The state legislative year ended on Apr 22, 2010. As one commenter put it, it went out with a whimper and not a bang. For the most part, this is good news.
As part of Jim Doyle's lasting legacy, he was going to push through a Cap and Trade bill for only Wisconsin. Yes, my fellow citizens, Wisconsin alone was going to keep the globe from warming up and melting the polar ice caps if not to do anything more than set an example for the rest of the country. If this bill had been passed, there may not have been a volcano eruption in Iceland. Who should we blame for this? The Republicans? The previous administration? Now, how will the citizens of this fine state be subjected to higher utility bills? I guess WE energies will just have to keep going back to the public service commission to request rate increases just like they do every six weeks. Only using this method, the government doesn't get their larger share. They'll have to work a little harder to increase taxes now. As they say in sports, there's always next year.
Also not passed was a voter registration bill. People won't be able to go on the Internet and register to vote using an address that may or may not be there and then show up to the polls to be handed a ballot just because her name appears on the list. Or the name that they gave. If voter registration is so important, what's wrong with asking for a photo ID from time to time? If you're following the rules, there's no need to scream for the ACLU. But because I can't name at least one person who has committed voter fraud in the last election, we can assume fraud does not exist.
Also not passed was the creation of the Regional Transit Authority. By not passing this, the citizens of Milwaukee County will not be subjected to another half cent sales tax increase. Will the people recommending this tax increase even be elected? Probably not. In a time of tight budgets, we don't need to waste billions of dollars on new projects that will be underutilized. What happened to all the shovel ready jobs that are supposed to be coming to a highway and bridge near you? Nothing like this ever materialized when the zoo interchange almost fell apart. This is what happens when people who have a hatred of cars and private transportation are put in charge of recommending new methods of transportation that they themselves will not use. Although this does not seem fair to me, would you think?
Last and probably least, the state Legislature did not expel representative Jeff Wood. For the Democrats, he's a real party guy. Even though he was elected as an independent. But there is a good lesson in civics for the children -- three drunk driving convictions and you're still a well-respected politician. This will give real credence to the laws that will ban texting while driving. There will be no shame unless you kill someone. Maybe not even then.
Well, the good news is that the legislative season ended without a bunch of hidden taxes, higher fees, and other costly lies that we would be expected to believe until we go to reelect whoever is up for reelection in November. It may be a while until again we get the chance to think that we're licking our problems by creating windmill farms and the perennial favorite of toughening drunk driving laws. Well, there's always next year.