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January 31st, 2020


Gov. Evers this week signed Executive Order #66, establishing the People’s Maps Commission. As promised in the State of the State address, the goal for the commission is to listen to the people of Wisconsin and propose fair, nonpartisan electoral maps. This  commission will be comprised of representatives from all eight congressional districts and experts in nonpartisan redistricting. In 2011, GOP leaders used expensive outside attorneys to draw maps in secret that guaranteed a Republican majority for the decade. It is past time to ensure integrity and fairness in the redistricting process. 

Governor Evers also signed Executive Order #67, which creates a task force to address the student debt crisis in Wisconsin. The task force will provide long term strategies to reduce education-related debt, increase financial literacy education, and protect students from abusive loan practices. Wisconsin Democrats are committed to finding solutions to help students and families avoid crippling debt.

Legislative Democrats this week unveiled a package of bills aimed at improving broadband expansion in Wisconsin. The "Better Broadband" package invests in a $100 million increase to expand broadband access. The bills include grants to municipalities for improving broadband access,  protections for consumers, and legislation that address inaccuracies in the current service map. Democrats believe that our state government should prioritize
 expanding rural broadband access. 

Governor Evers also signed several bi-partisan bills:

Assembly 119, which awards grants to homeless shelters and modifies administrative rules promulgated by the Department of Administration.

Assembly Bills 706-711, which ratifies the collective bargaining agreement for University of Wisconsin- Madison employees in the building trades crafts collective bargaining agreement for fiscal year 2018-19.

 

What Democrats are Saying 

   
​ Democratic Proposals

LRB 3546 Notifying a child welfare agency and a parent, guardian, and legal custodian of the presence of a child in a runaway home (Rep. Emerson, Sen. Johnson)

LRB 4877 “Better Broadband”– Map Accuracy and Investment (Sen. Smith, Sen. Ringhand, Rep. Shankland, Rep. Vruwink, Rep. Milroy, Rep. Doyle): This bill would require electric service utilities and cooperatives to survey their users to help identify what type of internet service is available at each residence or business in Wisconsin.

LRB 1076 Better Broadband”– Truth in Advertising (Sen. Smith, Sen. Ringhand, Rep. Shankland, Rep. Vruwink, Rep. Milroy, Rep. Doyle): This Bill will make it easier for consumers to compare broadband internet service by requiring internet service providers use a standardized label outlining the service they offer, similar to food labeling. 

LRB 4874 “Better Broadband”– Fiber to Farms (Sen. Schachtner, Sen. Smith, Sen. Ringhand, Rep. Shankland, Rep. Vruwink, Rep. Milroy, Rep. Doyle): This bill requires the PSC to also give priority to projects for expanding fiber optic broadband lines to farms.

LRB 4883 “Better Broadband”– Dig-Once and Mandatory Connection (Sen. Smith, Sen. Ringhand, Rep. Shankland, Rep. Vruwink, Rep. Milroy, Rep. Doyle): This bill allows a city, village, town, or county or the Department of Transportation to require any person who conducts any special work in the political subdivision's or DOT's right-of-way to install empty conduit lines in any part of the right-of-way in which the person is digging.  The bill defines “special work” as construction or maintenance of a sidewalk or highway project. 

LRB 4876 “Better Broadband Bills” – Municipal-Owned Broadband Networks and Staffing Grants (Sen. Smith, Sen. Ringhand, Sen. Bewley, Rep. Milroy, Rep. Vruwink, Rep. Doyle): 
This bill makes changes to the broadband expansion grant program that affect cities, villages, towns, and counties (political subdivisions). Under current law, the PSC administers the program and makes grants to eligible applicants for constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas.

LRB 4875 “Better Broadband”– Broadband Expansion Grant Program Integrity (Sen. Smith, Sen. Ringhand, Rep. Vruwink, Rep. Milroy, Rep. Doyle): This  provides the Public Service Commission with the condition that all expansion dollars are spent on true broadband speeds by requiring at least 25 Mbps while downloading and 3 Mbps while uploading, or faster based on the FCC’s definition of broadband  

LRB 2676 Crowdfunding projects for creating jobs or promoting economic growth (Rep. Zamarripa, Sen. Carpenter): 
This bill would take this model and expand it statewide in Wisconsin.  WEDC would contract with a business to host the State of Wisconsin’s curated crowdfunding site and work with organizations around the state to identify and select projects from small businesses and community organizations.  WEDC will assist those projects with business planning, marketing, social media, and crowdfunding technical assistance. 

LRB 5502 Congratulating the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers Volleyball Team (Rep. Taylor, Rep. Stubbs, Sen. Risser): 

LRB 4321 Allowing certain child care providers to participate in the teacher loan program (Sen. Johnson, Rep. Billings): This bill expands eligibility for the current Teacher Loan Program to students enrolled in a program leading to a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. 

LRB 2470 The Public Education Reinvestment Act (PERA) (Rep. Brostoff, Rep. Cabrera, Rep. Sinicki, Rep. Emerson): 
This bill 1) eliminates the Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) program and the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (former SAGE) program; 2) creates a new Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (new SAGE) program; and 3) phases out the parental choice programs and the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP)

LRB 3885 Minority Health Grants (Rep. Stubbs and Sen. Johnson):  Thsi bill aims to reduce the racial disparities in health outcomes by providing annual grants to organizations that work to improve the health status of economically disadvantaged minority group members. 

LRB 3540 Creating a community restorative court grant program (Rep. Stubbs and Sen. Johnson): This bill requires the Department of Justice to establish a grant program that provides grants to counties and tribes to establish community restorative courts that are based in principles of restorative justice and trauma-informed care for nonviolent criminal offenders ages 25 and under.

LRB 0514  The Invest Locally to Grow Wisconsin Act (Rep. Shankland, Sen. Smith): This bill creates a tax credit incentive for individuals and investors to invest much-needed capital in Wisconsin Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs). This bill will create a 10% tax credit (spread over two years) for investments ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 and a 12% credit (spread over two years) for investments greater than $150,000 and up to $500,000 per year. 

LRB 4911 Collective Bargaining Freedom Act (Sen. Larson. Rep. Brostoff, Rep. Cabera, Rep. Sinicki, and Sen. Taylor): 
The bill restores full and fair collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin.

LRB 4913 Collective Bargaining Freedom Act cont. (Sen. Larson. Rep. Brostoff, Rep. Cabera, Rep. Sinicki, and Sen. Taylor): This bill makes numerous changes to the state civil service system. 

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

The Senate was not in session this week. The full Senate Calendar can be viewed here

 

Senate Committees

Committee on Education
The committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 595- an online early learning pilot program and making an appropriation and Senate Bill 688- applications for full-time open enrollment.

Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform
The committee held a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 691-  operation of motorboats by minors; Senate Bill 699- inspection requirements for chemical recovery boilers

Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection
The committee held a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 519-  designating Colby as the state cheese; Senate Bill 641- requiring a supermajority county board vote to enact ordinances that affect only towns; Senate Bill 690- biennial reports regarding fees charged by executive state agencies; Senate Bill 612- increasing the minimum retirement age under the Wisconsin Retirement System; decreasing the minimum break in service for annuitants in the Wisconsin Retirement System who are rehired by a participating employer; and allowing rehired annuitants to elect to not participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System; Senate Bill 635- requiring hospitals to have a policy requiring written and verbal informed consent before a medical student may perform a pelvic exam on a patient who is under general anesthesia or otherwise unconscious.

Committee on Health and Human Services

The committee held a public hearing on the following: Michael Walsh-  Member on the Pharmacy Examining Board; Milton Bond Jr.-  Member on the Medical Examining Board; Robert Weinman- Registered Nurse Representative on the Board of Nursing; Stephanie Atkins- Member on the Athletic Trainers Affiliated Credentialing Board; Melissa Baldauff- a Domestic Abuse Knowledge Representative; Rosalind McClain- Domestic Abuse Knowledge Representative; Charisma Townsend- Massage/Bodywork Therapist on the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing Board; Senate Bill 567- grants to independent living centers and making an appropriation.; Senate Bill 620-  the regulation and licensure of genetic counselors, creating a genetic counselors affiliated credentialing board, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 636- expansion of the dental reimbursement pilot project under the Medical Assistance program.

Committee on Agriculture, Revenue, and Financial Institutions
The committee will hold an executive session on the following bills: Senate 317-  online notaries public and electronic notarizations, granting rulemaking authority, and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 487- an exception from local levy limits for certain amounts levied for charges assessed by a joint emergency medical services department; Senate Bill 505- farmer tuition assistance grants and making an appropriation; Terrance Craney- Public Member on the Deferred Compensation Board

Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 211- self-defense for victims of sex trafficking; Senate Bill 363-  falsely reporting an emergency and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 427-  increased penalties for crimes against elder persons; restraining orders for elder persons; freezing assets of a defendant charged with financial exploitation of an elder person; sexual assault of an elder person; physical abuse of an elder person; and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 551- a statewide urban search and rescue task force and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 565- transport for emergency detention; Senate Bill 592-  providing medication and a valid prescription to a prisoner upon release

The Committee also held a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 469-grievous bodily harm to or the death of an animal and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 525-  impersonating a public officer, public employee, or employee of a utility and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 590- immunity from revocation of probation, parole, or extended supervision for certain controlled substance offenses; Senate Bill 652- hearing timelines for juveniles in custody; Senate Bill 656-mail theft and providing a penalty

Committee on Natural Resources and Energy
The committee held a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 670- exempting certain waste-to-energy facilities from tipping fees; Senate Bill 712- funding a University of Wisconsin System freshwater collaborative and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 717- expanding the clean sweep program to include collection of certain fire fighting foams and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 725- biomanipulation projects to improve the water quality of lakes and impoundments and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 617- creating a task force on native pollinator health; Senate Bill 709- creating an office of water policy and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 710- the private on-site wastewater treatment system replacement or rehabilitation grant program; Senate Bill 711- priorities and criteria for the municipal flood control and riparian restoration program and amending administrative rules; Senate Bill 716- prohibiting the sale and use of coal tar-based sealants and high PAH sealant products

The committee also held an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 583-  regulation of all-terrain vehicles and utility terrain vehicles, all-terrain vehicle projects, and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 607- authorizing the Wisconsin Propane Education and Research Council to levy an assessment; Senate Bill 662- town zoning in shorelands, the scope of county shoreland zoning ordinances, and authorizing partial county zoning; Senate Bill 700-  creating a fee schedule for certain laboratories. 

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session 

The Assembly did not conduct a floor session this week. The entire floor session calendar can be found here.

Assembly Committees

 Committee on Constitution and Ethics
The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, January 28 where members heard testimony on Assembly Joint Resolution 108, relating to: prohibiting the governor from using the partial veto to increase state expenditures (first consideration); Assembly Joint Resolution 107, relating to: release of a person accused of a crime prior to conviction (first consideration); and Assembly Bill 440, relating to: prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyle.

Committee on Campaigns and Elections
The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, January 28 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 667, relating to: allowing a pupil enrolled in a home-based private educational program to serve as an election inspector; and Clearinghouse Rule 19-035, relating to: campaign finance. The committee also held an Executive Session where members discussed Assembly Bill 89, relating to: vacancies in elective offices in cities and villages; and Assembly Bill 342, relating to: time for issuing a certificate of election.

Committee on Energy and Utilities
The committee held an Executive Session on Tuesday, January 28 where members discussed Assembly Bill 665, relating to: authorizing the Wisconsin Propane Education and Research Council to levy an assessment; and Assembly Bill 712, relating to: making various changes to statutes administered by the Public Service Commission and requiring investor-owned energy utilities to fund a consumer advocate.

Committee on Mental Health
The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, January 28 where memebrs heard testimony on Asembly Bill 578, relating to: commercial driver license waiver for certain operation of commercial motor vehicles by farmers; Assembly Bill 592, relating to: the authority to shoot a wild animal causing damage to a highway; and Assembly Bill 743, relating to: an exception to federal hours of service requirements and modifying an administrative rule related to the exception.

Committee on Health
The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, January 29 where members discussed Assembly Bill 542, relating to: allowing reimbursement of certain expenses for patients participating in cancer clinical trials; Assembly Bill 558, relating to: certificates to practice respiratory care; Assembly Bill 583m relating to: practicing as a physician assistant or nurse while performing official duties for the armed services or federal health services; Assembly Bill 660, relating to: reimbursement under the Medical Assistance program for complex rehabilitation technology; and Assembly Bill 487, relating to: the practice of psychology, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority. The committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 742, relating to: emergency medical services funding assistance and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 741, relating to: ambulance staffing and emergency medical personnel; Assembly Bill 726, relating to: community health center grants and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 722, relating to: requiring pediatricians and pediatric specialists to view presentations about neuroimmune disorders in children.

Committee on Children and Families
The committee also held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, January 29 where members heard testimony on Clearinghouse Rule 19-115, relating to: education equivalent to a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy from a progarm accredited by COAMFTE; Clearinghouse Rule 19-116, relating to: discrimination based on arrest or conviction record; and Assembly Bill 749, relating to: immunity from liability resulting from good faith actions under the child abuse and neglect reporting law.

Committee on Agriculture
The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, January 29 where members discussed Assembly Bill 515, relating to: labeling food as a type of dairy product or as a dairy ingredient and granting rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 516, relating to: labeling a food product as a type of milk and granting rule-making authority; and  , relating to: labeling a food product as meat and granting rule-making authority. The committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on  , relating to: the distribution and labeling of fertilizers and soil or plant additives produced from manure; Assembly Bill 695, relating to: the wildlife damage abatement program and the wildlife damage claim program; Assembly Bill 747, relating to: using milk producer affidavits to substantiate claims that a dairy product is free of synthetic bovine growth hormone; Assembly Bill 748, relating to: reciprocity for bulk milk weighing and sampling licenses.

Committee on State Affairs
The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, January 29 where members discussed Assembly Bill 752, relating to: the revised uniform unclaimed property act; Assembly Bill 48, relating to: promissory notes of certain public bodies; Assembly Bill 703, relating to: a sales and use tax exemption for building materials that become a part of a facility for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority; Assembly Bill 443, relating to: grant to a hospital for expanding psychiatric bed capacity; and Assembly Bill 296, relating to: notices of eligibility to receive a prize. The committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 670, relating to: increasing the minimum retirement age under the Wisconsin Retirement System; decreasing the minimum break in service for annuitants in the Wisconsin Retirement System who are rehired by a participating employer; and allowing rehired annuitants to elect to not participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System.

Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight
The committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, January 29 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 794, relating to: public notice and comment period for certain groundwater standards; and Assembly Bill 799, relating to: creating an office of water policy and making an appropriation.

Committee on Judiciary
The committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, January 30 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 35, relating to:  entering certain places with intent to commit battery and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 671, relating to: disclosure of child abuse and neglect reports and records; and Assembly Bill 786, relating to: guardian training requirements and making an appropriation. The committee also held an Executive Session where members discussed Assembly Bill 356, relating to: intoxicated operation of all-terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, snowmobiles, and motorboats and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 669, relating to: repossession of collateral or leased goods; Assembly Bill 719, relating to: adopting modifications to, and renaming, the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act; and Assembly Bill 724, relating to: hearing timelines for juveniles in custody.

Committee on Sporting Heritage
The committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, January 30 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 673, relating to: the disability rating at which veterans qualify for certain hunting and fishing authorizations and exemptions from state park and trail admission fees; Assembly Bill 79, relating to: issuance of conservation patron licenses to certain veterans with disabilities; Assembly Bill 784, relating to: modifying administrative rules relating to the use of wood to contain bear bait in stumps; and Assembly Bill 814, relating to: the governor's bear tag.

Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform
The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, January 30 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 353, relating to: inspections of recreational and educational camps; Assembly Bill 605, relating to: reports on bills requiring occupational licenses; and Assembly Bill 674, relating to: license fee waivers for veterans' spouses. The committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 731, relating to: reciprocal credentials for service members, former service members, and their spouses and granting rule-making authority; and Assembly Bill 655, relating to: regulation of home inspectors, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority.

Committee on Colleges and Universities
The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, January 30 where members heard discussed Assembly Bill 230, relating to: transferring academic credits from military transcripts to University of Wisconsin System schools and technical colleges; and Assembly Bill 556, relating to: recognizing teaching hours for providing certain extension services of the University of Wisconsin System. The committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 800, relating to: supporting the Center for Watershed Science and Education, creating a hydrogeologist position, funding research on phosphorus recovery and reuse, creating grant programs for counties to test wells and provide public education, granting rulemaking authority, and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 801, relating to: funding a University of Wisconsin System freshwater collaborative and making an appropriation.

Committee on Environment
The committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, January 30 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 762, relating to: creating a fee schedule for certain laboratories; Assembly Bill 793, relating to: priorities and criteria for the municipal flood control and riparian restoration program and amending administrative rules; Assembly Bill 792, relating to: expanding the clean sweep program to include collection of certain firefighting foams and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 798, relating to: biomanipulation projects to improve the water quality of lakes and impoundments and making an appropriation.

Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety
The committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, January 30 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 758, relating to: battery by a person detained while awaiting trial as a sexually violent person and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 802, relating to: criteria for the court to consider when determining whether to use videoconferencing at a proceeding; Assembly Bill 804, relating to: intimidating a victim of domestic abuse and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 805, relating to: recommendation to revoke parole, probation, and extended supervision if a person is charged with a crime; Assembly Bill 809, relating to: earned release from parole or extended supervision and discharge from probation; Assembly Bill 806, relating to: acts for which a juvenile may be placed in correctional placement or the Serious Juvenile Offender Program; Assembly Bill 808, relating to: prosecuting a violent felon for the crime of illegal possession of a firearm; Assembly Bill 807, relating to: mandatory minimum sentence for three or more convictions for retail theft and providing a penalty; and Assembly Bill 817, relating to: bail for a criminal defendant who is charged with bail jumping.

Committee on Campaigns and Elections
The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, January 30 where members discussed Assembly Bill 89, relating to: vacancies in elective offices in cities and villages; and Assembly Bill 342, relating to: time for issuing a certificate of election. The committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 667, relating to: allowing a pupil enrolled in a home-based private educational program to serve as an election inspector.

Committee on Corrections
The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, January 30 where members discussed Assembly Bill 653, relating to: providing medication and a valid prescription to a prisoner upon release.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade
The committee will hold an executive session on Gregory Douglas- Architect on the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors; Senate Bill 218- reimbursement grants to employers for payment of costs for certification programs in solar energy and wind energy systems; Senate Bill 483- authorizing the creation of multijurisdictional business improvement districts, changes to public annual reports for neighborhood improvement districts, and changes to certain notifications for both types of districts; Senate Bill 629- minor golf caddies; Senate Bill 621- increasing the expenditure period for certain capital expenditures made by a tax incremental financing district created in an electronics and information technology manufacturing zone; Senate Bill 696- a technical correction to the property tax exemption for an Olympic Ice Training Center

Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Sherman Banker- Member on the Wisconsin Historical Society Board of Curators; Senate Bill 714- method for establishing proof of financial responsibility for solid waste facilities owned or operated by a municipality and granting rule-making authority; Senate Bill 721-  loan to the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitor Bureau for the construction of a visitor information and education center and authorizing general fund supported borrowing to fund the loan.

Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 102- local regulation of honorary firearm discharges; Senate Bill 523-  commercial driver license waiver for certain operation of commercial motor vehicles by farmers; Senate Bill 573- repair and replacement of implements of husbandry under warranty

The committee will also hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 502- designating the Bart Starr Memorial Bridge; Senate Bill 535-  the authority to shoot a wild animal causing damage to a highway; Senate Bill 669- an exception to federal hours of service requirements and modifying an administrative rule related to the exception; Senate Bill 735-  Hmong-Lao Veterans Day.

Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 556-  funding for service award payments and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 559- bid requirements for public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts; Senate Bill 691- operation of motorboats by minors; Senate Bill 699- inspection requirements for chemical recovery boilers; Senate Bill 318- obtaining evidence of the termination of certain property interests of a decedent


Assembly Committees

Committee on Community Development
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 4 where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 593, relating to: liability exemption for the provision of previously owned eyeglasses.

Committee on Rural Development
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 4 where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 812, relating to: the well compensation grant program and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 791, relating to: the private on-site wastewater treatment system replacement or rehabilitation grant program.

Committee on Jobs and the Economy
The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 4 where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 781, relating to: inspection requirements for chemical recovery boilers.

Committee on Tourism
The committee will hold a Public hearing on Wednesday, February 5 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 787, relating to: loan to the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitor Bureau for the construction of a visitor information and education center and authorizing general fund supported borrowing to fund the loan.

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