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 final general business floorperiod of the 2009-2010 legislative session concluded on April 22. A limited business floorperiod will begin on May 4 and end on May 6, and a veto review floorperiod is scheduled for May 25 and 26. The schedule for the current legislative session was established by 2009 Senate Joint Resolution 1.
2009 Senate Bill 530, which proposes to regulate the payday loan industry, was passed April 22 by the Assembly on a 72-55 vote. The Assembly approved the bill with an amendment from the Senate, which had passed the bill earlier that day. The senate amendment deleted language that banned auto title loans, but the bill still provides for the regulation and restriction of those loans.
The Assembly concurred in 2009 Senate Bill 434, which would allow sales of raw (unpasteurized) dairy products, by a vote of 60-35 on Friday morning.
The Senate concurred in the passage of 2009 Assembly Bill 333 on April 20, which provides journalists with protection for their confidential sources of information. Under the bill, only a court would be able to issue a subpoena to compel a journalist to testify about a confidential source under specified conditions.
On April 20, the Assembly concurred in the passage of 2009 Senate Bill 25, related to race-based mascots used by schools, by a vote of 53-45. Under the bill, a school district resident may object to use of a race-based mascot by filing a complaint with the state superintendent. Generally, the proposal would require the superintendent make a ruling after gathering information and conducting a hearing on the complaint.
Both the Senate and the Assembly passed 2009 Senate Bill 651, popularly known as the "Green to Gold" bill, on April 20. The bill would authorize loans through the Department of Commerce that would be granted to manufacturing businesses for implementing energy efficient measures, retooling to manufacture products that support a green economy, expanding or establishing clean energy processes, and hiring or retraining workers to take part in the above activities. The bill was adopted by a vote of 28-5 in the Senate and 78-20 in the Assembly.
2009 Assembly Bill 496, which would prohibit electronic text messaging while driving, was amended by the Senate and passed on April 13. The Senate amendment was concurred in by the Assembly on April 15, and the bill will now go to the governor for enactment or veto.
the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), 2009 Senate Bill 450, was never scheduled for a vote in the senate chamber.
The Assembly has adjourned without taking a final vote on 2009 Assembly Bill 282, which would have allowed political subdivisions to create regional transit authorities (RTAs). Several amendments to the bill were introduced on April 20, but the bill did not get passed its second reading.
An election reform package, 2009 Assembly Bill 895, failed to pass by the end of the last floorperiod on April 22. The bill would make changes to facilitate voter registration, change procedures for absentee voting, and address deceptive election practices.
The Senate has adjourned without taking action on 2009 Assembly Bill 696, which relates to changes in telecommunications regulation and the Public Service Commission's authority.
As of April 30, 978 Assembly bills and 708 Senate bills have been introduced. All introduced legislation can be found on the Legislature's Searchable Infobases site, or by using the Request text and history of legislative proposals function on the home page.
The governor signed 5 recently passed bills into law. Currently, 219 bills have been been signed into law. On May 13, all bills not yet called for by the governor will be sent to his office for review.
2009 Senate Bill 154, passed by the Senate in 2009 and the Assembly in 2010, requires all schools in Wisconsin to develop school safety plans. In addition, the legislation directs the Department of Public Instruction to develop a model school policy on bullying by pupils. The Legislative Reference Bureau Library recommends the following resources on bullying in schools:
From the Department of Public Instruction:
From Congressional Quarterly, Inc.:
From the Educational Resources Information Center:
National Conference of State Legislatures School Bullying page.
For more information about Legislative Service Agency publications, see the left panel of the Spotlight index page.
Last revised: November 13, 2012