Following the passing of the state budget bill last month, the State Legislature has completed its calendar for the spring portion of the 2013-14 legislation session. During the summer, legislative committees will continue to meet to hold public hearings on bills and to research issues that may be considered when the Legislature reconvenes in the fall.
While deliberations on the budget bill were the primary focus of the Legislature, a number of other important bills were passed and signed into law by the Governor. As we continue to work to encourage job creation, a number of bills seeking to improve Wisconsin’s economy and business climate were considered and approved. Highlights of these and other bills passed in the spring session include:
Addressing the Skills Gap – Improving workforce training efforts through a competitive grant program for businesses that expand or locate in Wisconsin and to bring greater opportunities to current employees to build their skill sets.
Work-share Programs – Authorizing the creation of work-share programs to help keep workers on the job during challenging economic times.
Boosting Investment – Creating a venture capital fund to encourage home-grown businesses to expand and grow in Wisconsin.
Honoring Veterans – Easing the application process for veterans’ benefits by indicating a veteran’s status on driver’s licenses and designating State Road 128 as the 128th Infantry Memorial Highway.
Improving Local Water Systems – Modifying the Clean Water Fund and Safe Drinking Water Loan Programs to ensure continued federal support of local water projects.
Protecting Homeowners – Ensuring safe housing construction practices through regular reviews of the state building code and enacting new consumer protections against fraudulent “storm chasers” that seek home repair work after severe weather.
Encouraging Motorsports – Making common-sense improvements to ATV and UTV laws to grow ridership, encourage safe operation, and improve administration of trail development funds.
Even as the Legislature has made significant progress already this session, we continue to work on a number of important bills and issues that will be considered this fall. What are your thoughts on the Legislature’s actions and what should our priorities be as the session moves forward? Please contact me by calling my office at 1-800-862-1092 or 608-266-7745 or visiting my website at www.harsdorfsenate.com.