E-Newsletter Header.png

October 23, 2017

The Fall Floor Period

 State Rep. Steve Doyle

State Capitol
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-0631
(888) 534-0094


Website Logo.JPG (1)

Facebook Logo.JPG



The Fall Legislative Session begins

With the budget so delayed this year, we haven’t had much time between when the summer floor period ended and when the fall floor period begins. Because the Wisconsin Legislature is technically a “full-time legislature” we are always in session. But the two year period is usually divided into several parts: a spring and summer session and a fall session in the first year and another spring session in the second year.

Here is a link to our calendar.

The Assembly is likely to be on the floor next week but we don’t yet know what bills we are going to be taking up. In the meantime, committees are meeting and people are working on proposals. Here is a rundown of what I have been up to:

Foster Care Task Force

10-24 Foster Care.png

Recently, I was appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and the Minority Leader to serve as co-chair of the Foster Care Task Force. My colleagues and I have been touring the state listening to the thoughts, concerns and suggestions of advocates, stakeholders, foster parents, former foster youth, social workers, and community members. We have held public hearings in Wausau, Dodgeville, La Crosse and Milwaukee and I have been continually impressed by the creative suggestions offered at these meetings. So many people in Wisconsin are committed to fixing the foster care system and working to prevent families from ever having to enter it in the first place.

Our last public hearing will be later this week in Green Bay. After that, my co-chair and I will work with the other task force members to draft a package of legislation designed to address some of the problems we heard about. We are already drafting proposals and hope to be able to pass these bills in the spring session.

PRAT Legislation

10-24 PRAT TAX.png

Earlier this year, the voters of La Crosse County passed a referendum calling on their state representatives to draft a bill on a Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT). In response to this directive from our constituents, Senator Jennifer Shilling and I introduced a bill that if passed would allow La Crosse County to hold a second referendum, this time a binding one, to decide whether or not they want to have the PRAT in our county. It might seem confusing to have two separate votes on this issue but I believe it is important that we give all the residents of La Crosse County the opportunity to decide if they support this policy or not. You can read more about the proposal here.

Budget Wrap-Up

10-24 Budget Wrap Up.png

Last month, the Governor signed the 2017-18 biennial budget. He also used his veto authority to make 99 partial vetoes – cutting some sections of the budget and modifying others. Here is a breakdown of what those changes were:

  • Vetoing an increase in funding for school districts that spend less per student each year.
  • Cutting funding for the Judicial Council
  • Eliminating the Educational Approval Board immediately instead of at a later date. The EAB regulates for-profit colleges in Wisconsin.
  • Capping performance-based funding to UW System campuses
  • Eliminating five positions at the state Elections Commission. The budget passed by the legislature funded 21 of the 22 positions that lost their federal funding. The Governor cut that number to 16.
  • Cutting the daily stipend for members of the Elections and Ethics Commissions from the current $454 to $27. The Legislature originally cut it to $227.
  • Capping the historic rehabilitation tax credit at $500,000 per project.
  • Requiring a financial audit of the UW System
  • Allowing the Department of Transportation to transfer money from the state highway program without approval from the legislature.

Until next time,


State Representative
94th Assembly District