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 next floorperiod for the Wisconsin Legislature is scheduled to run from February 16 to March 4, 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.
On Thursday, January 28, the legislature adjourned the special session withouttaking up the bills that would allow mayoral control of MPS.
Last week, Senators Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) and Judy Robson (D-Beloit) announced that they will not seek reelection. They join Senator Alan Lasee (R-De Pere) who announced his retirement from the legislature earlier this month.
On January 26, Representatives Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) and Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) announced they will run for election to Senator Kanavas’ 33rd Senate District seat this fall.
Assembly Bill 458, popularly known as the “Healthy Youth Act,” would require Wisconsin schools that teach sex education to provide students with comprehensive information, including medically-accurate and age-appropriate information about abstinence, birth control, and barrier methods to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs. After passing the Assembly in November, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 18-15 on January 28.
Senate Bill 415 would require carbon monoxide detectors in buildings containing one or two dwelling units. The bill passed the Senate and the Assembly on January 28.
Senate Bill 440 would waive certain federal bond limitations allocated to cities and counties in Wisconsin. The federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created recovery zone facility bonds that were apportioned to certain communities based on their population. SB-440 creates a statewide pool of tax-exempt recovery authority that all communities may access. The bill passed the Senate and the Assembly on January 28.
Assembly Bill 219 would require personal flotation devices be worn by certain underage persons in certain boats. The bill passed the Assembly on January 26.
Assembly Bill 575 would require the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to establish standards for products sold as honey and prohibit labeling a product as honey if it does not meet the DATCP standard. The bill passed the Assembly on January 28.
Senate Bill 263 would affect the criteria by which a person is determined indigent for purposes of providing publicly funded legal counsel in various legal proceedings. The bill passed the Senate on January 28 by a vote of 21-12.
Senate Bill 271 would prohibit the manufacture and sale at wholesale of certain baby bottles and cups for children that contain bisphenol A. The bill passed the Senate on January 26 by a unanimous vote.
A public hearing was held on Senate Bill 450, otherwise known as the “Clean Energy Jobs Act,” on January 27. Assembly Bill 649 is the companion bill. At the beginning of January, Governor Doyle called on the legislature to pass a bill that would update renewable portfolio standards to generate 25 percent of the state’s fuel from renewable sources by 2025 and set a realistic goal of a 2 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2015. His prepared remarks can be viewed here.
The Legislative Council has a Web page related to climate change legislation that can be viewed here.
As of January 29, 693 Assembly bills and 498 Senate bills have been introduced. Recently introduced legislation can be found on the Legislature's Searchable Infobases site.
As of January 29, 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/.
Several bills have been introduced this session to allow the mayor of Milwaukee to select the Milwaukee superintendent of schools. All of these bills can be found under the heading Milwaukee - School in the Subject Index to Legislation.
The LRB Library staff also recommends the following titles related to mayoral leadership of public schools:
The Education Mayor : Improving America's Schools / Kenneth K. Wong ... [et al.]. Georgetown University Press, 2007. (call number: 371/W84)
Contents: Introduction: Mayoral governance in education gains prominence -- The historical and political context of integrated governance -- The new-style education mayors -- Evaluating the effects of mayoral control -- Integrated governance as a strategy to improve school performance -- Considering the gap between high- and low-performing schools -- Accountability and urban high schools : the challenge of improving instructional practices -- Toward strategic deployment of resources -- The political dynamics in building public support for education -- Mayorally governed school districts as laboratories of democracy.
Governing Urban School Districts: Efforts in Los Angeles to Effect Change / Catherine H. Augustine, Diana Epstein, Mirka Vuollo. RAND, 2006.
Mayoral Leadership and Involvement in Education: an Action Guide for Success / The United States Conference of Mayors, 2006. (call number: 371/Un3)
When Mayors Lead Urban Schools : Toward Developing a Framework to Assess the Effects of Mayoral Takeover of Urban Districts / Kenneth K. Wong and Francis X. Shen. Harvard University, Program on Education Policy and Governance, 2003. (call number: 371/W84a)
The executive orders index has been updated through December 9, 2009. The official title is: Subject index to executive orders of Governors Knowles, Lucey, Dreyfus, Earl, Thompson, McCallum, Doyle, Acting Governor Schreiber, Lieutenant Governors Olson and Flynn, and Secretary of State Zimmerman, January 1965 – December 9, 2009. The index can be found on the LRB Publications page under the heading “Special Publications.”
Most committee activity is scheduled for Thursday, February 4. 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