February 25, 2022

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Floor Update

It has been a busy week in Madison. The Assembly held three very full floor sessions in which we passed dozens of bills. In particular, we passed the education and election reform packages which I described in my recent newsletters (here and here). We also passed a number of other important standalone bills including:

  • AB 41/SB 49: Improved tracking of opioid and methamphetamine use
  • AB 405/SB 398: Adds September 11th to the list of our state's special observance days
  • AB 506/SB 508: Allows highway vehicles to be equipped with green warning lights, which are easier to see in inclement weather
  • AB 520/SB 519: Allows for permanent restraining orders to protect survivors of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree sexual assault
  • AB 578: Allows individuals to register as an organ donor when they apply for a hunting, fishing or trapping license
  • AB 588/ SB 573: Eliminates regulatory roadblocks preventing private entities from installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
  • AB 656: Provides a pathway for skilled, internationally-trained doctors to practice in Wisconsin without redoing a residency program
  • AB 675: Protects medical freedom by requiring the acceptance of proof of natural immunity in lieu of vaccination or testing requirements for employment
  • AB 816/SB 794: Simplifies tax treatment of pass-through entities by adopting federal IRS audit procedures, which will save time for both taxpayers and the Department of Revenue
  • AB 889/SB 829: Requires counties to remit the net proceeds from a sale following foreclosure to a non-homestead property due to property tax arrearage to the former owner (currently, counties may keep the profits for themselves)
  • AB 943: Provides resources for disposing of environmentally harmful electronic waste at several locations throughout the state, including Washington County
  • AB 957: Protects consumer privacy by ensuring that individuals can manage how their personal data is collected, stored, transferred, and utilized by data collectors
  • AB 960: Enhances penalties for battery or threat of battery to health care providers
  • SB 365: Modernizes the Broadband Expansion Grant Program to make it more efficient and ensure that investment flows to unserved areas
  • SB 707: Ensures that persons discharged from the military for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine will remain defined as veterans for eligibility purposes

In addition, we voted to advance two amendments to the Wisconsin State Constitution.

  • AJR 112/SJR 84: Guarantees legislative oversight of federal funds the state receives
  • AJR 133: Enshrines the photo ID requirement for voting in the State Constitution
  • AJR 54/SJR 32: Provides clarity that qualified electors in Wisconsin must be U.S. citizens

On that note, the Assembly also passed my bill to help our municipal clerks administer our election laws by requiring an annotation on state IDs issued to non-citizens that incidates they are "Not Valid for Voting Purposes." Check out my press conference before the vote and my speech on the floor.

Term Limits for Congress
When you have the facts, you pound the facts. When you have the law, you pound the law. When you have neither, you pound the table.

That was the approach Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) took during yesterday's floor debate on my resolution to submit Wisconsin's application to Congress for an Article V convention to propose amendments imposing term limits on Congress. Apparently, "term limits" means "limiting terminology." Yikes! You can see his full speech here. You can also view my floor speech in favor of the resolution here. It easily passed the Assembly on a voice vote.

That is because national opinion polling shows strong support nationwide for congressional term limits (>75%) across both major parties and independent voters. A poll in Wisconsin revealed that 82% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats support congressional term limits.

The average tenure of a member of Congress has doubled in the Senate and tripled in the House over the past 130 years. This trend had proven detrimental to our system of government as more and more members of Congress set up shop in Washington and become disconnected with their constituencies.

Two-thirds of the states (34) need to submit applications in order to trigger the convention, and three-fourths of the states (38) must ratify any proposed amendments.

These safeguards ensure that state legislatures retain the ultimate authority on ratification. Furthermore, 2017 Act 83 establishes the process for recalling Wisconsin’s delegates if they take any action that exceeds the scope authorized in the resolution.

The Constitution gives the states the authority to call this convention. It is time we exercise it to fix our broken Congress, because it is highly unlikely that Congress will take the initiative in limiting itself.

Parental Bill of Rights

Last week, I described an education package led by our own Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills). These bills have passed the Assembly this week and are now in the Senate. They received a hearing in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

Alyssa Pollow, a resident of Germantown, came down to Madison to testify on Assembly Bill 963, a bill that creates a parental bill of rights. I enjoyed meeting with her and discussing why this bill is necessary to protect the parent-child relationship.

You can read the full list of 15 rights enumerated in the bill here. These rights guarantee the ability of parents to raise their children without interference from competing forces, the bill also allows parents and guardians to sue governments and officials who violate those rights. It is great to see constituents playing a role in drafting and advancing important legislation like this.

Community Events

Germantown

Event: How to Attract Bluebirds to Your Yard
Date and Time: March 7th at 1:00 PM
Location: Germantown Community Library - N112 W16957 Mequon Rd
Description: Master Gardener Lora Schreiber will present on how to attract bluebirds to your yard.

Menomonee Falls

Event: Red Cross Blood Drive
Date and Time: March 2nd from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Location: American Legion Post 382 - N88 W16652 Main St
Description: Set up your appointment here.

Glendale
Event: Something Rotten! A Very New Musical
Date and Time: February 25th and 26th at 7:00 PM, and 27th at 2:00 PM
Location: Nicolet High School Fine Arts Center - 6701 N Jean Nicolet Rd
 
 

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