Preparing for the October Floor Period

The Assembly plans to meet on October 26 and 27, so there was a whirlwind of committee activity this week to ensure legislation is properly vetted.  In my case, that meant meetings of the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy and the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.

I am pleased to say that the ways and means committee, which met on October 20, approved Assembly Bill 517, a bill I introduced to expand the definition of "environmental pollution" for the purposes of environmental remediation tax increment districts, which I believe will make many necessary redevelopment projects more cost-effective and therefore more likely to happen.  Earlier that day, the Senate (which was in session this week) passed AB 517's companion, Senate Bill 518.

Also this week, the Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate approved the "Fixing Foundations" housing package, including Assembly Bill 609, a bipartisan proposal I introduced that would allow municipalities to establish local housing investment fund programs.  The Assembly will vote on the housing package on October 26.

Redistricting Update

This week, Assembly and Senate leadership introduced Assembly Bill 624/Senate Bill 621 and Assembly Bill 625/Senate Bill 622, the proposals for redrawing Wisconsin's state legislative and congressional districts to reflect the 2020 Census results, as required by the Wisconsin Constitution.  The maps were drawn according to the principles the Legislature approved in Senate Joint Resolution 63:

  • Comply with the federal and state law;
  • Give effect to the principle that every citizen's vote should count the same by creating districts with nearly equal population, having population deviations that are well below that which is required by the U.S. Constitution;
  • Retain as much as possible the core of existing districts, thus maintaining existing communities of interest, and promoting the equal opportunity to vote by minimizing disenfranchisement due to staggered Senate terms;
  • Contain districts that are compact;
  • Contain districts that are legally contiguous;
  • Respect and maintain whole communities of interest where practicable;
  • Avoid municipal splits unless unavoidable or necessary to further another principle stated above, and when splitting municipalities, respect current municipal ward boundaries;
  • Promote continuity of representation by avoiding incumbent pairing unless necessary to further another principle stated above; and
  • Contain districts that follow natural boundaries where practicable and consistent other principles, including geographic features such as rivers and lakes, manufactured boundaries such as major highways, and political boundaries such as county lines.

You may view interactive versions of the proposed maps at the Legislature's Draw Your District website.

The 75th Assembly District currently includes portions of six counties.  Under AB 624/SB 621, the 75th District would include only three counties:  Barron, Washburn, and Polk (Turtle Lake only).  The Washburn County portion of the district would include Spooner and Springbrook, which are currently in the 73rd District.

The Assembly state affairs committee and the Senate government operations committee will hold a joint hearing on the redistricting bills on October 28.  The Legislature will probably vote on these maps in November, after which they will go to Governor Evers.

Blue Books Available

The 2021-2022 edition of the Wisconsin Blue Book is now available.  You may view the content online, or you may request a hard copy from my office (please include your name and mailing address).  Depending on the volume of requests, delivery may take a few weeks.

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.