Today’s executive session on Senate Bill 95 in the Senate Election and Urban Affairs Committee was illustrative of how a majority party can operate, if it chooses to.
The bill, which would impose changes on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, has been hugely controversial in that county and has drawn sparse support from Democrats. So when Senator Lena Taylor of Milwaukee, the only Democratic cosponsor of the measure, asked the committee to support three amendments she’d authored, she may have been expecting smooth sailing.
Granted, as committee member Senator Joe Liebham noted, it’s a complex bill, and members could reasonably expect more time to consider the amendments from Taylor. But it might also have been reasonable to expect a little more discussion on the amendments. That didn’t happen. Instead, the committee chair, Senator Mary Lazich, called for a vote on the bill even as Taylor was on the phone with the measure’s Assembly author, Republican Joe Sanfelippo.
AUDIO: Senators Taylor, Lazich (3:50)
The vote was taken over Taylor’s protests, and Lazich gaveled the session to a close. She and Taylor continued their exchange out into the fourth floor hallway. I guess sometimes this is what democracy looks like.