November 10, 2017

Despite ongoing concerns, Governor Scott Walker and his Economic Development Corporation finalized a $3 billion contract with Foxconn this week. The deal, negotiated in secret, commits state taxpayers to the largest cash payment ever given to a foreign corporation in U.S. history. Foxconn’s history of workplace abuses combined with the Walker administration’s failure to hold corporations accountable for outsourcing jobs continue to raise questions about the deal.

In the Legislature, Republicans adjourned the fall floor period without taking action on several key issues including rural school aid, transportation funding, worker wages, student loan debt or health care affordability. Instead they chose to address, several bills that add to the state’s budget deficit, open the door to industrial acid mining and commit the state to a national convention to rewrite the constitution were passed by the majority party.

Health Care Survey

The Affordable Care Act has helped tens of millions Americans gain access to affordable health care and has saved countless lives. Recent Republican efforts would increase the number of uninsured Americans, eliminate patient protections and significantly raise out-of-pocket costs on working families and seniors. Wisconsin Democrats are fighting to maintain and expand healthcare. Please share you health care story and thoughts on the Affordable Care Act. 

Click on the link below to share your thoughts on our health care system:

Wisconsin Democrats Health Care Survey

What Democrats Are Saying

​ Democratic Proposals

LRB4670 Low Revenue Ceiling (Rep. Pope, Sen. Bewley) would increase the revenue limit ceiling for school districts to $9,500 in the 2018-19 school year and to $9,900 in the 2019-20 school year and each school year thereafter.

LRB4759 & LRB4770 Prematurity Awareness Month (Rep. Rodriguez, Sen. Taylor) would recognize November 2017 as Prematurity Awareness Month.

LRB0133 Claiming the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit (Sen. Hansen) would provide that no individual may claim the manufacturing and agriculture income tax credit for any taxable year after 2016 in which the individual's adjusted gross income is $30,000,000 or more.

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

The Senate was in session on Tuesday and took up numerous bills which would have severe consequences for our state. The Senate Republicans passed Assembly Joint Resolution 20, which would call an Article V convention of the states where delegates could propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States. In effect it gives delegates the power to rewrite the Constitution putting at risk our nation’s fundamental rights and freedoms.

The Senate also approved Assembly Bill 499 which would lift the industrial acid mining moratorium, relax wetland and ground water protections, limit the time regulators have to review mine plans, limit the legal challenges to mining permits, and exempt mining companies from fees that support the safe handling of hazardous waste. Wisconsin is a state that prides itself in protecting our natural resources. This bill is dangerous to waterways, clean drinking water and makes our state vulnerable to acid mining pollution.

Senate Committees

There were no committee meetings held in the Senate this week.

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session

The Assembly held floor sessions on Tuesday and Thursday to take up numerous resolutions and bills. On Tuesday, Republicans rejected Assembly Resolution 18 to make public the Foxconn contract that the WEDC went on to approve on Wednesday. On Thursday, Republicans passed SB 69, eliminating spotters for waterskiing as well as other proposals reducing safety and protections. SB 48 also passed on Thursday with bipartisan support relating to lead service line replacements.

Assembly Committees

Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform
The committee held an Executive Session on AB 384, related to the expiration of each chapter of the Wisconsin Administrative Code after seven years (Passed 6-3).

Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety
The committee held an Executive Session on AB 355, which would create a crime of repeated acts of neglect of the same child (Passed 7-4).

Assembly Committee on Rules
The committee met to schedule the floor calendar for Thursday, November 9.

Assembly Committee on Family Law
The committee held an Executive Session on AB 451, which would adopt the Uniform Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act (Passed 8-0). AB 521, which would eliminate the prohibition against a person marrying for six months after the grant of that person's judgment of divorce (Passed 7-1). AB 581, which would change the venue requirements for actions growing out of domestic abuse, child abuse, and harassment (Passed 8-0).

Assembly Committee on Transportation
The committee held an Executive Session on AB 546, which would specify the minimum liability insurance policy limit applicable to motor carriers of passengers operating solely in intrastate commerce (Passed 11-2). AB 485, which would authorize a municipality to enact an ordinance to authorize the operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) on certain highways within the territorial boundaries of the municipality (Passed 13-0). AB 339, which would require scrap metal processors and dealers who acquire a motor vehicle for scrap or salvage to comply with the same requirements as motor vehicle salvage dealers (Passed 13-0). AB 475, which would, in addition to the white headlight and the red rear lights, require animal-drawn vehicles to be equipped with rear flashing yellow or amber strobe lights (Passed 12-1).

Assembly Committee on Mental Health
The committee held an Executive Session on AB 517, which would allow an applicant for a motor vehicle operator's license or identification card issued by the DOT to indicate whether he or she has a disability that may not be immediately apparent to another (Passed 11-0). AB 538, which would prohibit the transfer of an individual from a hospital's emergency department for emergency detention until a hospital employee or medical staff member determines the transfer is medically appropriate (Passed 11-0).

Assembly Committee on Corrections
The committee held an Executive Session on AB 94, which would require the Department of Corrections to recommend revoking a person's extended supervision, parole, or probation if the person is charged with a crime while on extended supervision, parole, or probation (Passed 6-3). AB 294, which would change procedures relating to burial or cremation and burial of a deceased prison inmate and cremation of an unclaimed corpse (Passed 9-0). AB 424, which would allow a probationer who is confined in a county jail or other county facility for a probation violation to participate in Huber release (Passed 7-2). AB 601, which would extend the DOC contract limit for the tracking of sexual offender via GPS to 7 years. (Passed 9-0).

Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage
The committee held a Public Hearing on AB 573, which would allow a person who receives a notice of approval to obtain a wild turkey hunting license and tag from the DNR to transfer his or her approval to another person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a wild turkey hunting license. AB 575, which would prohibit the operator of a recreational vessel from carrying a passenger who is under the age of ten unless, during all times when the vessel is underway, the passenger is wearing a properly fitting personal flotation device or the passenger remains below deck or in an enclosed cabin. AB 605, which would authorize a person under the age of 16 to engage in trapping without obtaining a trapping license or a trapping education certificate of accomplishment if the person is trapping under the supervision of a licensed trapper.

Assembly Committee on Agriculture
The committee held a Public Hearing on AB 183, which would require the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to issue licenses that authorize the growing and processing of industrial hemp.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

There are no committee meetings scheduled for next week at this time.

Assembly Committees

Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on AB 527 and AB 297 and an Informational Hearing on the Governor's Commission on Government Reform, Efficiency, and Performance.

Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on AB 585, AB 520, and AB 436.

Committee on Rural Development and Mining
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on AB 572.

Committee on Education
The committee will hold an Executive Session on AB 159 and AB 221 and a Public Hearing on AB 496.

Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on AB 524, AB 506, and AB 603.

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