Wisconsin Assembly approves rules governing time limits on debate

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MADISON, Wisconsin — The state Assembly has approved rules governing time limits on debate this session.

The rules call for Republican and Democratic leaders to decide how long debate should last for each bill. Representatives can cut off debate after the time limits expire by moving that all amendments be tabled at once. The rules codify an agreement the two parties' leaders reached on time limits last session to avoid all-night floor periods.

The rules also redefine party caucuses to include meetings between Republican and Democratic leaders. Caucuses are not subject to the state's open meetings law, so the definition change makes the inter-leadership meetings private, too.

The chamber approved the rules on a 62-36 party line vote Wednesday.

Republicans say they plan to draft more changes to time limits over the next week.

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