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Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight

Maintained by the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB), this page provides an overview of recent and upcoming activities in the Wisconsin Legislature. The LRB revises its content weekly during legislative floorperiods. Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text.

The Week of October 19, 2009

The net floorperiod is scheduled to commence on Tuesday, October 20, and continue through Thursday, November 5. The schedule of floorperiods for the 2009-2010 Legislative Session was established by 2009 Senate Joint Resolution 1.

2009-2010 Wisconsin Blue Book

The 2009-2010 Wisconsin Blue Book has been published. The Blue Book is available online and will be available for purchase from the Department of Administrationís Document Sales office as soon as a price is set.

Recent Bill Introductions

2009 Assembly Bill 495, which proposes to change the composition of the Natural Resources Board, was introduced on October 15.

2009 Assembly Bill 492, related to inattentive driving, was introduced on October 15. Among its provisions is the creation of a third form of inattentive driving in the statutes, prohibiting a person from driving a motor vehicle while operating or being in a position to directly observe any electronic device located within the vehicle that is activated and that is transmitting information or providing entertainment primarily by visual means, regardless of whether the device interferes with the safe driving of the vehicle.

2009 Assembly Bill 489, related to public access to certain local government law enforcement records, was introduced on October 13. This bill provides that if a local governmental unit whose primary function is information storage, information technology processing, or other information technology usage (information technology unit) receives a request for access to information in a law enforcement record, the information technology unit must deny any portion of the request that relates to information in a law enforcement record. Under the bill, for purposes of access to public records, the information technology unit is not considered to be the custodian of the law enforcement record.

2009 Assembly Bill 488, which would require newborn hearing screening, was introduced on October 13.

2009 Senate Bill 350, introduced on October 14, would permit any elector, at the time of registration, to elect to be required to provide identification in order to vote in an election.

2009 Senate Bill 344, introduced on October 12, would make crimes based on the gender of the victim subject to a penalty enhancer.

Bills of Interest

Puppy Mill Regulation

2009 Senate Bill 208, which would create regulations for people who sell dogs, was recommended for passage by the Senate Committee on Small Business, Emergency Preparedness, Technical Colleges, and Consumer Protection. The committee adopted Senate Substitute Amendment 1 and Senate Amendment 1 to SSA1.

Beer Tax Increase

On October 13, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety held a public hearing on 2009 Assembly Bill 287, which proposes to increase the tax on fermented malt beverages. Video of the hearing can be found in the archive of WisconsinEye.

Criminal Records and Child Care

2009 Senate Bill 331, introduced on October 1, would prohibit persons who have committed certain serious crimes from providing child care. On October 14, the Senate Committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development recommended the bill for passage with 2 amendments. 2009 Assembly Bill 479, introduced on October 6, is substantially similar to SB-331.

Committee Activity

Text Messaging While Driving

The Assembly Committee on Public Health will hold a public hearing on Thursday, October 22, to discuss AB-496, related to prohibiting electronic text messaging while driving. The hearing will be held in the GAR Hall at the State Capitol. Notice.

Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports

The Senate Committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, October 21, to discuss SB-236, relating to electronic filing of campaign finance reports. The hearing will be held at 400 Southeast in State Capitol. Notice.

Other Hearings This Week

Several other legislative committees will hold hearings this week, including the Assembly Committee on Urban and Local Affairs (notice), the Senate Committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development (notice) and the Joint Committee on Audit (notice).

For times and locations of public hearings this week, see the Schedule of Committee Activities.

Recently Signed Laws

As of October 16, this session 49 bills have been passed by the legislature and signed into law.

A list of enacted legislation from the 2009 session can be viewed at:

Recent Publications

For more information about Legislative Service Agency publications, see the left panel of the Spotlight index page.

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Last revised: November 13, 2012