Gov. Scott Walker said he would consider a special session this summer to pass the new voter ID legislation.
The Senate will also consider legislation that would restrict absentee voting hours, among other elections and campaign finance changes proposed.
Objecting to a motion by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, to move the 10 election bills to the end of the calendar, Democrats explained why they were concerned about a typically accepted move.
“If the governor is intending on calling us back into a special session on voter ID to deal with more unconstitutional issues, you’re damn right we’re going to fight you every step of the way,” Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said.
Democrats were reacting to a statement by the governor following remarks and a bill signing at the Wisconsin Bankers Association. Walker said rather than the other bills, he’s more focused on voter ID, and would call a special session this summer to change the law if the courts required it.
“The only real thing I thought that was pressing and may still continue to be pressing, depending on what the court reacts on, is voter ID,” Walker said.
So far the Assembly has approved, but the Senate has declined to take up a bill that would redo the state’s voter ID law.
Walker said he may call lawmakers back in the summer or fall to take it up, which one Democrat called disgusting.
“If the courts, regardless of which court it would be, would say, ‘You can have it, if not for this provision,’ we want to modify that so the law would be in effect before the next election,” Walker said.
“This doesn’t do anything to create a job. This doesn’t do anything to help that. This doesn’t do anything at all other than try and guarantee Scott Walker’s re-election,” Erpenbach said.
The voter ID law is being considered in multiple court cases, including two argued together recently in the State Supreme Court. Decisions on those cases aren’t expected until after the legislature adjourns for the year in April, meaning any session called would have to be called by lawmakers or the governor.