The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules will hold a hearing later today to review the GAB’s recent decisions on the state’s new voter ID law and recall petitions. Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said they called on the committee to hold the hearing to ensure clean, fair elections. Both said they wanted to ensure election laws are properly enforced and interpreted in a non-partisan way.
“Wisconsin used to have a reputation for clean government, balanced budgets and real reform, but the recalls, the rhetoric, and the permanent campaign cycle have changed that,” said Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, in the statement. “Restoring public trust can very easily be a bipartisan goal, and we have a process in place to make sure that this non-partisan board is enforcing the Legislature’s laws in a non-partisan way.”
The GAB decided earlier this month to allow stickers to be affixed to college identification cards that would allow students to use them in meeting the new requirements of Wisconsin’s voter ID law. It also decided to allow recall petitions that can be downloaded from the Internet.
Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy will appear before the JCRAR Tuesday, according to the GAB. The agency believes the decisions were interpretations of state law and not decided as administrative rules.
According to the office of JCRAR Co-chair Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, the committee can require an agency to put statutory interpretations into an emergency rule if it determines the decisions meet the definition of a rule.