Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Senate-Passed Presidential Primary Bill is Withdrawn from Wisconsin Assembly Committee

On Tuesday, September 6, SB 115 was withdrawn from the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Elections and Campaign Reform and reassigned to the Assembly Rules Committee. The Senate-passed bill -- which would shift the Wisconsin presidential primary from the third Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in April and into compliance with RNC delegate selection rules -- now joins its Assembly counterpart (AB 162) in the Rules Committee. This is relevant not in an overall sense, but because the bills are now being considered in the same place. The Rules Committee could opt to substitute the Assembly bill with the Senate bill and fast-track the process of moving the presidential primary in the Badger state. On the other hand, the committee could also alter the bill -- changing the date -- or simply bottle up the legislation. Both of those options would slow the process down, leaving Wisconsin's position on the calendar unresolved and the overall calendar in limbo.

That said, the fast-track option appears more likely. The Assembly bill has already unanimously passed the Elections and Campaign Reform Committee and the Senate earlier passed -- with no opposition -- its version of the bill on a voice vote. The bill, then, seems to have the support of both parties in the Wisconsin legislature. That includes the Republican majorities in both chambers.

The Rules Committee has no meetings currently scheduled,1 but the legislature is set to reconvene next week for an extended, late-year floor period (September 13-22).

1 UPDATE: In the time since FHQ posted this, a meeting notice for tomorrow has been posted for the Assembly Rules Committee. The committee will be in executive session. Additionally, the AP is reporting that the Senate-passed bill (SB 115) will be considered by the Assembly on Tuesday.

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