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 January 2, 2012
The most recent regular session legislative floorperiod ended November 3, and the
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.
ACLU Challenges Voter ID Law
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit to enjoin enforcement of
2011 Act 23, the Voter ID law, in the U.S. Eastern District Court of Wisconsin, on the grounds that it deprives some eligible citizens of the right to vote.
Recently Introduced Legislation
- AB-441, to create a penalty for signing a petition to recall the same officer more than once.
- AB-444, to restore voting rights to convicted felons following release from incarceration.
- AB-445, to restore prior law on hours of work for minors.
- AB-447, to authorize a school board to grant a vocational high school diploma.
- AB-449, to increase the penalty for repeated domestic abuse offenses.
- AB-452, relating to resolution of claims against the state for wrongful imprisonment of innocent persons.
- SB-347, to create a Capitol Council.
- SB-350, to increase the penalty for repeated domestic abuse offenses.
- SB-351, to change the deadline for approval of a certain federal law waiver request affecting the Medical Assistance program.
- SB-355, to restore prior law on hours of work for minors.
Recently Signed Into Law
As of December 30, 113 acts have been signed into law. You can find them
here. All bills awaiting action by the governor from the recent floorperiod and special session have been acted on.
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.”
- 2011 Act 113, increases penalties for unlicensed drivers who injure or kill others.
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 Web site.
Legislative committee activity is available on the
Schedule of Committee Activities.
Three committees are scheduled to meet on January 4-5.
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 may
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