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 current floorperiod for the Wisconsin Legislature is scheduled to run from January 19 to 28, 2010. The schedule of floorperiods for the 2009-2010 Legislative Session was established by 2009 Senate Joint Resolution 1.
Governor Jim Doyle, in Executive Order #305, called the legislature to meet in special session on Wednesday, December 16. He directed the legislature to consider bills to address the needs of the students of the Milwaukee Public Schools, specifically 2009 Senate Bill 405 and 2009 Assembly Bill 534. The Senate Committee on Education conducted a public hearing on SB-405 on January 5.
2009 Senate Bill 409, sometimes referred to as the “CORE jobs bill”, was passed by the Senate on January 21 by a vote of 32-1. The Senate adopted Substitute Amendment 1 to the bill. The bill contains a variety of provisions intended to stimulate job creation, primarily through grants, tax credits, and infrastructure investment.
On January 19, the Senate passed Senate Bill 43 by a vote of 26-7. The bill would impose registration and reporting requirements upon individuals and organizations that use the media to make a communication about an office, candidate, or political party within 60 days of an election. On January 21, the United States Supreme Court overturned campaign finance restrictions on corporate and union expenditures in political elections, stating the restrictions were unconstitutional restraints on free speech. The case is Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.
Several bills were passed and set to be enrolled last week. Notable bills are included below.
Assembly Bill 2 would require all state contract services to be performed within the U.S., with certain exceptions. The bill was passed by the Assembly on January 27, 2009, by a vote of 69-30. The Senate concurred in the bill by a voice vote on January 21, 2010.
On January 19, the Senate concurred in Assembly Bill 323, which would require a sex offender to register and update information on his or her email accounts, Internet user names, and Web sites he or she creates and maintains. The bill was passed unanimously by the Assembly in October.
Assembly Bill 400 would require landlords to change the locks for a tenant if that tenant provides a certified copy of a document that allows the tenant to terminate a lease because of an imminent threat to him or her, such as a restraining order. The law would not apply to cases where the subject of a document is also a tenant, unless that person is ordered not to contact the other tenant. The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote on January 19. It was passed by the Assembly in October.
The Assembly concurred in the passage of Senate Bill 242, which would create a new category of regulations for future service contracts, including direct buy clubs. The vote on January 19 was 94-2. Among the provisions of the bill, a contract could not last for a period of more than 3 years and a contractor must maintain a $250,000 bond to cover customer losses.
Other bills to be enrolled after floor action last week include:
On January 19, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 496, which would impose a ban on text messaging while driving. The vote was 89-6, with 2 votes paired, after Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 was adopted. First-time violators of the ban would be fined up to $400.
Senate Bill 375 would allow for the transfer of records on the Consolidated Court Automation Program (CCAP) by an agreement between the Department of Children and Families and the Director of State Courts. The agreement would also include records in the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System. The bill was passed by the Senate on January 19 after adoption of a substitute amendment.
As of December 31, Governor Doyle has signed 100 bills into law and vetoed 3 bills.
A list of all enacted legislation from the 2009 session can be viewed at: http://www.legis.wi.gov/2009/data/acts/.
The library recommends the following resources on this topic:
Several bills were introduced last week. Recently introduced legislation can be found on the Legislature's Searchable Infobases site.
Most committee activity is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27. For information on upcoming events refer to the Schedule of Committee Activities.
The 2009-2010 Wisconsin Blue Book has been published. The Blue Book is available online and is available for purchase from Department of Administration Document Sales for $8.75 plus sales tax if picked up in person; for mail orders, add $3 to the total to cover shipping. The authors of the Blue Book feature article, "Wisconsin at the Frontiers of Astronomy: A History of Innovation and Exploration," were interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio on November 11.
For more information about Legislative Service Agency publications, see the left panel of the Spotlight index page.
Last revised: November 13, 2012