’t have to pay for costly
and unnecessary elections. The recent recalls in Wisconsin cost our friends and
neighbors $16 million dollars.”
25 tightens recall requirements and restores the original purpose of the recall
amendment. With this constitutional amendment in place, there must be a
minimum threshold of criminal or ethical misconduct before an elected official
can be recalled. These changes will prevent arbitrary recalls over
disagreements on policy decisions.
the recall amendment was first enacted in 1926, proponents argued that the
recall process would be rarely used
,” Rep. Steineke continued. “The
intention was to decrease the role of special interests on the political
process and eliminate the influence of money. As recent recall elections have
shown, the effect of the recall amendment has been the exact opposite. Through
money and technology, special interests can force a recall election of any
elected official for any reason. Instead of reducing the influence of money, it
on the 2011 and 2012 recalls topped $60 million with money pumped in from all
across the country. Last session, Assembly Joint Resolution 63 was
introduced and passed the Assembly on a bi-partisan vote. Exit polls from the
June 2011 gubernatorial recall election found that sixty percent of Wisconsin
voters say recall elections are only appropriate for official misconduct.