UPDATE: Wis. Assembly to vote on limiting recalls

UPDATED Wednesday, November 13, 2013 --- 5:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Recalling the governor and others from office in Wisconsin would be more difficult under measures the state Assembly plans to vote on Thursday.

The recall measures are among several the Assembly plans to pass on its final day in session that make changes to state election law. Republicans also plan to pass a new photo identification requirement for voters at the polls as the current law remains on hold.

Republicans wants to prohibit voters from recalling state and local officeholders unless they've been charged with a felony or an ethics violation.

Wisconsin is one of 18 states that allows for recalls of state elected officials. Of those, only seven limit the reasons for recall to malfeasance in office.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 9, 2013 --- 10:45 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state Assembly committee has approved a proposed amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution making it more difficult to recall elected officials from office.

The proposal before the Assembly's elections committee would bar voters from recalling state officeholders unless they've been charged with a felony or an ethics violation. Current state law doesn't require voters to supply a reason for a state or local recall effort.

The measure passed on a 6-3 vote, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats against.

The measures come after Democrats forced a dozen GOP officeholders, including Gov. Scott Walker, into recalls in 2011 and 2012.

The proposal must pass two consecutive legislative sessions and a statewide referendum before it can take effect. It passed the Assembly last year but died in the Senate.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 9, 2013 --- 9:54 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state Assembly committee is scheduled to vote on a proposed amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution making it more difficult to recall people from office.

The proposal before the Assembly's elections committee would bar voters from recalling state officeholders unless they've been charged with a felony or an ethics violation. Current state law doesn't require voters to supply a reason for a state or local recall effort.

The measures come after Democrats forced a dozen GOP officeholders, including Gov. Scott Walker, into recalls in 2011 and 2012.

Republican Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, who is co-sponsoring the measure in the Senate, survived a recall in 2011.

The proposal must pass two consecutive legislative sessions and a statewide referendum before it can take effect.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, June 4, 2013 --- 11:07 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans are bringing a proposal to amend the Wisconsin Constitution to permit recalls of elected officials only if they've been charged with a felony or accused of an ethics violation to the Assembly's elections committee.

The amendment's chief sponsor, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, was one of four GOP state senators who survived recall attempts in 2011 after they supported Gov. Scott Walker's contentious bill stripping most public workers of nearly all their union rights.

Committee member Rep. Fred Kessler told the panel during a public hearing Tuesday the amendment would strip people of their right to express their anger over officials' decisions. He also complained voters wouldn't be able to recall officials who drive drunk.

The amendment must pass two consecutive legislative sessions and a statewide referendum to take effect.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 21, 2013 --- 1:21 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A group of Wisconsin town officials say the state should raise its bar for recalling local officials.

Voters are now allowed to recall local elected officials if the reason for the recall is related to the person's official responsibilities.

Under a bill introduced by Republican Rep. Alvin Ott, of Forest Junction, they would have to show that the official has been charged with committing a crime or committing an ethics violation.

Ott says constant recalls create chaos and divert officials' focus from important issues.

Town of Middleton board supervisor Timothy Roehl told the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections on Tuesday that each recall costs the town about $6,000, which is a problem when it can't raise more money.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 21, 2013 --- 11:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- It would be harder to recall a local Wisconsin elected official from office under a proposal up for a hearing before a legislative committee.

The Republican-sponsored bill is up for a hearing Tuesday before the Assembly's Committee on Campaigns and Elections. It would require anyone who petitions to recall a city, village, town, town sanitary district, or school district official to prove that official has been charged with committing a crime or committing an ethics violation.

Current law allows people to circulate a recall petition as long as they claim the recall is related to the official's responsibilities.

Robert Kraig from the Milwaukee-based advocacy group Citizen Action opposes the measure, saying it will reduce elected officials' accountability to the public.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2012 --- 7:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly plans to debate a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the reasons an office holder can be removed from office through a recall election.

The measure up for debate Tuesday would have to pass the Republican-controlled Legislature in two consecutive sessions and win voter approval before the constitution would be amended.

The proposal would limit the grounds for a recall only if the targeted office holder has been charged with a serious crime or if there is a finding of probable cause that the person violated the state code of ethics.

Under current law, no grounds are needed to seek a recall.

The amendment would apply to any incumbent congressional, judicial, or legislative elective officer or any county elective officer specified in the constitution.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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