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Weekly E-Update

Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my latest e-update. Here is a summary from the past week as your State Representative. 

As always, previous updates are available on our website and social media. 

Please contact my office with any questions or concerns.

In solidarity,

Robyn Vining    

Session This Week

On Wednesday, the Assembly was in session and we voted on 22 bills. 

I am encouraged by the passage of a bipartisan bill I co-sponsored, Assembly Bill 69 which makes meaningful reform on expungement in Wisconsin. AB 69 removes the 25 year age limit for expungement and removes the requirement for judges to make expungement decisions only at the time of sentencing. This bill has been in the works for many years, thanks to the work and dedication of my friend and colleague Rep. Evan Goyke! This bill is now headed to the state senate for a vote. Stay tuned.

A number of bills were passed that were a result of the Speaker's Task Force on Law Enforcement Policies and Standards. All of these bills passed on a voice vote, which means the members do not record a vote: 

  • Assembly Bill 109 - reporting of law enforcement use of force incidents. 
  • Assembly Bill 110 - public access to policies regarding the use of force by law enforcement. 
  • Assembly Bill 134 - prohibiting use of choke holds by law enforcement officers in use of force policies.
  • Assembly Bill 190 - the responsibilities of the Law Enforcement Standards Board and disclosure of employment files when recruiting former or current officers
  • Assembly Bill 330 - develops standards and a certified training program for school resource officers, create a database of SROs
    • I co-authored an amendment to this bill that would keep the original language of the bill but also establishes a grant program ($2 Million) administered by DPI to award grants to school districts to hire pupil service professionals to help students who have experienced violence or trauma. The amendment was tabled (was not voted on) on a party line vote. 
  • Assembly Bill 331 - requiring prospective law enforcement officers to complete a psychological examination prior to employment as a law enforcement officer and granting rule-making authority. 
  • Assembly Bill 332 - crisis training for law enforcement officers
  • Assembly Bill 333 - crisis program program enhancement grants
    • I co-authored an amendment to provide additional funding to crisis program enhancement grants to match what the Governor proposed in the budget. The amendment was tabled (was not voted on) on a party line vote.
  • Assembly Bill 334 - drug testing of law enforcement officers involved in certain critical incidents while on duty. 
  • Assembly Bill 335 - grants to law enforcement agencies for body cameras. 

We expected to be voting on Assembly Bill 108, but it got pulled from the calendar - this was a surprise and we are waiting on word of what's to come with this bill. AB 108 passed the Senate 33-0. 

The Assembly also passed two bills on a party line vote that perpetuate harmful and false stereotypes about transgender kids. Assembly Bills 195 and 196 would create two sports competition categories based on a person’s sex assigned at birth, along with a third co-ed category. Assembly Bill 195 would make these changes on the university level and Assembly Bill 196 would make these changes to K-12 schools. I voted against these bills. Every child deserves to be loved and valued for who they are. And as with any time a bill is before the body, the burden of proof is on the author, and the author did not make the argument for either of these bills. It's important to remember the author must make the case for a bill. Over and over again this session we are voting on bills where this is not the case. 

We also voted on Assembly Bill 369 that delays the local redistricting process. This bill passed on a party line vote 59-38. I voted against this bill. Here is an article that talks a little more about it. 

HERE is a recap from FOX6 of the session day that I am featured in.

Budget Update

I attended the Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday night to see how they’d fund the state budget on healthcare. I was particularly interested in infant and maternal healthcare, and specifically expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage through one year. Wisconsin is one of the most dangerous states for a both infant and maternal health, with racial disparities in infant and maternal healthcare higher than much or most of the nation. We know that 2/3 of maternal deaths take place AFTER the baby is born, so we have to protect moms the entire year after birth. I was very disappointed to see Republicans refuse the Governor’s budget proposal to expand postpartum coverage the full year post-birth, and instead only increase from 60 to 90 days— that’s not enough. We know the 6-12month range is particularly concerning for postpartum women, and women need doctors and nurses and healthcare that first year postpartum, just like their babies do.
On “Doctor Day”, we heard how important this legislation/funding was to doctors. And from March of Dimes we have heard the same— healthy babies need healthy moms.
I was a co-sponsor of this legislation last session, I remain a big proponent of the Healthy Women, Healthy Babies initiatives the GOP won’t entertain, and I am very disappointed to see the lack of funding for Wisconsin’s moms and babies from JFC this week.
When the GOP Assembly co-chair said yesterday something to the effect of “we have funded this budget according to what Wisconsinites value,” my heart sank. Alas. Onward we fight for Wisconsin women and families.  



TOPLINE HIGHLIGHT: Less funding for broadband & health services (such as the critical Healthy Women, Healthy Babies provisions), Republicans introduce essentially a flat tax proposal, state budget now meets requirements for MOE, but because of how they did it, still fails to fund schools

This week was the last week of JFC budget meetings. The budget will now move to the Legislature for a vote in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates!

Executive Summary from Tuesday June 15th JFC session:

  • Department of Health Services (DHS) & Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI)
    • Democrats on the motion offered Motion #103, which would accept Medicaid Expansion and save $1.6 billion in GPR funds, this would cover the maintenance of effort (MOE) to qualify Wisconsin for $2.3 billion in federal funds for K-12 schools (see memo here).  This motion was ruled out of order and the Democrats on the committee appealed the rule of the chair and the ruling was upheld 11-4.
    • Democrats then moved an omnibus Motion #109 to include DHS, and OCI. The motion would increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes, personal care workers, autism service, emergency physician and dental health. This proposal would also allow Medicaid to cover doula services, community health services, acupuncture services and it would expand postpartum eligibility for Wisconsin mothers from 60 days to one year. The motion repealed the work requirement for able-bodied adults with dependents to participate in FoodShare. The proposal increased funding for Critical Access Hospital and Disproportionate Share Hospital payments as well as funding for public health initiatives including black women and infants health, communicable disease grants and staffing, community health centers and birth to 3 programs. Motion #109 would provide funding for mental health, regional crisis response system grants, substance abuse, dementia care specialists and Alzheimer's family and caregiver support. The motion failed 4-11.
    • The GOP offered Motion #111. This motion did not include a number of items that were in the Governor’s budget. The list of those items are here. This motion addressed DHS, OCI and BALTC. The motion would increase reimbursement rate for nursing homes, emergency physicians, chiropractic, physical therapy and dental healthcare. The motion funded personal care reimbursement rate more than in the governor’s budget. Motion #111 would also provide increased funding for disproportionate share hospitals, substance abuse and dementia care specialists and would only expand postpartum eligibility from 60 to 90 days. The GOP motion would spend less than the Governor’s budget on community health centers, free and charitable clinics, autism services, Alzheimer’s family and caregiver support, regional crisis response system grants and FoodShare. The motion passes 11-4.
  • Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BALTC)
    • Democrats moved Alternative 1 on BALTC paper #180. The motion would provide funding to increase ombudsman program staff by 2.0 full time positions.  This motion failed 4-11.
  • Department of Children and Families (DCF) 
    • Democrats on the committee offered Motion #108, the Governor’s budget request for DCF. The motion included funding increases for programs to provide assistance to struggling families,  make childcare more affordable, and invest in foster care and adoption programs. The motion increased funds to these critical programs by over $150 million over the biennium. The motion failed 4-11.
    • Republicans offered Motion #110. The motion increased funding to priority programs by less than half the Governor’s budget request. Motion passed 11-4.
  • Public Service Commission (PSC)
    • Democrats on the committee offered Motion #106, which had items that were removed from further consideration. The items included broadband provision as well as focus on energy programs and electric vehicle charging stations. This motion was ruled out of order. Motion #107 would create an annual appropriation using GPR of $74.793 million in 2021 and $72.941 million in 2022 to fund a broadband expansion grant program issued by PSC. The motion would also provide planning grants and a broadband line extension grant program. The motion failed 4-11.
    • GOP members offered Motion #112, which would offer $125 million in general bonding to make broadband expansion grants available offered by the PSC, choosing not to spend general purpose revenue on the program. The motion passed 11-4.

Executive Summary from Thursday June 17th JFC session:

  • Employee Trust Fund (ETF) & Compensation Reserves 
    • Democrats on the committee offered Motion #113 would increase general salary for state and UW System employees by 2% on each January 1, 2023 and 2023. The motion adopted a pay progression system for nursing assistants and residential care technicians. Finally, the motion would provide ETF funding for IT upgrades and cybersecurity. The motion failed 4-11. 
    • Republicans offered Motion #118 which adopted most proposals in the Democratic motion and added an hourly pay increase for select security positions in the correctional facilities. The proposal would increase pay by $5 an hour for adult institutions that have staff vacancies of 40%. Currently, only Waupun correctional meets this qualification. The motion passed 11-4.
  • Shared Revenue and Tax Relief & Department of Revenue (DOR)
    • Democrats offered Motion #116, which would increase county and municipal aid by 2% in both calendar years. The motion increased payments for municipal services and made changes to lottery administration. The Democrats motion included a K-12 schools general aid increase, with a per pupil revenue limit adjustment. The funding would increase school revenue by $120 million in 2021 and $290 million in 2022 while decreasing the school levy by $680 million in 2021 and $510 million in 2022 in property tax cuts. This provision would meet the federal MOE to receive federal K-12 funding. The motion failed 4-11.
    • The GOP members offered Motion #117 which did not increase aid to local governments. The motion had provisions to eliminate the personal property tax and it set aside $202 million in one time appropriation to backfill the tax revenue to local governments. The proposal hinges upon legislation passed through the legislature to eliminate the tax and the funds will also be withheld in the Joint Finance Supplemental Fund until further JFC action to release the funds. The motion passed 11-4. 
  • General Fund Taxes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Stabilization Fund 
    • Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #119, the Governor’s budget requests for General Fund Taxes, WEDC and the budget stabilization fund. The motion included several new or expanded tax credits, including a Family Caregiver Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Expenses Tax Credit and a sales and use tax exemption for diapers. It also adopted several federal tax provisions from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The motion also included WEDC’s budget, with a one-time appropriation of $200 million to assist small business recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a $100 million venture capital program. Overall, the motion effectively reduced the tax burden on working families by over $300 million over the biennium. The motion failed on party lines 4-11.
    • The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #120. The motion reduced the tax rate for the third income tax bracket (individual or joint filers making between $24,000 and $263,000) from 6.27% to 5.30%, lowering revenues by just under $2.4 billion over the biennium. It also transferred $200 million in GPR to the budget stabilization fund, for a total of $2.1 billion in that fund to date. The motion passed on party lines 11-4.
  • Budget Wrap Up and 999 motion 
    • The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #2001, incorporating final changes to the budget before adoption. The motion brought the budget into compliance with Maintenance of Effort standards required by federal coronavirus relief laws over the past year to guarantee the state will receive billions in federal funding for K-12 and higher education, however while money went to schools, because the revenue limits were not increased, schools cannot spend the money, so it will pass through the schools to reduce property taxes. It's the appearance of funding public schools. 
    • And while Speaker Vos said this "equates to an increase of $2,900 per student statewide," it's not actually an increase of $2,900 per student statewide.
    • And so, I will continue to argue for funding for our public schools. 
    • Specifically, it increased general school aid base funding by $408 million over the biennium and provided a $72 million GPR increase for property tax relief aid for technical colleges. It also increased the annual allotment for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship by $1.25 million to $9.25 million, matching the current level. The motion passed  on party lines 11-4.
    • Finally, Republicans moved Motion #999, incorporating all action by JFC into substitute amendments for AB 68/SB 111 (the budget bill), and recommending the bills for passage as amended. The motion passed on party lines 11-4. 

Session Next Week 

The Wisconsin State Assembly will be in session on Tuesday, June 22nd at 1pm to vote on legislation.

Watch live at wiseye.org/live

Equality Agenda 

I was honored to stand with the members of the LGBTQ caucus on Wednesday as they introduced the Equality Agenda: 

  • The six bills will ban conversion therapy, prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender identity or gender expression, eliminate the gay and transgender “panic” defense, create a transgender equality task force, and update Wisconsin’s statutes and constitution to recognize marriage equality.
  • The four joint resolutions proclaim March 31st as International Transgender Day of Visibility, recognize June 2021 as LGBTQ Pride Month, recognize the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, and proclaim November 20th as Transgender Day of Remembrance. 

People’s Maps Commission Portal

The Wisconsin People’s Maps Commission (PMC) announced yesterday a new public input portal at portal.wisconsin-mapping.org. Wisconsinites are encouraged to submit maps of their communities, redistricting plans of their own, and written comments to guide the work and recommendations of the PMC.

Beyond the Classroom Grant Program

In April, Governor Evers announced a $50 million investment to support Wisconsin school-aged children's learning opportunities and mental health programs. Another key piece of the Badger Bounceback, the "Beyond the Classroom" grant program will provide funding of up to $3,000,000 to eligible non-profit organizations.

Today, DOA announced that the program will begin accepting applications for grants. Interested applicants can attend a webinar to learn more about the grant program and ask questions on June 25. Applications for the grant program are due July 8 and grants will be issued this summer.

All interested organizations should sign up HERE to receive notifications regarding the Beyond the Classroom Grant program. Questions about the program should be emailed to BeyondtheClassroom@wisconsin.gov

You can find more information here for questions about the grant program, and how to apply. DOA has also posted information on their Facebook page


Juneteenth Flag Raising with Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus members & Lt. Gov. Barnes & Gov. Tony Evers

Saturday is Juneteenth! The Legislative Black Caucus held a Juneteenth event on Friday in the State Capitol with Lt. Governor Barnes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, and other dignitaries and community members to honor this day, which has now officially been designated a federal holiday. The Juneteenth flag now flies over the Wisconsin State Capitol!

Photo by Greg Anderson

Wauwatosa Schools Superintendent Commendation

On Monday, on behalf of Rep. Rodriguez, Sen. Kooyenga, and myself,  I presented a commendation plaque to Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Dr. Phil Ertl in gratitude for his service to WSD and to celebrate his upcoming retirement!

Summer School Counts Bill

This week we submitted our Summer School Counts bill “jacket” for formal introduction after gathering our list of co-sponsors. It now heads to get an official bill number! This is an important part of our COVID-19 recovery - this bill deserves a public hearing and vote by the legislature.

Independence Day Parades

Wauwatosa Independence Day Parade 2019 with Governor Evers

We will be walking in two upcoming Independence Day Parades - Brookfield on Saturday, July 3rd and Wauwatosa on Monday, July 5th.

If your kids or families are interested in walking with us in either parade, fill out the interest form HERE and we will send you the details! 

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and dad-figures out there! I wish you all a fun and relaxing weekend.

Sending love to those for whom this day is painful.

 COVID-19 Vaccine Update

As of June 18th, 5,433,176 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin and 49.5% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose, with 45.1% fully vaccinated. 

En español, AQUI¿Tiene preguntas sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19? Llame al 844-684-1064 (llamada gratuita)

For more information about where you can get a vaccine, visit the DHS website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in Waukesha County, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Wauwatosa, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Milwaukee, visit their website HERE. En español AQUI

COVID-19 Case Update

For daily updated information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, visit the DHS website HERE.

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 107,347 confirmed cases (increase of 13)
Waukesha -  44,127 confirmed cases (increase of 3)

*Changes over day prior


Forward together,

Rep. Robyn Vining


Contact Us: 

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708 

PH: (608) 266-9180
TF: (888) 534-0014

Email: Rep.Vining@legis.wi.gov 
Web: www.vining.assembly.wi.gov 

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