The Senate was on the floor Tuesday and Wednesday. Senate Democrats were noticeably absent. All 19 Senate Republicans showed up to do the people’s work.
Tuesday, the Senate approved a resolution commending the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers for their title-winning season. The Senate also approved Senate Bill Nine.
As chair of the Senate Transportation and Elections Committee, I scheduled a meeting for 1:00 p.m. Tuesday. At the meeting, we approved Senate Bill Six, the voter ID bill. The bill is available for a Senate floor vote, and Senate Bill Six is scheduled for a Senate floor vote tomorrow, Thursday.
Wednesday, the Senate approved a resolution to honor the Wisconsin Badgers football team on the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl season.
The Senate also approved a bill that I authored, Senate Bill 15, a bill that removed a mandate from local law enforcement officials. Under the 2009-2011 budget bill, the Democrats in the Legislature included a requirement that law enforcement must fill out a lengthy, repetitive form at every traffic stop.
In addition to any citation issued, law enforcement officials are required to fill out a 46-field form about the stop. Much of the information is the same as the citation information. This is required for every stop, regardless of outcome, and required for every passenger in the vehicle.
Most agree officers’ time is better-utilized fighting crime rather than sitting on the side of the road filling out repetitive paperwork. That is not to mention the invasion of privacy for passengers, and assumptions law enforcement must exercise about passengers’ race, because officers may not ask a person's race.
Because complying with the data collection law was time-consuming, repetitive and created safety concerns, Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmalling was so concerned about time and safety issues, he told his deputies not to fill out the forms. This is an instance of state government adopting a big brother mentality and meddling in local issues.
I am pleased the Wisconsin State Senate approved Senate Bill 15, eliminating the repetitive paperwork and allowing law enforcement to focus on preventing crime.