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July 28th, 2017

Late last night in Washington, D.C. a vote was held to repeal critical parts of the Affordable Care Act. Among many provisions, the repeal bill would have defunded Planned Parenthood and eliminated the requirement that large companies provide insurance for employees. The repeal vote failed, 49-51, with all Democrats voting no as well as Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, legislative activity remains at a standstill as Republican lawmakers continue to struggle with a state budget that is now almost one month overdue. While Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans continue to meet privately, little progress has been made to fund schools, road projects and other key state priorities.

Senate Republicans continue to push for more costly long-term budget borrowing, while Assembly Republicans have threatened widespread road project delays if additional revenue increases aren’t adopted. The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee hasn’t met publicly since June 15th and no upcoming meetings have been scheduled at this time.

Follow Along!

Follow the Democratic members of the Joint Finance Committee on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as they finish up the budget:

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Budget Update

 According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Wisconsin is one of only three states in the U.S. with a late budget.

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The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee hasn’t met publicly for over one month as Republican infighting derailed the committee process and caused the state to miss its July 1st budget deadline. As the budget delay continues, schools and communities will face greater uncertainty over their local budgets and important construction projects.

You can view all of the previous motions and votes on the state budget by visiting the Legislative Democrats website here:  


http://legis.wisconsin.gov/democrats/jfc-votes


 

There is no executive session scheduled at this time. The committee must still address budget provisions related to the following agencies:

What Democrats Are Saying
Democratic Proposals

LRB2729 Legislation Referendums (Rep. Hebl, Sen. Hansen) would reserve to the people the power of referendum to reject acts of the legislature and the power of initiative to propose and approve at an election laws and constitutional amendments. 

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

The Senate did not conduct a floor period this week. The next floor session will take place when the Senate takes up the Budget. The entire floor session calendar can be found here


Senate Committees

Senate Workforce Development, Military Affairs and Senior Issues
The committee held an Information Hearing with the Department of Military Affairs and Major General Donald Dunbar who serves as Commanding General of the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard. The hearing was conducted on Wisconsin emergency responses following the flooding in recent weeks in several parts of Wisconsin.

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session

The Assembly was not scheduled for a floor period this week. The scheduled floor periods for the session are available here.


Assembly Committees

Assembly Committee on Health
The assembly held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 371 which would make many changes to the birth defect prevention and surveillance program, Assembly Bill 318, which would require dental offices to maintain records for the time designated by the board of rules, and Assembly Bill 305, which would require the Department of Health Services to create grants for language interpretation grants at medical care facilities.

Assembly Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care
The committee held an informational hearing with testimony from the Department of Children and Families, The Coalition for Children Youth and Families, Wisconsin Counties Association, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, Children.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

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


Assembly Committees

Assembly Committee on Education
The committee will hold a public hearing on Assembly Bill 398 and Assembly Bill 427.

 


 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.