Deal reached to avoid late night Assembly debate

By: AP
By: AP
 A bipartisan deal has been struck to avoid the Wisconsin state Assembly debating and taking votes in the middle of the night

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2011 file photo, Wisconsin Rep. Mark Honadel, R-South Milwaukee, rubs his eyes during the 23rd hour of debate on the governor's bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers in the state Assembly at the Capitol in Madison, Wis. The incoming speaker of the Assembly has some ideas for ending all-night sessions, an all-too-familiar method of doing the state's business. He planned to make his ideas public Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2012, before a vote Thursday that could itself go all night. (AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bipartisan deal has been struck to avoid the Wisconsin state Assembly debating and taking votes in the middle of the night.

Party leaders announced the agreement Thursday that did not require a vote of the full Assembly.

The deal hinges on Republican and Democratic leaders agreeing before each day's debate how long they will take on each measure. That is not done currently and in recent years the Assembly has routinely gone deep into the night to vote and pass bills.

Republican Speaker Robin Vos says both sides agreed they wanted to eliminate all night sessions, saying that is not in the public interest.

As a test of the new procedure, both sides have agreed to limit debate Thursday on other contentious rule change proposals to five hours.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican and Democratic leaders are still trying to reach a deal on how best to avoid late-night votes in the state Assembly.

Republican Speaker Robin Vos and Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca met for a second day Wednesday to negotiate possible changes to Assembly rules. Following their meeting Tuesday, Barca said they were "worlds apart" on agreement.

Those private talks resumed Wednesday. Vos's spokeswoman Kit Beyer says the rules proposal will be released on Thursday before the Assembly meets to debate the changes.

Republicans have a majority and can pass any rules they wish, but Vos reached out to Democrats to discuss the changes before the Assembly takes them up.

It has become increasingly common for the Assembly to work late into the night, sometimes not voting until early morning.

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