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August 4th, 2017

Legislative activity remains at a standstill as Republican lawmakers struggle with a state budget that is now over one month overdue. While Republicans continue to meet privately, no progress has been made to improve road conditions, restore school funding or maintain key state priorities.

As a result of Wisconsin’s budget delay, the first phase of transportation project delays have begun impacting communities. Several projects have been put on hold and further delays, layoffs and cost increases are likely to impact the state if a new budget is not adopted.

With families preparing to send their children back to school in the next few weeks, Republican inactivity is also making it more difficult for communities and school districts to budget for the upcoming academic year. Potential delays in state aid payments could have a significant impact on school funding levels and classroom resources in the 2017-18 school year.

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

The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee hasn’t met publicly for a month and a half as Republican infighting derailed the committee process and caused the state to miss its July 1st budget deadline by one month and counting. 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

LRB2816  Pregnant Treatment in Jail (Sen. Taylor, Rep. Subeck) would outline the treatment and use of physical restraints of a pregnant or postpartum person in prison and county jail. 

LRB0573 Litigation Transparency Act (Reps. Taylor, Wachs, Kessler) would require the Dept. of Justice to send a report to the Joint Finance Committee consisting of all of all civil cases in litigation, the amount of money spent on each case, and the amount of staff time spent on each case.

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 Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry

The committee held a Public Hearing to discuss Senate Bill 362 which would make changes to the hunting mentorship program in Wisconsin. The bill would eliminate both the age requirement and the number of hunting devices allowed on hunts and would prohibit the mentor from killing a deer for the person being mentored.

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 committee held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 310 which would allow the Department of Health to pay for aid for first responder training and examinations,  Assembly Bill 311 which would allow emergency response drivers in rural areas to upgrade their license to the highest level, and Assembly Bill 356 which would require that emergency medical responders renew their licenses every three years as opposed to every two years.


Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage
The committee held an executive session on Assembly Bill 399, which states that neither the Department of Natural Resources or a county board can set a zoning standard for the Lower St. Croix riverway and a public hearing on Assembly Bill 455, which would eliminate the requirement that a person hunting in the mentorship program be ten years of age, and also eliminate the regulation on the number of hunting devices that the mentee and mentor have with them.


Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy
The committee held a public hearing on August 2017 Special Session Assembly Bill 1, which would allow for the authorization of an electronics and technology manufacturing zone and  make changes to the enterprise zone tax credit programs.


Assembly Committee on Education
The committee held a public hearing on Assembly Bill 398 which would expand the amount of courses offered in summer and interim sessions to high schoolers and 7th and 8th graders and Assembly Bill 427, which would require firearm training in public schools.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Senate Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government
The committee will hold a Public Hearing to discuss Senate Bill 175, Assembly Bill 253, Senate Bill 345, and Senate Bill 309.


Assembly Committees

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

 


 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.