Politics

The Latest: Wisconsin DOJ appeals special elections order

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on Wisconsin special elections (all times local):

9:25 a.m.
The state Department of Justice is appealing a Madison judge's order requiring Gov. Scott Walker to call special elections to fill two vacant legislative seats.

Walker has refused to call special elections to replace Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. Frank Lasee, who resigned in December to join Walker's administration. Current state law requires Walker to call special elections to fill vacancies that occur before early May of an election year but he has refused to schedule the contests.

Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds ordered Walker last week to call for the two elections by Thursday. The DOJ, which is representing Walker, notified the 2nd District Court of Appeals on Wednesday that the agency would appeal.

Republicans are rushing a bill through the Legislature that would eliminate requirements that the governor promptly call special elections to fill legislative vacancies.
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8:30 a.m.
Lawmakers are set to take comments on a bill that would eliminate requirements that the governor promptly call special elections to fill legislative vacancies.

The Senate elections committee was set to hold a hearing on the measure Wednesday.

Gov. Scott Walker has refused to call special elections to replace state Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. Frank Lasee, who resigned in December to join Walker's administration. Current state law requires Walker to call special elections to fill vacancies that occur before early May of an election year but he has refused to schedule the contests.

A judge last week ordered Walker to schedule the elections by Thursday. Republicans responded with a bill that prohibits special elections from being held after the spring election in a year with fall legislative elections.
              


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