Education and Elections

The Wisconsin State Assembly held what may be its final floor sessions of the 2021-2022 biennium when it met on February 22, 23, and 24.  While the proposals the Assembly passed covered many different subjects, the two major issue areas were education and elections.

Among the education bills the Assembly passed this week with my support was Senate Bill 409, which addresses critical race theory in higher education by prohibiting UW schools and technical colleges from teaching race or sex stereotyping.  (It is similar to Assembly Bill 411, which applied to K-12 and which the Legislature passed last fall.  Governor Evers subsequently vetoed AB 411.)  Assembly Republicans also stood up for families against school overreach by passing a parental “bill of rights” in Assembly Bill 963, followed by Assembly Bill 995, which allows parents to opt their children out of school-imposed masking requirements.  My colleagues and I also passed proposals to address student reading achievement, as well as to increase access to charter and choice schools.

Turning to elections, the Assembly passed three proposed amendments to the Wisconsin Constitution relating to that important subject: 

Proposed constitutional amendments must pass both the Assembly and the Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions before they go to a statewide referendum.

The Assembly also concurred in a number of Senate bills intended to address many of the problems Wisconsin experienced during the 2020 elections.  These proposals, which will now go to Governor Evers for his consideration, include:

  • Senate Bill 937, which tightens up the rules for indefinitely confined voters.
  • Senate Bill 939, which prohibits ballot harvesting and makes several other changes to the absentee voting process.
  • Senate Bills 941, 942, and 943, which increase legislative oversight of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.  

I continue to hear from constituents with concerns about the 2020 elections, and I believe the reforms the Legislature passed this week will give Wisconsin voters increased confidence in the system’s integrity going forward.

On a related note, the Assembly campaigns and elections committee has scheduled a meeting for March 1, at which it will hear testimony from former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman about the status of his investigation of the 2020 election.

Among the non-education and -election bills the Legislature acted on this week, I am happy to say that the Senate, which was in session on February 22, concurred in several proposals in the Republicans' Stronger Workforce package, including Assembly Bill 938, the unemployment insurance efficiency and integrity bill I had introduced earlier this year.

Even though the Assembly may have held its final floor session of 2022, in which case it will not be voting on any further legislation, I hope you will continue to share your comments about issues that are important to you so that I may bear them in mind for the 2023-2024 legislative session.

Legislative Website

If you are interested in learning more about bills that I have authored, co-sponsored, or voted on, please click here.  This link will take you directly to my Wisconsin State Legislative page.  Also, if you are interested in viewing my office website, click here.