January 18, 2019

Senate and Assembly Democrats were happy to welcome Tony Evers as he was officially sworn in as the 46th Governor of Wisconsin, along with incoming Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Attorney General Josh Kaul, and Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. In his first week in office, Gov. Evers traveled the state highlighting his priorities to improve health care, strengthen schools and fund infrastructure in his upcoming budget. Gov. Evers also announced his plans to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin which would save taxpayers millions of dollars. Unfortunately, Republican leaders have expressed a disregard for this plan and would rather side with powerful insurance executives over the health of Wisconsin families.

In the legislature, Democratic lawmakers announced a “Fresh Start for Wisconsin” policy package that includes non-partisan redistricting, campaign finance reform, lame duck constitutional amendment and open records laws. The Senate and Assembly are scheduled to be in session on Tuesday, January 22 and Gov. Evers will give the State of the State Address that evening.

What Democrats Are Saying 

​ Democratic Proposals

LRB0123 Prescription Drug Sales (Sen. Carpenter) - Related to regulating the sale of prescription drugs below cost.

LRB0099 Supermajority Required (Sen. Carpenter) - Related to requiring a supermajority vote for bills overturning local government policies, ordinances, resolutions, and regulations.

LRB1197 Well Testing (Rep. Shankland) - Relating to testing of private wells, compensation for well contamination and abandonment, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.

LRB1021 State Game Bird (Sen. Bewley) - Relating to designating the ruffed grouse as the state small game bird. 

LRB1422 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (Rep. Sargent) - Relating to recognizing February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. 

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session
The next floor session is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22nd. The entire floor session calendar can be found here.

Senate Committees

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

The Committee held an executive session on Senate Joint Resolution 2 (Marsy’s Law), a proposal expanding the rights of crime victims. (Passed 3-2)

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session

The Assembly did not conduct a floor session this week. There will be a floor session on Tuesday, January 22nd followed by Gov. Evers’ State of the State address. The entire floor session calendar can be found here.

Assembly Committees

Committee on Health

The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, January 15th on a bill regarding coverage of individuals with preexisting conditions. The committee also held an Executive Session on Thursday, January 17th to vote on one Assembly Bill:

  • Assembly Bill 1 would require health insurance companies to cover Wisconsinites with preexisting conditions. It will only take effect if the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is no longer enforceable or no longer preempt state law. Under this bill, along with other measures, every individual health insurer must accept every individual in the state who applies for coverage and every group insurer plan must accept every employer in the state that applies for coverage, regardless of whether any individual or employee has a preexisting condition. (Passed 13-2)

Committee on Ways and Means

The committee held a meeting on Wednesday, January 16th discussing committee policy and procedure manuals and provided members an opportunity to discuss their ideas on tax reform and other tax policy.


Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, January 16th to vote on one Assembly Joint Resolution:

  • Assembly Joint Resolution 1 (Marsy’s Law) is a proposed constitutional amendment that gives victims of crime various rights that were not previously allotted by the state, such as fair treatment, privacy, and proceeding free from unreasonable delay. This resolution also orders courts or other authorities to act promptly with respect to such actions and must afford remedies for the violations of the victim's rights. Currently, the state constitution requires that crime victims be afforded certain privileges and protections, some of which are similar to some of the rights enumerated above. (Passed 10-2)
Next Week in the Legislature


Joint Committees

The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules will hold a public hearing on EmR 1821, relating to statistical sampling in sales tax audits and EmR 1822, relating to written reports of home inspectors.


Senate Committees

There are no committee meetings scheduled at this time. 

Assembly Committees

 There are no committee meetings scheduled at this time. 

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 To view updated committee notices, visit the legislative website and click on Committee Schedule: Wisconsin State Legislature.

 The State Capitol Update is provided by the Senate and Assembly Democratic Caucuses. For additional information, please send an email to WisconsinDemocrats@legis.wi.gov or call toll free: 1.800.385.3385.