(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement after Republican Leadership of the State Senate abused Senate Rules to prevent debate during the final floor period of the State Senate this session:

“Yesterday, Republican State Senators who control the Senate 22-10, once again demonstrated their disregard for the rules and customs of the Senate, their fear of debating the issues, and their contempt for the honest and fair-minded values of Wisconsin citizens.

“After ramming through several veto override votes Republicans refused again to take up bills that have already passed the Assembly on bipartisan votes, either unanimously or on a voice vote, like Assembly Bill 102 which would provide tax relief for Wisconsin’s veterans with disabilities. That bill passed the Assembly unanimously. Just days before Memorial Day, Republicans refused to take action to assist our veterans.

“The other bills would have allowed DACA recipients to join local police forces, established a felony for sexual assault by a healthcare provider, allowed municipalities to process absentee ballots on the Monday before Election Day, and created a task force on missing and murdered African American women and girls to help prevent situations like the tragedy that took Sade Robinson from our community earlier this Spring. Had we passed them yesterday, they could have gone straight to Governor Evers’ desk for a signature.

“Instead, Republican leaders abused the Senate’s rules to prevent us from even mentioning these bills on the floor—because they would rather hide from their record than work together or debate.

“Majority Leader LeMahieu gave a lame excuse that we ran out of time because someone had to catch a flight. Republicans apparently want to turn Madison into Washington D.C. Wisconsin voters don’t want our work schedule to be made around jet-setting in and out like Congress. They elected us to come to Madison to complete the people’s work. We should have been on the floor all day passing good, bipartisan legislation and debating the bills instead of leaving our work unfinished. If a Senator has a serious reason that prevents them from attending session, they can take a leave of absence for that day.

“The behavior of Republican Senate leadership shows their contempt for deeply held values of Wisconsinites, namely, equality and fairness. Tuesday’s floor period was the final desperate act of a gerrymandered majority.”

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