Democrats Nonpartisan Motions to Improve Quality of Bill Ignored 
(MADISON) Today, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety voted along party lines to introduce a bill which would modify John Doe proceedings, an independent investigatory tool to determine whether a crime has been committed. Republicans rejected all four amendments offered by Democratic members. After the vote, Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement:
“Excluding elected officials and certain crimes that can be investigated, like those in the Caucus Scandal in Madison or the events that unfolded in the Milwaukee County Executive office under Scott Walker sets an appalling precedent, is hypocritical, diminishes the public’s trust, and further increases the divisiveness and discord we see between political parties today,” Taylor noted. “And the nonpartisan Legislative Council was clear: the legislation before us is not clear on what would happen to current John Doe proceedings. Because there is a case which pertains to the Governor currently before our Supreme Court, if passed, this proposal could effectively end it. If we say that this legislation is not meant to affect current proceedings, then why not adopt our amendment to make it clear? This is a case of the fox guarding the henhouse.”
“Republicans on this committee proclaimed this bill to be a victory for impoverished individuals,” Taylor continued. “Yet they rejected our amendment which would protect the due process of indigents by permitting public defenders to be appointed. This goes to show again that this is not being done to strengthen the investigation process, but rather for solely political reasons.”


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