February 10th, 2011
Senate Tears Down Wisconsin
Constitutional Values to Play Politics
Republicans Violate Separation of Powers,
Remove Public Health & Environmental Reviews
(MADISON) Senate Republicans continued their quick rubber stamp approval of Governor Walker’s administrative rules reconfiguration proposal today at the Capitol. Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee), ranking member of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, blasted Republicans for breaking down the independence of the Government Accountability Board, violating the Separations of Powers doctrine, and repealing the public health and environmental impact reports for rulemaking.
“Today Walker and the Republicans have made a complete mockery of the values that Wisconsin demands in lawmaking – constitutional integrity, ethics, and accountability – and that is not ok,” Taylor noted. “The Republicans seem to have lost their copy of the constitution and all the principles that define our government’s powers. In vote after vote, the majority party tore down the separation of powers between the branches of government in Wisconsin. They rubber-stamped Walker’s desire to break apart our constitutional values, Republicans have now let Governor Walker approve or deny the rules that will govern his own campaigns and ethical standards. ”
The administrative rules reconfiguration bill allows the Governor to veto or approve all administrative rules as they are developed. Democrats pointed out the violation of separation of powers consistently on the floor today, pointing to the separate branches of government that provide checks and balances to each other. In addition the bill breaks down the wall of independence around independent agencies such as the Government Accountability Board, Public Service Commission, and the Commissioner of Insurance. Finally, the bill will allow agency’s to disregard the proposed rules’ impact on public health and the environment.
“I have been taken aback at the complete lack of constitutional integrity of the majority party on this issue,” Taylor finished. “It is the duty of any legislator to protect the separation of powers in our government, the Legislative, Executive, and judicial branches depend on us doing our job. To add injury to insult, Republicans have decided that public health and the environment is no longer a concern when it comes to the administrative rules. Republicans need to be honest with Wisconsin, including those citizens objecting to the wind-siting rules, about their intent to disregard health and the environment.”
Taylor offered amendments along with her Democratic colleagues to stop the constitutional dismantling proposed by Governor Walker and the Republican majorities. Each amendment was voted down by the majority party. The bill now goes back to the Assembly for final concurrence.