CONTACT: Mike Tierney, 608-266-7521(office)
MADISON – Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) released the following statement regarding the 2019-2020 legislative calendar that includes a possible session day on the Jewish high holiday of Yom Kippur. Representative Subeck voted against Senate Joint Resolution 2, establishing the session calendar, due to the conflict.
“Scheduling a possible session day on Yom Kippur, one of two Jewish high holidays is akin to doing so on Christmas or Easter. There would never be a possible session day scheduled for these Christian holidays, and the same should be true for major Jewish holidays.
Despite a statement from Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) that, ‘If we are to be on the floor the week of October 8-10, it is our intent to only use Thursday, October 10 for session,’ this is no assurance we absolutely will not meet on Yom Kippur as long as it is on the calendar.
This is not the first time the Legislature has included a Jewish high holiday on its calendar. Just last session, Republican leaders in the Legislature included Rosh Hashanah on the session calendar. I voiced my concerns then and voted against the calendar, hopeful such a slight would not be repeated.
This time, the Speaker did not even allow me a chance to speak before the vote. This led to me casting the only dissenting vote with no opportunity to voice concerns until after the vote was taken. While Republicans have said they do not intend to meet on Yom Kippur, their intentions may change given the day was included on the session calendar. And even if we do not meet, the Jewish high holidays do not belong on our legislative calendar any more than Christmas or Easter would. As a Jewish legislator, the insult is deeply personal, but my vote against the calendar was not only for myself but also for our Jewish colleagues, staff members, and constituents who are impacted by this insult.”
Representative Subeck voted no on the proposed 2019 – 2020 calendar.