Assembly Democrats propose series of ethics reforms

MADISON (AP) -- Assembly Democrats are proposing a series of reforms that would make the state Legislature subject to the open meetings law and force members of the Supreme Court to step down from cases involving law firms they've received donations from.

The proposals are unlikely to get any traction since Republicans control the Assembly.

But Democrats said at a Thursday news conference they felt compelled to introduce them in the face of news that most Republican lawmakers had signed a confidentiality agreement not to talk about GOP redistricting plans. Democrats also cited Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman's decision to hear cases involving a law firm he received unpaid legal services from.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says the state's reputation for open government is in tatters.