MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin State Statute 13.05, entitled “Logrolling prohibited,” bars legislators from trading or making contingent their vote for or against one legislative matter for votes for or against another legislative matter. But that law, and the Class I felony penalty for violating it, aren’t stopping Sen. Duey Stroebel from explicitly, repeatedly and publicly declaring he will not vote for the state budget unless he first is able to vote on a separate bill to eliminate protections for Wisconsin jobs.
One Wisconsin Now has provided documentation of Saukville resident Stroebel’s actions and called on the Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol to investigate possible violations of the law and pursue enforcement of the appropriate penalties.
“It’s perfectly appropriate to debate Sen. Stroebel’s demand to act on a bill to cut Wisconsin worker wages as a matter of policy,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “But he crossed the line of what’s legal in Wisconsin with his action publicly demanding a vote on that bill as a bottom line demand for giving his vote in favor of the state budget.”
Along with their letter, One Wisconsin Now documented multiple occasions of Sen. Stroebel having indicated to the right-wing sources that in order for him to vote in favor of the 2015 state budget he must first be allowed to vote on, and the legislature must pass, a separate bill. That bill would repeal the prevailing wage – a state law that helps protect jobs by ensuring infrastructure projects go to local firms that hire local workers, rather than firms that bring in lower wage workers from other states.
Ross noted that as Gov. Walker continued to focus on his presidential ambitions, the Republican-led legislature’s work ground to a halt and it took over one month of secret, closed-door negotiations to get it restarted. Despite the announcement of a deal among legislative leaders, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has indicated he has not yet secured a majority of Senators to vote for the two-year tax and spending plan.
As it stands, the state budget fails to pay back the record cuts to K-12 public schools in recent years and even drains resources directly from them to send to unaccountable private voucher schools; calls for a $250 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System – the largest cut to a public university system in the nation; delays road and bridge repair projects across the state; and fails to address the student loan debt crisis by allowing borrowers to refinance a student loan just like you can a mortage.
“Gov. Walker and the GOP leaders have put together a truly awful budget plan. It’s understandable that it would be difficult to pass what one GOP member of the legislature termed a ‘crap budget’. But it shouldn’t require acquiescing to Sen. Stroebel’s illegal demands in order to pass a budget before Gov. Walker announces his run for President,” concluded Ross.