Legislative Reference Bureau
STATE OF WISCONSIN
STATE OF WISCONSIN
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.
Links to more detailed information are highlighted in the text.
The Week of December 12, 2011
The most recent regular session legislative floorperiod ended November 3,
September 2011 Special Session
was adjourned on December 8. The next scheduled regular session floorperiod begins January 17, 2012.
Senate Chief Clerk Resigns
Senate Chief Clerk Rob Marchant is leaving his post to serve as deputy secretary of
the Department of Employee Trust Funds. He will start his new job January 3, and will be
replaced in the interim by his deputy, Jeff Renk.
Recently Signed Into Law
As of December 9, 112 acts have been signed into law. You can find them
Following are some of the most recent bills signed into law:
- 2011 Act 89, requires the appointment to the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System of at least one citizen member who resides in each of the state’s congressional districts.
- 2011 Act 92, defines factors for a court to consider in determining the reasonableness of attorney fees and generally limits attorney fees to three times the amount of monetary damages awarded.
- 2011 Act 93, a property owner is generally provided immunity from liability for injuries caused to a trespasser if the property owner was acting reasonably in self-defense or in the defense of another.
- 2011 Act 94, the “castle doctrine” privilege of self-defense which generally provides immunity from civil liability to a person who uses force in his or her residence in cases of unlawful and forcible entry.
- 2011 Act 97, authorizes municipalities to allow retail sales of beer from 6 a.m. until midnight, and of liquor from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.
- 2011 Act 105, makes several changes to public education laws including allowing a school board to use the
results of student achievement standardized examinations to evaluate teachers but the test results may not be used as the sole reason to
discharge, suspend, or formally discipline a teacher or nonrenew a teacher’s contract; permitting a school district to use law enforcement
records as the sole basis for taking action against a pupil under the district’s athletic code; and authorizing a school board to adopt a
policy to grant a pupil credit in physical education for completing a season in an extracurricular sport.
- 2011 Act 108, prohibits local ordinances limiting certain things a residential landlord may do, including obtaining or
using various types of information about a tenant or prospective tenant, such as household income, occupation, court records, rental history,
and credit information; limiting how far back in time such information may be considered; and limiting a landlord from showing
a rental property to a prospective tenant, or entering into a rental agreement, while the current tenant is living there.
- 2011 Act 110, makes retail theft of services a crime by defining “merchandise” to include a service provided by a “service provider.”
Bills Recently Introduced
renames the decorated tree on display in the capitol rotunda during the Christmas season as the State of WI Christmas Tree.
makes fourth offense operating while intoxicated a felony.
creates an individual income tax deduction for certain amounts paid for sewer, water, and garbage collection fees.
requires that Medical Assistance recipients be given 60 days notice of changes affecting their eligibility or benefits, and the notice must be written in clear language understandable to laypersons which describes the effects of the changes.
establishes a pilot program to allow up to three counties to conduct one-time
sobriety checkpoint operations. Drivers may only be stopped without individualized
suspicion they may be intoxicated in a neutral, nondiscretionary manner, stops must
minimize disruptions to traffic flow, they must be brief, they must be located at least
two miles away from establishments that serve alcohol beverages, and approaching
drivers must be given adequate warning that a sobriety checkpoint is underway.
relates to impounding vehicles used in certain drunk driving offenses.
permits the use of law enforcement or juvenile court records to take
disciplinary action against a pupil under a school district’s athletic code.
creates penalties for unlawfully providing alcohol beverages to an underage
person who suffers great bodily harm or death from their consumption.
requires a municipal judge to be a licensed Wisconsin attorney.
requires an ignition interlock device for first drunken driving offenses.
allows a person to obtain a free birth certificate, for a limited time, if it is needed to obtain a driver’s license or state identification card for the purpose of voting.
restores the right to vote to certain persons barred from voting as a result of a felony conviction if the felon is no longer confined in an incarceration facility.
The Legislature has RSS feeds for both
recently introduced legislation and
recent session activity. Our Facebook page also has links to recently introduced bills.
You can view a complete list of
enrolled proposals awaiting action by the governor on the Wisconsin Legislature
Legislative committee activity is available on the
Schedule of Committee Activities.
2011-2012 Blue Book
The 2011-2012 Wisconsin Blue Book is now available online. It may be ordered from the Department of Administration,
Document Sales Unit
(search Document Sales Catalog for "Wisconsin Blue Book"), (608) 266-3358. The
price is $10.30 with shipping and $7.30 without. State Legislators are
provided with complimentary copies to give to their constituents. You
contact your state senator or representative to ask about receiving one.
For more information about Legislative Service Agency publications, see the left panel of the Spotlight index page.
Prior Spotlight issues
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November 19, 2012