Madison (AP) - A public hearing on a Republican bill that would end state wolf management efforts is off to a tense start.
The bill would end the state's efforts to manage wolves and force police to ignore wolf killings, unless the federal government removes the animals from the endangered species list.
Democratic Rep. Nick Milroy began the proceeding in front of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee Wednesday by complaining that the bill's chief Assembly sponsor, Republican Adam Jarchow, didn't show up to address the panel. He said he was disgusted by Jarchow's absence. He said Jarchow proposed the bill simply to appeal to his conservative base as he heads into a special election for an open state Senate seat. He questioned whether the committee's chairman, Rep. Joel Kleefisch, called the hearing simply to help Jarchow score political points.
That brought a stinging rebuke from Kleefisch, who promised the election has no bearing on the bill and the committee won't vote on the proposal until after the election is over.
Jarchow aides didn't immediately reply to an email inquiring why Jarchow didn't attend the hearing.