Wisconsin Senate approves ban on county executives in Legislature

MADISON — The state Senate has passed a bill that would ban county executives from serving concurrently in the Legislature.

The Republican bill comes as Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, a Democrat, is running for an open Senate seat. The bill would mean if Harris wins the seat he would have to quit his $102,834 county job. He would make $50,950 as a senator.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says Harris' candidacy prompted the bill. He says he has concerns about conflicts of interest and a legislator drawing two salaries from taxpayers.

Democrats have argued many legislators hold two jobs, including elected posts elsewhere. They say the bill is clearly meant to force Harris out of the Senate race.

The Senate approved the bill 19-13 Tuesday, sending it to the Assembly.