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Democrats slam Assembly bill passes slashing duties of Secretary of State

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette
Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - “Small, vindictive, and petty.”

That’s how Assembly Democrat Chris Danou described his fellow Republicans Wednesday, when they voted to chip away at Secretary of State Doug La Follette’s authority.

La Follette, a Democrat, angered Republicans two years ago when he held up the start of the GOP’s limits on public union bargaining, by not having the law published right after it was signed.

Wednesday, the Assembly voted 59-37 to have bills take effect one day after they’re signed – unless lawmakers specify another date. All Democrats voted no.

The Senate passed the same measure last month, so it now goes to Governor Scott Walker.

It ends the practice of giving La Follette up to 10 days to get bills published. Whitewater Republican Steve Nass says it will treat all bills the same – and it removes politics from the process.

But Democrat Danou, who’s from Trempealeau, said the bill’s only purpose was for the GOP to “grind an axe.”

Madison Democrat Chris Taylor compared the Republicans to playground bullies – and that earned her an admonishment from GOP Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer.

La Follette said he almost routinely waits 10 days to get bills published, and it was clear the Republicans wanted payback by stopping that. He said he hopes Walker would veto the bill – but he doubts that will happen.