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November 15, 2017

Fall Session Wrap-Up

 State Rep. Steve Doyle

State Capitol
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

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


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Fall Session Wrap-Up

 After the Assembly met three times in the span of 10 days, the November Legislative floor period is over. Many bills were voted on, some that were bipartisan and noncontroversial and others that showed the strong divide between the political parties. I’ll try to do my best to give you a brief rundown of everything that happened.


Thursday, November 2nd

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This was the first day the Assembly had met in regular session (not including the budget and Foxconn votes) since June. As you might imagine, we had quite a lot of bills to take up.

  • CNA Training - reducing the number of hours of training required to become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) due to the shortage in Wisconsin. Legislation was introduced the very next day to increase wages and expand access to training for CNAs.
  • Sulfide Mining – eliminating the current “Prove It First” law, which requires mining companies to demonstrate that they can successfully protect water quality before they can receive permits.
  • State Herb – declaring Ginseng to be the State Herb of Wisconsin.
  • Abortion – prohibiting the state worker health insurance plans from covering most abortions.
  • Banning Fentanyl – banning synthetic versions of the powerful drug fentanyl and closing the loophole that allowed drug dealers to avoid prosecution.
  • Dangerous and Deadly Drivers – increasing the penalty for drivers who injure or kill another person. The proposal would fine the driver $500 and suspend their license for three months for traffic violations that cause great harm. The fine would be $1,000 with a suspension of nine months for deaths.
  • Hunting Ages – allowing children under 10 to hunt if they are accompanied by an adult mentor. It also allows both the mentor and the child to carry a gun or bow.

Tuesday, November 7th

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Tuesday was the light day – the calendar was shorter than the other two days and we managed not to debate until late in the evening. Even though it wasn’t on our calendar, my colleagues spent a lot of time talking about the Foxconn contract that was slated to be signed the next day.

  • Lifeguards - allowing 15 year olds to serve as lifeguards at pools in Wisconsin as long as an adult employee is also present.
  • Healthy Eating - creating a pilot program to incentivize healthy eating for those on FoodShare
  • Homeowners’ Bills – changing the laws regarding the use and sale of substandard lots.

Thursday, November 9th

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Knowing that Thursday was going to be the last session day of 2017, the calendar was crammed full of bills. The more controversial bills were put off until this day and Assembly was on the floor debating for over six hours.

  • Water Skiing Spotters – eliminating the requirement that water skiers have a spotter watching them in addition to the boat driver.
  • Lead Pipe Removal – creating grant programs to cover half the cost of lead pipe replacement. The Senate version of the bill would have covered 2/3rds of the cost.
  • Body Camera Footage – limiting public access to police body camera video footage unless it shows death, injury or arrest.
  • Victim’s Bill of Rights – adding 17 victim rights to Wisconsin’s constitution, also known as “Marcy’s Law.” This bill would have to pass both houses of the Legislature again next session and then be approved by the voters before becoming a constitutional amendment.
  • Industrial Hemp – allowing farmers to grow industrial hemp in Wisconsin with a state permit.
  • Human Trafficking Training – requiring that truck drivers be trained to identify and prevent human trafficking

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and families, I will be working hard on a package of bills designed to improve the foster care system in Wisconsin. As co-chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care, I traveled around the state to listen to social workers, foster parents, biological parents, former foster youth, advocates and stakeholders. My co-chair and I have taken all those suggestions and are in the final steps of crafting roughly 12 proposals. We hope to have them ready for introduction by the end of the month so stay tuned. 


Until next time,

Steve Doyle
State Representative
94th Assembly District