Republicans shut down hearing on Walker's bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Republicans shut down hearing on Walker's bill


By Capitol Bureau Chief Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- After a 17-hour committee hearing, Republican co-chairs adjourned the Joint Committee on Finance early Wednesday with hundreds of speakers still waiting to testify.

"The purpose of a hearing is not to talk a bill to death," Rep. Robin Vos, Republican co-chair of JFC said.

Vos said at the time he adjourned the hearing, speakers who signed up around 6 p.m. -- eight hours after the hearing started -- were testifying.

But Democrats, outnumbered 12 to 4 on the committee, said testimony should continue as long as necessary to hear all speakers.

"Democracy doesn't work on a timeline," Sen. Robert Jauch (D) said.

Jauch, who was first elected to state office in 1970, said he had not seen such passion among voters since the Sixties.

Some speakers said they were disappointed by missing the deadline. But many of them did speak during an unofficial "hearing" that Democrats held starting around 4 a.m.

Vos and fellow co-chair Sen. Alberta Darling (R) said the committee would reconvene around noon on Wednesday in executive session. Debate on amendments would likely follow, with a final vote later.

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