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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Senate acts on Voter ID bill, Bob Uecker resolution

Photo ID, releases, Legislation, budget

The Senate remained under a call of the house Thursday. Under a call of the house, absent members of the Senate are required to come to the Senate chamber. The 14 Senate Democrats have ignored this requirement for the last week. 

With 19 Republican members present, the Senate has a quorum and can deliberate and approve bills that do not have a fiscal impact. To approve bills with fiscal implications, the Senate needs a three-fifths quorum, or 20 members present.

 

Senate Democrats continue to abandon their legislative responsibilities by not attending the Senate floor sessions. However, the Senate was able to act on Senate Bill Six, the Voter ID bill, today, Thursday February 24, 2011. The Senate advanced the bill to a third reading, taking it beyond the amendment stage. Because there is a fiscal impact to the bill, specifically the cost associated with providing free IDs, the bill required a quorum for a final vote. Like the budget repair bill, all we need is one Democrat to come to the Capitol and we can approve the Voter ID bill.

 

The longer the Democrats continue to neglect their responsibilities as legislators, the more costly the Voter ID bill will become.

 

One of the main reasons the Indiana Voter ID law was found constitutional is that the state provided a program to educate citizens about the new requirement. Wisconsin Senate Bill Six saves the expense of a voter education program by providing voters an educational grace period during the April 2011 election. Voters will be asked to show identification at the time they vote. If voters do not provide an ID, they will still be allowed to vote. Poll workers will inform voters not providing an ID at the April election about the future requirement to provide photo ID.

 

If Democrats do not show up to vote on Senate Bill Six, that means we will not be able to use the April election as the educational grace period to facilitate the education process. In that case, we will need to fund a multi-million dollar education program.

 

During 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law. The court found the state’s interest in preventing voter fraud, modernizing elections and promoting public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process outweighed the limited burden upon voters’ rights. We closely studied the Indiana law and worked very hard to make sure these three constitutionally-tested interests are in Senate Bill Six. When this bill is finally signed into law, it will provide Wisconsin voters more confidence in the integrity of their elections and Senate Bill Six will not disenfranchise legitimate voters.

 

In other action, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution honoring Milwaukee Brewers announcer Bob Uecker for his years of service to the Brewers and Wisconsin baseball fans.

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