Welcome back, Former Representative Mark Honadel!


This week, my predecessor, Former Representative Mark Honadel paid a visit to the Capitol while the Assembly was in session. It was my honor to formally introduce him on the floor of the Assembly. Mark served the 21st Assembly District from 2003 until his retirement in 2013. Thanks for visiting, Mark!

Assembly Floor Session


On Tuesday, the Assembly was in session to pass several bills. Most notably, we passed legislation that addresses issues related to law enforcement and election integrity, which are outlined below.


Law Enforcement

Senate Bill 119 (SB 119) decreases shared revenue payments to municipalities who cut funding for their police forces, equal to the amount cut from the force. This reduction in aid then becomes the ongoing amount that the municipality will receive. The reduction amount is also redistributed between municipalities that didn’t cut funding for their police forces. The bill does allow for municipalities to enter into cooperative agreements to share law enforcement with other units of government or to transfer responsibility to another unit of government without having revenues cut.


Senate Bill 120 (SB 120) requires that law enforcement agencies specify when use of force must be reported, how to report use of force, and that officers who observe or use force must report it. Additionally, the bill provides a whistleblower protection so that police officers who report violations of policy cannot be retaliated against. SB 120 creates a statewide use-of-force standard, a duty to report, and a duty to intervene in situations where an officer observes another officer failing to comply with the use-of-force standard created, and a misdemeanor penalty for an officer who intentionally fails to report or intervene. The bill requires an officer to intervene only when they observe a use of force that does not comply with the standards put forward in the bill.



Election Integrity

Senate Bill 203 (SB 203) limits ballot collection events to one site per municipality (aside from the municipal clerk’s office) and establishes guidelines for their operation. The bill states that an individual may deliver up to two ballots for non-family members.


Senate Bill 205 (SB 205) provides that administrators of long-term care facilities may only deny access by special voting deputies if a public health emergency exists. The bill requires facility administrators to notify the relatives of each resident of the dates and times of visits by special voting deputies and allows those relatives to be present to observe the election process within the facility (while keeping the ballot secret).


Senate Bill 210 (SB 210) creates a uniform distance of no more than three feet for observation areas during a recount. Current law of three to eight feet is maintained for Election Day observers. SB 210 also creates a penalty for election officials who intentionally obstruct an observer’s access to observe election procedures.


Senate Bill 212 (SB 212) prohibits a municipal clerk who receives an absentee ballot with no certificate or with an incomplete certificate from correcting the defect. It requires the clerk to post online to notify the voter of the error so that the voter may correct it. SB 212 also defines the items that must be complete on an absentee ballot in order for the ballot to be counted.



I voted in favor of all the bills listed above and look forward to them being sent to the Governor.

Joint Committee on Finance

While JFC officially concluded our work on the 2021-2023 biennial budget last week, the committee still meets frequently throughout the session. JFC is a standing committee which is able to conduct hearings and pass bills through executive session just like any other standing committee in the legislature. On Wednesday, the committee passed four bills that will be sent to the Assembly and Senate for floor votes.


One of those bills was Assembly Bill 408 (AB 408), which I have been working on for the past few months along with Senator Dale Kooyenga. AB 408 allows the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) to create a dredged material management facility (DMMF) to store dredged material from the Milwaukee Estuary. The Milwaukee Estuary includes portions of the Milwaukee River, Menomonee River, and the Kinnickinnic River which flow into Lake Michigan in the City of Milwaukee.


As manufacturing operations and other economic activity increased in the early 20th century in the Milwaukee region so did the level of toxins being dumped into the Milwaukee Estuary. As a result of decades of manufacturing in the city, this area is heavily contaminated with toxic sediment that must be dredged and placed in a special facility designated for containing the contaminated material.


Current law allows a metropolitan sewerage district to engage in shore land protection projects such as the Milwaukee Estuary, but not after January 1, 1992. AB 408 allows MMSD to build and manage the DMMF and requires MMSD to pay for all the costs of the facility.


Cleanup of the Milwaukee Estuary is important for Southeastern Wisconsin because it will increase recreational use of the area which will result in a better economy and healthier water. As the economic engine of the state, Milwaukee has its challenges – but I believe projects like this could be a game changer for the city and our community. I am excited to finally move this project forward.