Wisconsin Assembly continues special session to next week, again taking no action on policing bills

Capitol

MADISON, Wis. — Days after taking no action during a special session on police reform, Assembly Republicans reopened the session and closed it again until next week.

On Monday only a few lawmakers were present for the session called by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. The opened the session for less than 30 seconds before adjourning to Thursday. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Assembly speaker indicated lawmakers did the same, adjourning the session until Tuesday.

Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukana, said the Speaker’s task force, which Steineke was picked to lead, will look to address racial disparities, and the conversation would include the bills that are part of the special session.

“I think now more than ever is the time we need to start lowering the temperature of the state,” Steineke told News 3 Now on Monday. “We need to start bringing people together and try to find some common ground on solutions to lead us forward.”

Legislators’ inaction on the police reform legislation the governor and lieutenant governor introduced in June led to continued protests in Madison.

The move to continue a session is not new. Lawmakers took a similar approach to a special session on education funding Evers called in February, in which he wanted legislators to approve money from a projected surplus for education proposals. Republicans had previously said they intended to use the projected surplus to fund tax cuts.