A Democrat talks…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rep. Jason Fields
February 21, 2007 Phone: (608) 266-3756

STATEMENT FROM REP. FIELDS REGARDING SICK LEAVE

Assembly Democrats Follow Long Standing Rule on Vote

MADISON – Recently State Representative Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee) and other legislators debated Assembly Bill 31, relating to eliminating sick leave for elected officials.

“The procedural vote on Tuesday to suspend the rules and vote on AB 31 had nothing to do with the policy of sick leave. Parties, both Democrats and Republicans, traditionally stick together on procedural votes. Normal legislative procedure does not allow for a vote on passage of a bill on the same day it is taken up, the Assembly rules had to be suspended to do so. Assembly Democrats did not delay anything. We simply voted against suspending the legislature’s long established rules to rush the bill to a vote.”

“Furthermore, I don’t know what all the urgency is about. This bill does not have an effect until the NEXT legislative session. The Assembly has time to fully debate the bill. As a matter of fact, the best product was not before the body on Tuesday. There were several amendments drafted – by both parties – to make changes to AB 31. There is no need to fast track it.”

Legislators do not earn vacation time or personal time. They accrue sick time at approximately 65% of what other state employees do. However, no clear system for reporting sick days exists in the legislature.

“Doing away with sick leave, as AB 31 proposes, does not fully address the issue. The problem is an unclear policy of reporting sick leave, so if we want to fix the problem we should fix the reporting system. Something Democrats are already working on.”

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Just how dumb does Mr. Fields think Wisconsinites are? The time to act on this legislation is now!! .Mr. Fields tip his hand a bit too much in saying “Doing away with sick leave, as AB 31 proposes, does not fully address the issue. The problem is an unclear policy of reporting sick leave, so if we want to fix the problem we should fix the reporting system. Something Democrats are already working on” the implication here is that Democrats are put together a bill that will bring up their accrual of sick time to match what other state employees have and to put in place a way of tracking these “sick days.

Anyone who knows one of these State politicians will tell you they have a lot of time off…why would they need sick time?

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