UPDATE: Deal Struck to Avoid Late Night Assembly Debate

UPDATED Thursday, January 10, 2013 --- 11:17 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bipartisan deal has been struck to avoid the Wisconsin state Assembly debating and taking votes in the middle of the night.

Party leaders announced the agreement Thursday before the full Assembly planned to vote on it.

The deal hinges on Republican and Democratic leaders agreeing before each day's debate how long they will take on each measure. That is not done currently and in recent years the Assembly has routinely gone deep into the night to vote and pass bills.

Republican Speaker Robin Vos says both sides agreed they wanted to eliminate all night sessions, saying that is not in the public interest.

As a test of the new procedure, both sides have agreed to limit Thursday's debate to no more than five hours.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED: Thursday, January 10, 2013 --- 8:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- It will be clear soon whether Republicans who control the Wisconsin state Assembly were able to reach a deal with Democrats to cut down on debating and taking votes in the middle of the night.

Party leaders met for two days to try and reach a deal before the new Assembly rules were to be debated Thursday.

Republican Speaker Robin Vos plans to unveil the proposed changes before the Assembly convenes Thursday morning.

Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca has said the two sides were worlds apart on agreement, but both he and Vos agree something needs to be done to curtail late-night debate.

Gov. Scott Walker has said he would sign a bill preventing voting on bills after 10 p.m.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 --- 1:24 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican and Democratic leaders are still trying to reach a deal on how best to avoid late-night votes in the state Assembly.

Republican Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca met for a second day Wednesday to negotiate possible changes to Assembly rules. Following their meeting Tuesday, Barca said they were "worlds apart" on agreement.

Those private talks resumed Wednesday. Vos's spokeswoman Kit Beyer says the rules proposal will be released on Thursday before the Assembly meets to debate the changes.

Republicans have a majority and can pass any rules they wish, but Vos reached out to Democrats to discuss the changes before the Assembly takes them up.

It has become increasingly common for the Assembly to work late into the night, sometimes not voting until early morning.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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