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Proposal would make it harder to recall municipal officials, school board members

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A new bill would make it harder to recall Wisconsin’s municipal officials and school board members.

State Senate Republican Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls has introduced a measure to allow recalls only against elected officials who are charged with crimes or ethics violations. It would not allow people to file recall petitions just because they disagreed with how an official voted – which is why Harsdorf was put up for recall in 2011.

She survived that effort. After that, Harsdorf sponsored a constitutional amendment to limit recalls against county, state, and federal officials to those charged with criminal or ethics laws.

The amendment did not pass the Senate, and Harsdorf says she’ll try again to get it passed this session.

Only a bill is needed to address the recalls of municipal and school board officials – and that’s what Harsdorf is dealing with now.

Wisconsin had 15 recall elections against the governor, lieutenant governor, and lawmakers, spurred by the Republican law which virtually ended most collective bargaining for public employee unions. Harsdorf says it’s, “dangerous” to allow recalls in such cases, because it discourages officials from making tough decisions.

She said people who are not happy with officials’ actions can vote them out at the next elections.

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