February 15, 2019


Both the Assembly and Senate were in session this week to take up a GOP spending plan that jeopardizes funding for schools, roads, and communities. The plan will create a greater deficit in the state budget while protecting tax giveaways corporations and individuals making over a million dollar per year.


Additionally, the Black Legislative Caucus introduced a resolution proclaiming February as Black History Month and honoring individuals from the African-American community and their contributions to the fight for racial equity. Unfortunately, Republican Leaders opted to disrespect black leaders in the legislature by removing Colin Kaepernick, who was born in Wisconsin, from the resolution.


On Wednesday this week, Governor Evers announced initiatives that will be included in the state budget that will expand access to clean drinking water. Legislative Democrats praised the announcement as a step toward ensuring all Wisconsinites have access to clean water. This reinforces Gov. Evers’ declaration that 2019 will be the “Year of Clean Drinking Water.”

What Democrats Are Saying 

​ Democratic Proposals

LRB1649- Ensure unemployment benefits for federal workers residing in Wisconsin in the event of a government shutdown (Sen. Taylor and Rep. Myers): This bill will would allow the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), which administers the Unemployment Insurance program, to make unemployment benefits eligible to claimants like the “essential” federal employees impacted by the shutdown

LRB1152- Prohibiting the assembly and senate from passing certain bills following a general election (Rep. Spreitzer and Sen. Ringhand): This amendment prohibits changes to the powers and duties of statewide constitutional officers, judicial branch judges and justices, the legislature, any state agency, or any other public entity created by law.

LRB1058- Prohibiting GPS Monitoring for Truancy Cases (Rep. Stuck): Current law specifies which offenses can be subject to GPS monitoring orders by the courts. Habitual truancy is not one of those offenses. This bill codifies in statute that GPS monitoring may not be ordered in truancy cases. This bill will help to ensure that GPS monitoring is not ordered in any truancy cases in the future.

LRB1404- Voter Protection Act (Sen. Smith, Sen. Miller, and Sen. Hansen): Comprehensive reform bill to better protect voters and make it easier to vote on Election Day.

LRB 1811- Proclaiming February 2019 Black History Month (Sen. Taylor, Sen. Johnson, Rep. Crowley, Rep. Myers, Rep. Bowen, Rep. Field, Rep. Stubbs, and Rep. Haywood): Black History Month gives the nation and Wisconsin, an opportunity to recognize the significant contributions people of African descent have made, to the foundation, growth and development of our country and state. The month reminds us that our national history is diverse and multicultural, and implores us to respect the role that every ethnic group as played in the formation and sustainability of our great democracy. 

LRB 0725- SSG Daniel Busch Memorial Highway Bill (Rep. Considine, Sen. Erpenbach, Rep. Plumer, Sen. Olsen): Designating a portion of State Highway 33 the Staff Sergeant (SSG) Daniel D. Busch Memorial Highway.

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

The Senate this week took up the Republican tax-cut bill, which would add $490 million to the state's deficit over the next ten years.  Several joint resolutions were recognized including, National Speech and Debate Day, American Heart Month, and Republican version of Black History Month. Despite Senate Democrats advocating for diversity and inclusion, the Republican majority passed the amended resolution, excluding Colin Kaepernick from the joint resolution. 


Also in the Senate this week, the Republicans passed a tax plan-Assembly Bill 4which benefits large corporations and the wealthy and rather than serving the best interests of hard-working families.


Senate Committees

Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade

The committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 13th on the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 15: Relating to new internship grants and making an appropriation.
  • Senate Bill 16: Related to career and technical education incentive grants and making an appropriation.
  • Senate Bill 17: Related to workforce training grants for seminars in high-demand fields to teach new skills and provide micro-credentials and making an appropriation.


Study Committees

Legislative Council Study Committee on Child Placement and Support

The committee held a Study Meeting on Monday, February 11th to discuss bill drafts and recommendations, relating to determining child support, eliminating an administrative rule limitation on recovery of birth costs, and determining placement.


Joint Committees

Joint Legislative Council

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, February 13th where it received the following study committee reports: Minor Guardianship, Use of Police Body Cameras. Identification and Management of Dyslexia, Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds, and Direct Primary Care.


This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session

The Assembly conducted session a floor session on Tuesday, February 12th, passing the Republican tax bill (Assembly Bill 4) which benefits large corporations and the wealthy rather than serving the best interest of hard working families.


The Assembly also passed several resolutions which includes: AR3, relating to proclaiming the month of February 2019 as Career and Technical Education Month in Wisconsin; AJR3, relating to proclaiming February 2019 to be American Heart Month in Wisconsin; AJR4, relating to recognizing February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month; AJR6, relating to modifying the session schedule for the 2019-20 biennial session period. In addition, they passed the Republican version of the joint resolution on Black History Month (AJR8). 


The entire floor session calendar can be found here.


Assembly Committees

There were no committee meetings held this week. 

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institution

The committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 19th on the following:

  • Peter Barca: Secretary Designee of the Department of Revenue
  • Kathy Blumenfeld: Secretary Designee of the Department of Financial Institutions
  • Brad Pfaff: Secretary Designee of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection,
  • Senate Bill 12: Eliminating deductions for moving expenses for businesses that move out of the state or out of the United States.
  • Senate Bill 13: Notification of changed property tax assessment for agricultural land.
  • Senate Bill 14: An income and franchise tax credit for paid interns and making an appropriation.


Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection

The committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 19th on the following:

  • Joel Brennan: Secretary Designee of the Department of Administration
  • Senate Bill 4: Relating to motor vehicle immobilization devices
  • Senate Bill 19: Relating to: terminology changes for those with an intellectual disability in administrative rules.

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

The committee will hold a public hearing on:

  • Kevin Carr: Secretary Designee of Corrections 

Assembly Committees

Committee on Education 

The committee will hold on a public hearing on February 21st on an update on education from the Department of Public Instruction.


Joint Committees

Committee for Review of Administrative Rules

The committee will hold a public hearing and executive session on Thursday, February 21st. 


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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.