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Contents

February 2, 2018

In an attempt to boost his approval ratings in a tough election year, Gov. Walker has called for a Special Session on Welfare Reform. The package of proposals  will create more barriers for struggling families, seniors, people with disabilities and survivors of domestic abuse to access food and long-term job training received a joint Senate and Assembly hearing yesterday.

The unprecedented Republican budget dysfunction that paralyzed legislative leaders last summer is flaring up once again. Less than four months after cutting funding for local road improvement program, delaying road projects and adding $402.4 million to the state’s credit card, Republican lawmakers are scrambling to introduce another hollow proposal in an attempt to address the transportation crisis. Rather than work with Democrats to find a long-term funding solution for transportation, Republicans prioritized tax cuts for the wealthy and let our roads, bridges and infrastructure crumble.

Health Care in Wisconsin

Health Care Survey

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped tens of millions of Americans gain access to affordable health care and has saved countless lives. Recent Republican efforts to repeal the ACA would increase the number of uninsured Americans, eliminate patient protections and significantly raise out-of-pocket costs on working families and seniors. Wisconsin Democrats are fighting to maintain and expand healthcare. Please share you health care story and thoughts on the Affordable Care Act. 

Click on the link below to share your thoughts on our health care system:

Wisconsin Democrats Health Care Survey

What Democrats Are Saying

​ Democratic Proposals

LRB0362/5350 UW Shared Governance (Rep. Hesselbein, Berceau, Sen. Risser) would restore statutory language allowing shared governance on University of Wisconsin campuses by faculty, staff, and students. The roles would be defined as “active participants” instead of “advisory to the chancellor.”

LRB0381/5349 UW System Tenure (Rep. Hesselbein, Sen. Risser) would restore faculty tenure and probationary appointments at University of Wisconsin System institutions.

LRB2585 Mister Rogers Day (Rep. Taylor) is a resolution proclaiming March 20, 2018, as Mister Rogers Day in Wisconsin.

LRB0544 ALEC Transparency (Rep. Taylor) would require a person who employs a lobbyist to register and file semiannual itemized expense statements with the ethics commission. This bill would include ALEC or any other organization advocating for policies.

LRB0837 Workers Rights Restoration Act (Rep. Taylor) would allow all municipal and state employees to collectively bargain over wages, hours, and conditions of employment.  

LRB5322 CTE Awareness Day (Sen. Vinehout) is a resolution proclaiming January 30, 2018, as “CTE Awareness Day" in Wisconsin.

LRB0518/5299 Student Members on Board of Regents (Rep. Hesselbein, Sen. Risser) would mandate the Governor’s selection of the two students appointed to the UW System Board of Regents be made from the recommendations of the student governments of the UW System. 

LRB5185 Veteran Crisis Text Line (Sen. Erpenbach) would create a 2 year pilot grant program for a statewide 24 hour a day text messaging veteran’s crisis line.

LRB5375 Black History Month (Sen. Taylor, Rep. Crowley, Fields) is a resolution to designate the month of February 2018 as Black History Month.

LRB4130 Restoring Chapter 220 (Rep. Bowen, Sen. Larson) would restore the Special Transfer Program, where the state provides aid to school districts to support voluntary efforts to reduce racial imbalance through interdistrict and intradistrict pupil transfers. 

 
This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

The Senate did not hold a floor period this week. The entire floor session calendar can be found here.


Senate Committees

Senate Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations
The committee held a Public Hearing on Gov. Walker’s Special Session Senate Bills on Welfare Reform. The controversial package of proposals will create more barriers for struggling families to enter the workforce by taking away their access to food, health care and transportation. 

  • Special Senate Bill 1 would allow the Dept. of Health Services (DHS) to set the required hours of participation in the FoodShare employment and training program (FSET) to coincide with the maximum allowable hours allowed by the federal government for able-bodied adults with and without children.

  • Special Senate Bill 2 would mandate DHS to require all able-bodied adults, including parents, to participate in the FoodShare employment and training program (FSET), except those who are caretakers of a child under the age of six and those who are at least half-time students.

  • Special Senate Bill 3 would change the financial eligibility requirements for W-2, Wisconsin Shares and FoodShare. This bill would establish that  individuals are not eligible for FoodShare if their family owns a home that is used as their primary residence that is valued at more than 200% of the statewide median home value ($321,200).

  • Special Senate Bill 4 would require the housing authority to issue to an able-bodied person who is either unemployed or underemployed, a questionnaire or other screening instrument concerning the abuse of controlled substances.

    • If the housing authority determines there is a reasonable suspicion that a resident is abusing a controlled substance, the housing authority must require the resident to undergo a drug test.

    • If the resident tests positive for the use of a controlled substance, the housing authority must offer the resident the opportunity to participate in substance abuse treatment.

  • Special Senate Bill 5 would authorize the creation of a two-year statewide pilot program where 100 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) recipients must receive EITC payments monthly rather than as a single payment when they file their income tax returns.

  • Special Senate Bill 6 would require DHS to create and implement a payment system based on performance for entities that perform administrative functions for FSET.

  • Special Senate Bill 7 would authorize the Dept. of Administration to contract with a private service provider for payments to provide social, employment or correctional services to individuals.

  • Special Senate Bill 8 would prohibit able-bodied parents who refuse to cooperate in determining the paternity of a child, establishing or enforcing any child support order, from being eligible for Medical Assistance.

  • Special Senate Bill 9 would require DHS to submit a waiver request to the federal government to establish and implement a savings account in the Medical Assistance Program.

  • Special Senate Bill 10 would require DHS to submit an implementation plan to the federal government for approval to issue ID cards containing a photo for FoodShare recipients.


Senate Transportation and Veterans Affairs

The committee held a Public Hearing on four Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 547 would make changes so that Dept. of Transportation and Human Service Vehicles operators may make Americans with Disabilities Act compliant accommodations by allowing passengers to stand if they possess a doctor's certification that they have a medical condition that prevents sitting. Currently, no person other than a personal care worker may stand while a human service vehicle is in motion.

  • Senate Bill 605 would provide that a manufacturer who manufactures only motor vehicles that are propelled solely by electric power may engage in the business of a motor vehicle dealer.

  • Senate Bill 695 would allow a group of  motor vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds that are travelling in a unified manner to follow each other closer than 500 feet. 

  • Senate Bill 705 would change the procedures for denials and suspensions of certain drivers licenses issued to manufacturers, importers, distributors, or dealers.

 

The committee held a second Public Hearing on the executive appointments of Paul Chamberlain, Leigh Neville-Neil and Alan Richards to serve on the Board of Veterans Affairs. The committee will also discuss several Senate and Assembly Bills:

  • Senate Bill 415 / Assembly Bill 517 would allow an applicant for a motor vehicle operator's license or identification card issued by the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to indicate whether he or she has a disability that may not be immediately apparent to another. Debate exists whether this will help police officers respond more appropriately to people with disabilities or if it will create further discrimination. Others argue it will not have an impact because negative experiences will likely happen prior to a person showing their identification.

  • Senate Bill 447 would direct the DOT to designate the bridge between the city of Superior and the city of Duluth in the state of Minnesota as the “Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge.”

  • Senate Bill 598 / Assembly Bill 699 would designate and mark the bridge across the Oconto River in the city of Oconto as the "PFC Valentine T. Warrichaiet Memorial Bridge."

  • Senate Bill 630 would allow the fee for a transfer of a vehicle’s certificate of title to be waived when a vehicle is transferred upon a person's death to his or her spouse.

  • Senate Bill 638 would eliminate a special vehicle weight provision that applies on portions of STH 13 in Ashland County and STH 70 in Vilas County and adds these highway routes for which the Department of Transportation may issue Michigan border permits.

  • Senate Bill 666 would require the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to administer a pilot program to provide outreach, mental health services, and support active and inactive veterans who have a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder.


Finally, the committee held an Executive Session on three Senate Bills and two Assembly companions:

  • Senate Bill 480 / Assembly Bill 381 would provide a $10 dollar donation to the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and National Law Enforcement Fund from the proceeds of the law enforcement memorial fund specialty plate program. (Passed, 5-0)

  • Senate Bill 437 / Assembly Bill 442 would make changes to the requirements for signs placed to mark all-terrain vehicle (ATV) routes. (Passed, 5-0)

  • Senate Bill 537 would make several changes related to motor vehicle manufacturers and the compensation of motor vehicle dealers for certain service work. (Passed, 5-0)


Senate Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations
The committee held an Executive Session on four Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 478 would increase the annual license fee for a retail food establishment that is a micro market. A micro market is an indoor, unstaffed, self-checkout kiosk that sells food and beverages to a limited group of people, such as employees. (Passed, 5-0)

  • Senate Bill 616 would waive the fees for initial occupational credentials. (Passed, 5-0)

  • Senate Bill 542 would expand the violations of unemployment insurance law and increase penalties, making it even harder for workers to collect their payment. (Passed, 3-2)

  • Senate Bill 670 would require the Dept. of Health Services to create a program for Medicare recipients to allow a health care provider and a patient or employer to enter into a direct primary care agreement. A direct primary care agreement is a contract between a care provider and patient in which the provider agrees to provide primary care services for an agreed-upon fee and period of time. There is still much uncertainty from medical groups surrounding this bill. These agreements would not be regulated by insurance standards and would not cover medical needs outside of the care agreement, such as surgery.  (Passed, 3-2)


The committee also held Public Hearing on five Senate Bills: 

  • Senate Bill 533 would allow a person acting under a pharmacist, as well as a pharmacy student who has completed at least two years of pharmacy school, to engage in remote dispensing of prescribed drugs.

  • Senate Bill 632 would provide that alcohol beverage license and permit application forms may not require more than one signature on behalf of the applicant and are not required to be sworn to or notarized.

  • Senate Bill 653 would allow for the continuity of foster care when the license of a child welfare agency or foster home is revoked, suspended, or surrendered.

  • Senate Bill 724 would make various changes to laws regarding funeral director apprentices.

  • Senate Bill 529 would reduce the waiting period of obtaining a marriage license. This bill also requires the clerk to accept a U.S. driver’s license as a satisfactory documentary proof in leiu of birth certificate. 


Senate Judiciary and Public Safety

The committee held a Public Hearing on eight Senate Bills and two Assembly Bills:

  • Senate Bill 344 would prohibit a person who is under the age of 18 from being prosecuted for committing an act of prostitution.

  • Senate Bill 402 would create two exceptions to the general requirement that a school board must suspend and expel a pupil if they possess a firearm at school. The first exception is for a firearm that is lawfully stored inside a locked vehicle on school property. The second exception applies to the possession of a firearm for an activity approved and authorized by the school board.

  • Senate Bill 538 would change the information that the Dept. of Justice must include in its report to the Dept. of Administration regarding restitution received by crime victims.

  • Senate Bill 645 would make certain changes to the discovery of information in court proceedings; procedural requirements relating to class actions; consumer lawsuit lending; the statute of limitations for certain civil actions; agreements by to allow third-party audits of unclaimed property and interest rates for overdue insurance claims.

  • Senate Bill 652 would change the grounds for an involuntary termination of parental rights based on a child's continuing need of protection or services.

  • Senate Bill 654 would make changes to the appellate procedures applicable in proceedings related to the termination of parental rights.

  • Senate Bill 657 would remove the prohibition on assigning counsel to a parent and a child in need of protection or services proceeding, and creates a five-county pilot program that creates a right to counsel for such a parent.

  • Senate Bill 660 would transfer licensing authority for a secured residential care center for children and youth from the Dept. of Corrections to the Dept. of Children and Families.

  • Assembly Bill 351 would create requirements for law enforcement agencies that use body cameras on law enforcement officers.

  • Assembly Bill 496 would revise the standards governing the treatment of outdoor advertising signs that do not conform to local ordinances.


The committee held an Executive Session on the executive appointment of Daniel Berkos to the Public Defender Board and several Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 403 would require the Law Enforcement Standards Board to regulate jail and juvenile detention officer training standards, and to regulate recruitment standards for new law enforcement, jail, and juvenile detention officers. (Passed, 4-0)

  • Senate Bill 446 would allow, if a court determines that supervised release is appropriate for a sexually violent person, the court to order the person's county of residence to prepare a report that identifies one appropriate residence for the person. (Passed, 4-0)

  • Senate Bill 615 would create the Council on Offender Employment, which may issue a certificate of qualification for employment (CQE) that grants relief to the person from ineligibility for or disadvantage related to employment, occupational licensing, or occupational certification. (Passed, 3-0)

  • Senate Bill 623 would subject a defendant to a domestic abuse surcharge if the defendant committed a domestic abuse crime to his or her current or former spouse. This bill would also increase maximum term of imprisonment if the person is a repeat offender. (No Action Taken)

  • Senate Bill 626 would make various changes to the fair employment law and would prohibit state and local governmental agencies from denying an occupational license to an individual based on the individual's arrest or conviction record. This bill will help people with criminal records get a fresh start, find work and help rebuild their lives. (Passed, 4-0)

  • Assembly Bill 566 would allow service of certain pleadings and other papers to be served by e-mail. (Passed, 4-0)


Senate Insurance, Financial Services, Constitution and Federalism
The committee held an Executive Session on two Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 586 would allow that guaranteed asset protection (gap) waivers may be offered and sold in connection with the credit sale or lease of a vehicle and that gap waivers are not insurance. (Passed, 4-0)

  • Senate Bill 583 would modify requirements for certain securities transactions to be exempt from registration with the Division of Securities in the Department of Financial Institutions. (Passed, 4-0)

 

The committee also held a Public Hearing on Senate Bill 710, which would require Legislative Agencies to submit a report identifying coercive contitions attached to federal funds available to the state. The committee also discussed Senate Joint Resolution 95, which would amend the Wisconsin constitution on the eligibility and conditions for release prior to conviction of persons accused of certain crimes and considerations for imposing bail.

 

Senate Labor and Regulatory Reform
The committee held an Executive Session on Senate Bill 634, which would limit discrimination claims made under local city ordinances. This bill would target victims of workplace discrimination so they would have fewer ways to recover money from their employers. (Passed, along party lines 3-2)


The committee held another Executive Session on Thursday to vote on Senate Bill 397, which would eliminate the 13-week limit imposed on the garnishment of earnings of certain debtors. (Passed, 3-2)

Senate Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism
The committee held a Public Hearing on Senate Bill 637, which would create a requirement that would specifically apply to rental-purchase agreements, imposes requirements on rental-purchase companies, and exempts rental-purchase companies and rental-purchase agreements from the Wisconsin Consumer Act.


The committee held another Public Hearing on two Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 487 would require the Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to award an annual grant to a nonprofit organization that operate food banks to promote the donation of excess and unmarketable farm and food products to food banks.

  • Senate Bill 727 would allow a district to be created by the City of Superior or the City of Eau Claire to impose and collect a food and beverage tax, and may impose and collect a room tax at a maximum rate of 2 percent if the exposition district is approved by local voters in a general election referendum.


Finally, the committee held an Executive Session on the appointment of Becky Merwin to serve as the Agriculture Business Representative on the State Fair Park Board. (Confirmation Recommended, 9-0)

Senate Workforce Development, Military Affairs and Senior Issues
The committee held a Public Hearing on two Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 510 would allow the Dept. of Workforce Development to own, lease, manage, supervise, or operate businesses for the benefit of participants, with the goal of enabling persons with severe disabilities to operate their own businesses.

  • Senate Bill 682 would create a grant program where the Technical College System Board may award grants of up to $1,000 to students who are enrolled in apprenticeship training program in conjunction with their course of instruction at the technical college.


Senate Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection
The committee held a Public Hearing on five Senate Bills and one Assembly Bill:

  • Senate Bill 701 would prohibit the operation of a drone in certain manners and prohibits a political subdivision from regulating the ownership or operation of a drone.

  • Senate Bill 709 would change the standard for “populous counties” provisions to counties having a population of 750,000 or more to ensure that any statutes intended to apply to only Milwaukee do not apply to Dane County. Currently, “populous counties” apply to counties having a population of over 500,000 and Dane County will soon exceed 500,000.

  • Senate Bill 700 would require the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System to award merit-based annual $5,000 scholarships to students enrolled in two-year or four-year UW schools who have graduated from an in-state high school.

  • Senate Bill 692 / Assembly Bill 303 would allow the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) to invest trust fund moneys in the acquisition of land and the construction, acquisition, improvement, and maintenance of buildings, structures, and facilities for the housing of state departments and agencies. Currently, BCPL has limited authority to invest trust fund moneys in land.

  • Senate Bill 713 would eliminate the authority of the BCPL to make state trust fund loans, broadens the authority of the BCPL to delegate its authority to invest state trust fund money, and removes certain restrictions on the use of common school fund income money.


Senate Elections and Utilities
The committee held a Public Hearing on two Senate Bills and one Assembly companion:

  • Senate Bill 524 would authorize a municipality to allow its electors to vote before Election Day by using an electronic voting machine to cast an in-person absentee ballot.

  • Senate Bill 697 / Assembly Bill 774 would provide that when the Public Service Commission (PSC) investigates a complaint regarding Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) charges, rules, or practices, the PSC must make its determination without deference to MMSD.

 
Senate Committee on Education
The committee held an Executive Session to vote on Assembly Bill 300, which would require each school board, independent charter school, and opportunity school to annually provide parents or guardians with a copy of instructions on how to access a summary of the pupil examinations administered under state and federal law. (Passed, 4-3)

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session

The assembly did not hold a floor session this week. 


Assembly Committees

Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform
The committee will hold a public hearing on AB 710, which would significantly raise the fines for making a false statement or representation to obtain any unemployment insurance benefit payments and Clearinghouse Rule 17-005 relating to drug testing for participants in the FoodShare Employment and Training Program who are able-bodied adults.

The committee will hold an executive session on AB 263, which would create optional incentive programs to counties and tribes who identify fraud in certain public assistance programs.

Assembly Committee on Mental Health
The committee held a public hearing on AB 848, which allows a treatment director to provide outpatient mental health treatment to children for 30 days without first obtaining informed consent in certain situations.


Assembly Committee on Transportation
The committee held a public hearing on AB 651, which allows human services drivers to allow a passenger to stand based on a medical condition. AB 717 regulates the licenses for motor vehicle dealers with electric vehicles. AB 824 regulates following distance rules for large trucks and AB 852, which changes the procedures for denials and suspensions and revocations of certain licenses issued to manufacturers, importers, distributors, or dealers of motor vehicles.


Assembly Committee on Judiciary
The committee held a public hearing on AB 784 which  removes the prohibition on assigning counsel to a parent in a child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) proceeding, and creates a five-county pilot program that creates a right to counsel for such a parent and AB 778 which makes changes to the appellate procedures applicable in proceedings related to the termination of parental right.


Assembly Committee on Workforce Development
The committee held a public hearing on AB 819, which requires the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities to develop a program to provide coaching for the hiring of individuals with disabilities and AB872, which creates an incentive grant program for school districts that provide training for certain public safety occupations.


Assembly Committee on Family Law
The committee held a public hearing on AB 740 which regulates the passage of a vehicle title on to a spouse upon death of the owner. AB 665, which allows someone to make a voluntary contribution to the Department of Natural Resources to be used to cover any portion of the costs of a hunting or fishing approval issued to a disabled veteran. AB 786 which increases the grant funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates from $80,000 to $250,000 and AB825, which makes it a Class H felony to intentionally cause bodily harm or threaten to cause bodily harm to the person or family member of a guardian ad litem, corporation counsel, or attorney.


Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy
The committee held a public hearing on AB 759 aka the “Rent to Own” bill which creates requirements that specifically apply to rental-purchase agreements, imposes requirements on rental-purchase companies, and exempts rental-purchase companies and rental-purchase agreements from the Wisconsin Consumer Act and LRB5180 relating to the creation of a local exposition district by the City of Superior or the City of Eau Claire.


Assembly Committee on Constitution and Ethics
The committee held an executive session on AB 758 which changes the requirements that apply to research contracts involving the University of Wisconsin System or a two-year or four-year UW school and AJR93 regarding eligibility and conditions for release prior to conviction of persons accused of certain crimes and considerations for imposing bail.


Assembly Committee on Transportation
The committee held an executive session on AB754, which eliminates a special vehicle weight provision that applies only on portions of STH 13 in Ashland County and STH 70 in Vilas County and adds these highway routes to the group of highway routes for which the Department of 

Transportation may issue Michigan border permits.

The committee held a public hearing on AB555 which exempts from motor vehicle emissions limitations motor vehicles of a model year not less than 10 years old.

The Assembly Committee on Children and Families
The committee held a public hearing on AB 776, which provides continuity of care when a foster care agency loses its license.  AB 779, which requires DHS to award grants to nonprofit organizations for statewide community based referral systems. AB 783, which requires DCF to create a committee to study and report on recommended caseload standards for child welfare workers. AB 785, which directs $500,000 of TANF funding each fiscal year to be used for grants to counties, nonprofit organizations, or tribes to fund child abuse and neglect prevention services, and AB 787 which provides $400,000 in funding to DCF for grants to counties, tribes, and nonprofits to support foster parents and provide normalcy for children in out-of-home care.


The committee held an informational hearing on the Summary Reports for Child Death, Serious Injury or Egregious Abuse or Neglect Incident, the summary reports for child deaths, serious injuries, or egregious abuse or neglect incidents. Quarterly & Annual Reports of Sexual Abuse of Children in Out-of-Home Care Placement and the Quarterly and annual reports of sexual abuse of children in out-of-home care placement. Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Report for 2016.

Assembly Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight
The committee held an executive session on AB 231 creates an independent prosecutor board that oversees and sets policies for a state prosecutor’s office. AB 553, prohibits any state agency or other body in state government and any local governmental unit, including a special purpose district, from adopting a rule, ordinance, policy, or procedure that involves the state agency or local governmental unit in a boycott of Israel or a person doing business in Israel or in a territory under Israeli jurisdiction. AB 804, requires the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System to award merit-based $5,000 annual scholarships to students enrolled in two-year or four-year UW schools and LRB 5227 relating to improving state government programs and operations and making an appropriation.


Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions
The committee held an executive session on AB 663, which allows for guaranteed asset protection (gap) waivers to be offered and sold in connection with the credit sale or lease of a vehicle and that gap waivers are not insurance.


The committee on financial institutions on AB 692, which modifies requirements for certain securities transactions to be exempt from registration with the Division of Securities in the Department of Financial Institutions and creates a new exemption for certain offers and AB 715, which allows certain foreign corporations acting in a fiduciary capacity to establish or maintain places of business or branch offices in this state. 

Assembly Committee on Judiciary
The committee held an executive session on AB 784, which  removes the prohibition on assigning counsel to a parent in a child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) proceeding, and creates a five-county pilot program that creates a right to counsel for such a parent and AB 778 which makes changes to the appellate procedures applicable in proceedings related to the termination of parental right.


Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage
The committee held an executive session on AB 850 regarding the transfer of hunting and fishing licenses for persons with a disability.


The Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform
The committee held an a public hearing on Special Session AB 1, which requires the Department of Health Services to set required hours of participation in the FoodShare employment and training program. AB 2, requires the Department of Health Services to require all able-bodied adults to participate in the FoodShare employment and training program. AB 3, relates to asset restrictions on eligibility for FoodShare, Wisconsin Works, and Wisconsin Shares. AB 4, creates a heightened screening program for public housing and increases the burden for housing authorities. AB 5 which creates a pilot and permanent program for making periodic payments to eligible recipients of the earned income tax credit and making an appropriation. AB 6 requires payments based on performance for Wisconsin Works and FoodShare Employment and Training Program Contractors. AB 7 authorizes the Department of Administration to contract with a private service provider for payments to provide social, employment, or correctional services to individuals. AB 8, which requires Child Support Compliance in the Medical Assistance Program. AB 9, which requires the Department of Health Services to submit a waiver request to the federal government to establish and implement a savings account program in the Medical Assistance program and AB 10, which  requires the  Department of Health Services to prepare and submit a comprehensive implementation plan to the food and nutrition service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval to issue electronic benefit transfer identification cards containing a photo to recipients of assistance under the federal food stamp program. 


Assembly Committee on State Affairs
The committee held a public hearing on AB 813 which repeals a provision created in 2015 Wisconsin Act 60 that requires Milwaukee County to transfer, unencumbered, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts to the Wisconsin Center District (WCD).


Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage
The committee held a public hearing on AB 878 which creates a lifetime fishing license.


Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform
The committee held an executive session on AB 670, which creates exemptions from licenses for architects and other professionals. AB 834, which lowers the required score for chiropractors. AB 733, which waives the fees for initial occupational credentials granted for DSPS for a person whose family income does not exceed 180 percent of the federal poverty line. AB 483, which eliminates the Building Inspector Review Board and the Contractor Certification Council and transfers their duties to the Uniform Dwelling Code. AB 584, which authorizes the governor to waive any fee required by the state for the replacement of a permit, license, approval, or other authorization for a person who resides or is headquartered in the area covered by the state of emergency. AB 837, which makes various changes to laws regarding funeral director apprentices and AB 829, which makes various changes to the fair employment law with respect to the ability of state and local governmental agencies to deny a license to an individual based on the individual's arrest or conviction record and AB 547 which exempts nonfederal and artificial wetlands from certain Department of Natural Resources wetland permitting requirements.


Assembly Committee on Education
The committee held a public hearing on AB 569 which requires the Department of Public Instruction to publish its annual school and school district accountability report by November 30 and AB 803 relating to excluding costs funded by referenda from shared costs for the purpose of determining general equalization aids for school districts.


Assembly Committee on Insurance
The committee held a public hearing on AB 457, which sets requirements on certain health insurance plans that rent networks of dental service providers to other entities AB 876 which requires health insurance policies, known in the bill as disability insurance policies, and self-insured governmental and school district health plans that cover prescription eye drops to cover refills of prescription eye drops AB 877 eliminates the medical malpractice insurance report and AB 884 which eliminates the right of action in tort by an injured employee against certain third parties by reason of the injury if the injured employee has the right to make a claim for compensation against his or her employer under the worker's compensation law.


Assembly Committee on Health
The committee held an executive session on AB 462, which requires the Department of Health Services to establish rules and policies for access to complex rehabilitation technology by complex needs patients who are recipients of Medical Assistance. AB 522 which allows emergency medical technician or a first responder to render first aid services to a sick or injured domestic animal. AB 679, makes a number of changes to the pharmacy practice laws regarding the prescribing and dispensing of biological products, including changes to address the dispensing of interchangeable biological products. AB 749 establishes a certification program for expanded function dental auxiliaries administered by the Dentistry Examining Board. AB 766 which exempts physicians licensed in other states who are practicing at certain sporting events or facilities from being required to be licensed in this state as a physician or as another type of health care provider. AB 781 which defines “dental care” for the purpose of a legal custodian providing ordinary medical and dental care for a child. AB 870 which would allow licensed physicians out of state to practice and AB 871 which would require the Department of Health Services to create a program to reimburse hospitals and health care systems for intensive care coordination services provided to Medical Assistance recipients.


The Assembly Committee on Family Law
The committee held an executive session on AB 602, which makes various changes to the requirements relating to marriage licenses. AB 655, allows an adult with a functional impairment to create a supported decision-making agreement to allow another person, referred to as a “supporter,” to assist the adult with certain decision-making. AB 740, under this bill, the fee for a certificate of title after a transfer is waived when a vehicle is transferred upon a person's death to his or her spouse. AB 775, changes the grounds for an involuntary termination of parental rights (TPR) based on a child's continuing need of protection or services (continuing CHIPS) where a child has been placed outside the home for a cumulative total period of six months or longer. AB 786 which increases the grant funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates from $80,000 to $250,000 and AB 825 which makes it a Class H felony to intentionally cause bodily harm or threaten to cause bodily harm to the person or family member of a guardian ad litem, corporation counsel, or attorney.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Senate Labor and Regulatory Reform
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on one Assembly Bill and one Senate Bill:

  • Assembly Bill 384 would require the expiration of each chapter of the Wisconsin Administrative Code after nine years. Currently, rules promulgated by state agencies are permanent and remain in effect until they are subsequently modified or repealed by the agency. This bill would eliminate all of the Wisconsin Administrative Code once every nine years, unless the rule is readopted. A chapter could be readopted before the expiration date by the agency unless a member of the Joint Council for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) or a standing committee objects to the rule. The rule then can only be readopted if the agency uses the full, regular rulemaking process which could take many months. AB384 would create more red tape for state agencies than it would eliminate. The removal of key environmental, insurance and many other protections, would benefit special interest contributors, rather than Wisconsin business and families.

  • Senate Bill 745  would prohibit a court from according deference to agency interpretations of law; establish various requirements with respect to the adoption and use of guidance documents by agencies; provide that settlement agreements do not confer rule-making authority.

Senate Health and Human Services
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on twelve Senate Bills and Assembly companions:

  • Senate Bill 543 / Assembly Bill 653 would require a facility that performs mammography examination to provide a notice containing specific information about breast density to patients with dense breast tissue.

  • Senate Bill 673 would define “dental care” for the purpose of a legal custodian providing ordinary medical and dental care for a child.

  • Senate Bill 674 would allow a health care provider to disclose to an out-of-home care provider some of the information contained on the mental health treatment record for a child in their care.

  • Senate Bill 742 would require the Dept. of Health Services to create a program to reimburse hospitals for intensive care coordination services provided to Medical Assistance recipients.

  • Senate Bill 445 / Assembly Bill 538 would prohibit the transfer of an individual from a hospital's emergency department until a medical staff member determines the transfer is medically appropriate.

  • Senate Bill 232 / Assembly Bill 260 would provide that a licensed chiropractor who has a valid certification for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may conduct medical examinations.

  • Senate Bill 587 would provide that a drug containing dextromethorphan, may not be sold to a person who is under the age of 18 if that person does not have a prescription order for the drug.

  • Senate Bill 684 would allow physicians licensed in other states practicing at certain sporting events to practice in Wisconsin without having a license in this state.

  • Senate Bill 744 would allow a person who is licensed as a physician in another state to practice as a physician at a camp in this state for up to 20 working days.

  • Senate Bill 477 would allow a physician assistant or advanced practice nurse prescriber who is providing nonsurgical patient services to practice podiatry as directed, supervised, and inspected by a podiatrist.

  • Senate Bill 5 would require that the 1,000 hours of clinical social work practice involving face-to-face client contact required to obtain a clinical social worker license.

  • Senate Bill 6 would require the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board to promulgate rules establishing examination requirements for certification and licensure by the board.


The committee will hold an Executive Session on the executive appointments of Dr. Scott Bautch, Dr. Bryan Gerondale, Juli McNeely and Dr. Jeffrey King to the Chiropractic Examining Board; Dr. Lee Lau and Dr. David Bryce to the Medical Examining Board; Pablo Sanchez, Gary Wolter, John Litscher and Lisa Reardon to the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority; Jennifer Eklof to the License Practical Nurse and Debra Beres to the Dentistry Examining Board.

 Senate Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues
The committee will hold an Executive Session on two Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 467 would direct the Public Defender Board to establish a pilot program for student loan payment of attorneys who accept public defender appointments.

  • Senate Bill 617 would allow for optional electronic tax notifications, permit the state to recover all costs from a debtor related to garnishment action, impose the existing sales tax penalty if a company is over collecting after notice from DOR, allow truncated social security numbers on information returns provided to payees, and  increase the tax assessor exam cost.


Senate Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues 
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on three Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 501 would create a sales and use tax exemption for services provided by an electric cooperative to another electric cooperative for disaster relief work performed in conjunction with a declared state of emergency.

  • Senate Bill 507 would allow a person to designate a Transfer of Death beneficiary in any document, not solely in a deed.

  • Senate Bill 686 would allow the Division of Banking and the Office of Credit Unions in the Department of Financial Institutions to disclose certain financial institution information to a Federal Home Loan Bank and to accept information collected by other agencies in conducting financial institution examinations.

Senate Transportation and Veterans Affairs
The committee will hold a second Executive Session on the executive appointments of Paul Chamberlain, Leigh Neville-Neil and Alan Richards to serve on the Board of Veterans Affairs. The committee will also vote on several Senate and Assembly Bills:

  • Senate Bill 415Assembly Bill 517 would allow an applicant for a motor vehicle operator's license or identification card issued by the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to indicate whether he or she has a disability that may not be immediately apparent to another. Debate exists whether this will help police officers respond more appropriately to people with disabilities or if it will create further discrimination. Others argue it will not have an impact because negative experiences will likely happen prior to a person showing their identification.

  • Senate Bill 447 would direct the DOT to designate the bridge between the city of Superior and the city of Duluth in the state of Minnesota as the “Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge.”

  • Senate Bill 598Assembly Bill 699 would designate and mark the bridge across the Oconto River in the city of Oconto as the "PFC Valentine T. Warrichaiet Memorial Bridge."

  • Senate Bill 630 would allow the fee for a transfer of a vehicle’s certificate of title to be waived when a vehicle is transferred upon a person's death to his or her spouse.

  • Senate Bill 638 would eliminate a special vehicle weight provision that applies on portions of STH 13 in Ashland County and STH 70 in Vilas County and adds these highway routes for which the Department of Transportation may issue Michigan border permits.

  • Senate Bill 666 would require the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to administer a pilot program to provide outreach, mental health services, and support active and inactive veterans who have a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder.

  • Senate Bill 695 would allow a group of  motor vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds that are travelling in a unified manner to follow each other closer than 500 feet. 

  • Senate Bill 705 would change the procedures for denials and suspensions of certain drivers licenses issued to manufacturers, importers, distributors, or dealers.


The committee also held a Public Hearing on on Assembly Bill and two Senate Bills:

  • Senate Bill 765 /Assembly Bill 716 would authorize a municipality to erect and maintain within the right-of-way of any highway within the boundaries of the municipality a municipal welcome sign.

  • Senate Bill 755 would require the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System to treat certain veterans and their family members as residents for purposes of tuition.


Senate Workforce Development, Military Affairs and Senior Issues
The committee will hold an Executive Session on several Senate and Assembly Bills:

  • Senate Bill 514 would establish a number of requirements for certain state agencies to promote competitive integrated employment.

  • Senate Bill 461 / Assembly Bill 552 would expand the definition of members eligible to join Red Arrow Clubs.

  • Senate Bill 518 would addresses court jurisdiction for guardianship of adults and allows Wisconsin courts to communicate with other courts when a jurisdictional issue arises.

  • Senate Bill 527 would require the Dept. of Health Services (DHS) to award up to $500k in grants to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in rural and underserved urban areas.

  • Senate Bill 552 would allow an adult with a functional impairment to create a supported decision making agreement to allow another person, referred to as a "supporter," to assist the adult with certain decision-making.

  • Senate Bill 510 would allow the Dept. of Workforce Development to own, lease, manage, supervise, or operate businesses for the benefit of participants, with the goal of enabling persons with severe disabilities to operate their own businesses.

  • Senate Bill 682 would create a grant program where the Technical College System Board may award grants of up to $1,000 to students who are enrolled in apprenticeship training program in conjunction with their course of instruction at the technical college.

  • Senate Bill 689 would require the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities to develop a program to provide coaching for the hiring of individuals with disabilities.

  • Senate Bill 628 would allow a high school senior to begin an apprenticeship program during the student's senior year of high school.

  • Senate Bill 517 would require a law enforcement agency that has issued an alert for a missing adult at risk, commonly known as a “Silver Alert," to refer the person making the report and any guardian of the missing person to a local aging and disability resource center.

  • Senate Bill 644 / Assembly Bill 769 would make changes relating to the responsibilities of colleges to National Guard members and other service members who withdraw from school because they are called into active military service. 


The committee will also hold a Public Hearing on Senate Bill 746, which would create an incentive grant program for school districts that provide training for certain public safety occupations and provides completion awards for students who complete those programs.


Assembly Committees

Assembly Committee on Environment and Forestry
The committee will hold a public hearing on AB 686 which requires the Department of Natural Resources to administer a program to provide grants to cities, villages, towns, and counties for the testing of privately owned wells.


Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate
The committee will hold an executive session on AB 818 which makes various changes to condominium law and rights related to first mortgage security interests in condominium units.


The committee will hold a public hearing on AB 869 which creates a state tax credit program administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority that is similar to a federal low-income housing tax credit program also administered by WHEDA.

Assembly Committee on Local Government
The committee will hold a public hearing on AB 836, which changes the standard in these “populous counties” provisions to counties having a population of 750,000 or more (currently only Milwaukee County). AB 713, which requires that a floodplain determination and floodplain zoning ordinance conform with a letter of map amendment issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. AB 898, which makes various changes to chapter 69 and related provisions to accommodate the use of electronic records. AB 882 authorizes a municipality or county to enact an ordinance providing for the immobilization or towing, impoundment, and disposal of vehicles owned by habitual parking violators and AB 748 preempts local governments from enacting or enforcing ordinances related to various employment matters.


Assembly Committee on Tourism
The committee will hold an executive session on AB 795, which authorizes the Mississippi River Parkway Commission to establish a technical committee to advise the commission and AB 668 makes a change to rules promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources relating to the operation of vehicles on DNR properties.


The committee will hold an informational hearing. The Committee will be briefed by Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett and staff on Wisconsin’s Tourism industry and present a summary of the department's annual report. 

The Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage
The committee will hold an executive session on AB 878  which creates a lifetime fishing license.

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 To view updated committee notices, visit the legislative website and click on Committee Schedule: Wisconsin State Legislature.

 The State Capitol Update is provided by the Senate and Assembly Democratic Caucuses. For additional information, please send an email to WisconsinDemocrats@legis.wi.gov or call toll free: 1.800.385.3385.