Wisconsin doesn’t need a full time legislature!
Despite being in the worst pandemic in a century and the resulting economic fall out, in 2020, the Wisconsin State Legislature didn’t meet for months on end and took insignificant actions to solve the problems the state and the nation faced…other than suing the executive branch that is. They essentially did nothing.
And being an election year in 2022, the legislature will essentially be missing in action to run for re-election. Fathom that?
So we don’t need a full time state legislature. And you might be surprised, but Wisconsin is in the MINORITY of states that actually have a full time legislature (there are only 10). And most of those states are much much larger than Wisconsin…California and New York for example…although I don’t quite understand why Alaska and Hawaii would have full timers either.
So my suggestion is we change the Wisconsin legislature to part time…and I mean real part time status…like January to April…reduce their salary by 2/3rds (they currently earn $50,950 per annum plus $153 per diem) and remove their pension and medical insurance benefits as befits a part time employee. Those currently in the pension system would be awarded benefits when they retire for time served up to the change over date but no credits to accrue past that date. And no other benefits are necessary.
If they get called into emergency session they can do that via Zoom…and get in and get out. And no per diems out of session.
There is certainly no interest in the halls of the Capitol to do this…the gerrymandered sycophants don’t want to give up their cash cow seats…but this should be forced upon them in the next legislative term and go into effect the one following. The taxpayers of Wisconsin shouldn’t have to pay for services that they aren’t receiving.