MADISON - State recalls this year cost taxpayers approximately $2.1 million, according to figures the Government Accountability Board released this month, and the news is further motivating Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, to move forward with efforts to recall the recall process.
Vos has begun circulating a constitutional amendment for co-sponsorship that would require petitioners give a specific reason - such as a criminal conviction or ethics violation - before mounting a recall effort.
"I just think recall elections are like a cancer," Vos said Tuesday. "We either have the chance to apply chemotherapy immediately to try to stop the cancer from spreading, or before you know it the patient is going to be on life support."
This year's Senate recalls affected 594 of the state's 1,850 municipalities, according to the Government Accountability Board, which oversees state elections. The recalls cost local governments an estimated $2,056,337. It cost the Government Accountability Board an additional $88,662, according to the board's estimates which included the cost of hiring 17 contract staff to help meet deadlines.
Vos said people should not be recalled for voting for or against something they believe in. In his opinion, he said he believes leaving the state to avoid voting would be an ethics violation. But Vos said the Government Accountability Board or future legislation should determine what constitutes an ethics violation - not him.
"I am open to talk about it with anyone at any time as long as we are focused on the ideas of trying to make recalls less frequent," Vos said.
Vos calls the proposed amendment "nonpartisan," but Democrats have repeatedly spoken against it.
Either way Vos' proposal is still far from going into effect. A constitutional amendment must pass through two successive Legislatures and be voted on by the people of the state.