MILWAUKEE -- There could come a day down the road when recalls are rare. Republicans are trying to make sure of it. They've taken a step towards changing the state constitution.
However, standing in their way are those like the group at Serb Hall Wednesday night - a group of people participating in a union rally.
Republicans say recalls for elected officials simply doing their jobs should stop, while unions say they don't want Republicans to limit their ability to freely recall someone.
"The idea of being recalled for a vote you take as a legislator, which is one of your responsibilities - to be recalled for that, might be excessive," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said.
The GOP-controlled Assembly just passed an amendment to the state's constitution that would allow for a recall, only if an elected official is charged with a serious crime or violation of the state ethics code. "Up until this past year, recalls were rare. It's not easy to recall somebody," Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca said.
Democrats fought the effort, and promise to continue the fight in the state Senate. Currently, there are no requirements for a recall, other than having enough signatures. Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca says it should stay that way. "I think the idea of taking away this ability of citizens to act because politicians are worried about being accountable is a huge mistake," Barca said.
Republicans still have a long way to go before the amendment is law. It still has to pass the state Senate this session. "We have not really had that discussion in the Senate, but we will before we adjourn this session," Fitzgerald said.
If the Senate passes the recall rule change, both houses would have to do it again next session. Then, the people of Wisconsin would get the final say in a statewide vote on the amendment.
However, even before the next legislative session, the union-led recalls may get the better of Republicans - meaning the effort to recall the recalls could easily fail.
The state Senate is expected to take up the recall bill next week.