On Tuesday, August 2, the Wisconsin Assembly Election and Campaign Reform Committee unanimously passed AB 162 by an 8-0 vote. This move temporarily assuages any fears that Wisconsin may reconsider maintaining its current third Tuesday in February presidential primary date. There has never been any direct threat from anyone in Wisconsin in terms of keeping the February date. However, as more states have vocalized potential plans to hold non-compliant primaries, that earlier date, from a purely speculative perspective, has to be potentially more appealing to legislators in Wisconsin.
For the time being, actions speak louder and the Republican-controlled legislature has taken one more step closer to moving the presidential primary back to the first Tuesday in April. Curiously, the Assembly committee did not simultaneously act on the Senate-passed version of the primary bill (SB 115). It remains in the Assembly Election and Campaign Reform Committee for now.
The bill now moves to the Assembly Rules Committee for consideration. At this time there isno Rules Committee meeting planned during August. That said, the primary scheduling should be set in Wisconsin no later than the September 13-22 floor period in which the full legislature will be back in session.
Hat tip to Jason Rae for passing along this news.