February 8, 2019

This week, the Joint Finance Committee took up a Republican spending plan that will cost taxpayers more in the long-run without any additional plan to pay for it in the future. The short-sighted plan could result in fewer dollars going towards classrooms, roads and communities. The plan passed in the Joint Finance Committee along party lines and will be taken up for a vote in the Assembly and likely the Senate next week.


Governor Evers announced that he will include a provision to close the Dark Store Loophole in the upcoming state budget. For too long, large corporations have taken advantage of this loophole that allows them to shift their property tax liability onto homeowners and small businesses. Legislative Democrats praised the announcement as a step in the right direction towards restoring tax fairness and protecting Wisconsin communities, seniors and working families.


What Democrats Are Saying 

​ Democratic Proposals

LRB1531- Prohibit Sexual Contact By Law Enforcement (Sen. Taylor) - Under this bill, it would be a Class C Felony for a law enforcement officer to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person in his or her custody. For the purposes of the crime created in this bill, consent is not an issue. The bill adds the prohibited conduct to the list of activities in current law that constitute second degree sexual assault. Current law does not contain a criminal prohibition on sexual contact between a law enforcement officer and a person in his or her custody.


LRB1670- Prohibiting Conversion Therapy (Sen. Risser) - This legislation provides that any efforts made by licensed professionals to engage in this therapy with a minor would be grounds for professional discipline by the appropriate credentialing board. 


LRB1471- Prescription Drug Costs Act (Sen. Taylor and Rep. Myers) - This bill would require manufacturers and insurers to notify all purchasers of increases in drug prices of more than 16% with at least 60 days’ notice.


LRB0808- Local Exposition District for Superior (Sen. Bewley and Rep. Milroy)- This bill will provide the City of Superior with new tools to help them spur economic development and tourism in their community without any assistance from the state.

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

The Senate did not conduct a floor session this week. The next floor session is likely next week.  The entire floor session calendar can be found here. 


Senate Committees

Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions

The committee held an Information Hearing with the Assembly Committee on Agriculture on Tuesday, February 5th on the dairy market and other production issues facing Wisconsin producers. The committee also held a joint public hearing with the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means on SB18, the Republican tax cut bill. 

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session

The Assembly did not conduct a floor session this week. The next floor session is will be February 12th. The entire floor session calendar can be found here.


Assembly Committees

Committee on Agriculture

The committee held an Informational Hearing with the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions on Tuesday, February 5th on the dairy markets and other production issues facing Wisconsin producers.


Committee on Ways and Means

The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 5th relating to increasing the maximum deduction under the individual income tax sliding scale standard deduction. The committee also held an Executive Session on Wednesday, February 6th to vote on one Assembly Bill:

  • Assembly Bill 4, which is the Assembly version of the Republican tax bill. (Passed 8-4)

Committee on Rules

The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, February 7 to schedule the calendar for Tuesday, February 12.

This Week in the Joint Finance Committee

Joint Committee on Finance

The committee held an executive session on AB4/ SB18 – the Republican tax bill  that would add $490 million to the state's deficit over the next ten years. (Passed 10-3).

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade

The committee will hold 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.


Assembly Committees

There are no Assembly Committees scheduled at this time. 


Study Committees

Study Committee on Child Placement and Support

The committee will hold a 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 will hold an Executive Session on Wednesday, February 13th regarding reports on minor guardianship, use of police body cameras, identification and management of Dyslexia, investment and use of school trust funds, and direct primary care.

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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.