4 On 4 Video Update

October 30, 2015

Here's What I've Been Working On For You!

(Proposals Authored or Co-Authored)

*Find full list here

Click on the picture above for a video message from Rep. Steffen. You can also view the video on YouTube, here.

GAB, Campaign Finance, and John Doe Reform

This month, the State Assembly took up a set of bills aimed at reforming our state's campaign finance and John Doe laws, as well as restructuring the Government Accountability Board.

AB 68 John Doe: This bill reforms the current John Doe statute. Wisconsin is the only state that currently uses John Doe investigations to pursue political crimes, which has resulted in a lack of protection for the free speech rights of witnesses and targets of these proceedings. AB 68 brings Wisconsin in line with other states, by still allowing for the prosecution of crimes and corruption using John Doe proceedings, but placing limits on the overstep of power we've seen in these cases. AB 68 adds important protections, judicial oversight, and public accountability to John Doe proceedings.

AB 387 Campaign Finance Reform: This bill codifies recent court decisions relating to our state's campaign finance law. Our vague and outdated campaign finance statutes created confusion for citizens interested in participating in our political process. Residents have the right to clearly know what they can and cannot do under the law. AB 387 increases the reporting frequency of campaigns, adjusts contribution limits (still keeping them well below the rate of inflation, which would be 5 times the current law limits), allows for equal treatment of unions and corporations while prohibiting corporate money from going to candidates, and reflects Supreme Court rulings relating to the protection of issue advocacy.

AB 388 GAB Restructuring: In response to significant lapses in oversight relating to the current structure of the Government Accountability Board, AB 388 restructures the GAB with the intent of restoring confidence and accountability in our state's elections and ethics agency. An audit revealed the GAB failed to review voter rolls to remove felons for a span of 16 elections, failed to audit electronic voting equipment for 3 general elections, failed to establish formal procedures to process complaints, and failed to consistently handle late filing of candidate reports. AB 388 would create two bipartisan commissions, the Ethics Commission and the Election Commission. Each party will have equal representation on these boards, which will be composed of six citizen members, serving five year terms. Another important provision would require that the Election Commission include either a current or former clerk, to ensure that elections run smoothly and efficiently.


Winter Is On Its Way

Lower temperatures mean higher heating costs, but it isn't all bad news. We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service have issued their 2015-16 winter heating cost forecasts. Predictions of a milder winter combined with lower natural gas prices mean heating costs could be down as much as 18% from last year for the average household! Still, the costs of heating a home through a long Wisconsin winter can present real financial pressures. It's important to know that energy assistance is available. Due to changes in income eligibility, more families may now qualify for aid to help pay their energy bill. An individual who earns $25,600/year or less and families of four that earn up to $49,200/year may qualify. In addition, Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) offers one-time grants to help pay energy bills. For additional information on energy assistance programs, contact WHEAP at homeenergyplus.wi.gov or at 866-432-8947. For We Energies customers, call 800-842-4565, and WPS customers should call 800-450-7260.


Thanks For Visiting!

Thank you, MacArthur Elementary School for making your way down to Madison to tour our beautiful capitol building! Touring the capitol is a great way to learn a bit more about our state's history, while also getting an opportunity to see our government in action. If you are bringing a group down to Madison and need any assistance in setting up a tour, please contact my office. We're happy to help!


Law and Order


AB 5: Protecting witnesses from intimidation. 

AB 8: Creates a felony charge for taking pictures or videos of another's private areas without consent, "upskirting."

AB 10: Empower victims of domestic abuse to file restraining orders against perpetrators who live in another state.

AB 127 : Providing a penalty for the possession of vicious dogs by certain felony offenders.

AB 147: Creates a felony charge for a intentionally causing bodily harm to a judge, prosecutor or law enforcement officer.

AB 220: Establishing a mandatory minimum period of confinement in prison for a person who possesses a firearm or who uses a firearm to commit certain crimes after being convicted of committing certain violent felonies.

AB 305: Providing a penalty for the sale and use of fetal body parts.

AB 308: Providing an exemption from civil liability for forcibly entering a vehicle under certain circumstances.


Protecting the Environment

AB 15: Protect our Great Lakes through the phasing out of harmful microbeads used in manufacturing personal care and cosmetic items.


Supporting Our Businesses and Consumers

AB 11: Eliminates an outdated mandate for recycled content of newsprint in newspapers.

AB 18: Allowing liquor taste testing at certain retailers, levels the playing field with beer/wine tasting.

AB 143: Regulating transportation network companies, allowing expansion of ride-share options.

AB 398: Regulation of persons that own or operate dental practices.


Fighting Fraud

AB 212: Makes repeat unemployment insurance benefit fraudsters ineligible for UI benefits for seven years if they commit two acts of UI fraud.

AB 200: A waiver to limit the number of FoodShare replacement cards.

AB 188: Removing FoodShare benefits from an inactive account and expunging unused benefits after one year.

Supporting Veterans

AB 114: Providing a penalty for falsely claiming military service or honors.

Responsible Spending

AB 233: Elimination of sick leave for state senators and representatives.

AB 296: Distributing excess sales tax revenue collected by local professional football stadium district to Brown County and its municipalities.

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Office of Rep. David Steffen-State Capitol-21 North-Post Office Box 8953-Madison, WI 53708-8953

(608)-266-5840-Toll Free (888) 534-0004-Fax (608) 282-3604    Rep.Steffen@legis.wi.gov

Website: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/04/steffen/