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October 25th, 2019


On Monday, Governor Tony Evers called for a Special Session of the legislature to address gun violence. The Governor called for hearings and votes on strengthening background checks and enacting Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO). Legislative Democrats agree that gun violence is one of the most pressing public health issues we face. Action is needed to prevent tragedies and to keep our families safe. These polices have been very effective in other states and the vast majority of Wisconsinites agree that it is time to this critical public health issue.  A recent Marquette Law Poll found that 80 percent of Wisconsinites support strengthening background checks and 81 percent support ERPO legislation.

Also this week, Senator Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) and Representative Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) introduced the Family Medical Leave Act which provides a system for paid family leave. Many workplace policies haven't kept pace with today's work force needs and this legislation aims to fix that. Specifically, this proposal grants paid leave for workers who must miss work to care for loved one, including new protections for relatives of active duty service members. This is a major step towards creating new opportunities for families and increasing Wisconsin's ability to compete in the current global economy. 

 

What Democrats are Saying 

   
​ Democratic Proposals

LRB 4865  An airport sound mitigation grant program and making an appropriation (Rep. Sargent and Sen. Miller): This bill sets out to mitigate instances of excessive aviation noise in Wisconsin by requiring the Department of Transportation to develop and administer an airport sound mitigation grant program, which must prioritize projects involving schools and child care centers. 

LRB 0323 Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Insurance Act and Expansion of the WI Family Medical Leave Act (Sen. Ringhand and Rep. Pope)The Family Medical Leave Insurance Act expands Wisconsin’s current Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by allowing employees to take family leave to care for anyone covered under the current law plus grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and any eligible employee who has an eligible family member deployed overseas by the military.

LRB 4433 Designating the spring peeper as the state amphibian (Rep. Billings, Rep. Skowronski, Sen. Bewley)

This Week in the Senate

Senate Session

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

Senate Committees

Committee on Transportation, Veterans, Military Affairs
The Committee held an executive session on Senate Bill 295- harbor assistance grant for the city of Green Bay and making an appropriation (Passed 4-1) and Senate Bill 369-  federal emergency management assistance payments to municipalities (Passed 5-0)

The committee held public hearing on Darrell Williams- Administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management; Senate Bill 190- driver school offices in private residences; Senate Bill 446- the University of Wisconsin Missing-in-Action Recovery and Identification Project and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 465- grants for Next Generation 911 and granting rule-making authority.

Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade
The committee held a public hearing on the following: Melissa Hughes- Chief Executive Officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Henry Newell- Private Sector Representative on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; John Brogan- Private Sector Representative on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Rebecca Cooke- Private Sector Representative on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Joe Kirgues- Private Sector Representative on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Thelma Sias-  Private Sector Representative on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Committee on Natural Resources and Energy
The committee held an executive session on the following: William Smith-  a Northern Area Representative on the Natural Resources Board (Passed 5-0)


Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts
The committee held an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 482-various changes to insurance laws (Passed 5-0);  SJR 59- prohibiting the governor from using the partial veto to increase state expenditures (Passed 3-2)

Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety 
The committee held a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 368- money laundering and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 235- related to stalking; Senate Bill 301-  the availability of information on crimes through the consolidated court automation programs; Senate Bill 386- trespassing on the property of an energy provider and providing a penalty; John Tate II- Chair of the Parole Commission.  

Committee on Health and Human Services
The committee held a public hearing on the following: Benjamin Wedro- Doctor-Medicine on the Athletic Trainers Affiliated Credentialing Board; Carl Kugler- Public Member on the Chiropractic Examining Board; Senate Bill 500- certificates to practice respiratory care; Senate Bill 434- emergency medical services programs; Senate Bill 177- mental health clinical consultations under the Medical Assistance program and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 416-reimbursement rates under the Medical Assistance program for home health care services


The committee held an executive session on the following: Mark Jinkins- Public Member on the Psychology Examining Board (Passed 5-0); John Greany- Physical Therapist on the Physical Therapy Examining Board (Passed 5-0); Sana Weiss- Public Member on the Pharmacy Examining Board (Passed 5-0); Lisa Yee-Marriage and Family Therapist on the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board (Passed 5-0); Megan Jackson- a Public School Representative on the Cosmetology Examining Board (Passed 5-0); Candance Coates- a Public School Representative on the Cosmetology Examining Board (Passed 5-0); Bryan Bee-  Nursing Home Administrator on the Nursing Home Administrator Examining Board (Passed 5-0); Edward Porter III- Professional Member on the Cemetery Board (Passed 5-0); Andrea Simon-  Professional Counselor on the Marriage and Family Therapy Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board (Passed 5-0); Senate Bill 390- ratification of the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority (Passed 5-0); Senate Bill 380- coverage of services under Medical Assistance provided through telehealth and other technologies, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority (Passed 5-0); Senate Bill 28- direct primary care agreements (Passed 3-2)

Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development
The committee held an executive session on Senate Bill 44- grants to technical college students for apprenticeship expenses and making an appropriation (Passed 5-0)

Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions
The committee held an executive session on the following: Michael Friedman- Accountant on the Accounting Examining Board; Senate Bill 387- including crop insurance proceeds in the manufacturing and agricultural tax credit; Senate Bill 438- the priority of a mortgage executed to an institution chartered by the federal Farm Credit Administration (Passed 7-2); Senate Bill 457- P.O.D. accounts and loan obligations to financial institutions; the duty of a bank to make payment on a lost, destroyed, or stolen cashier's check, teller's check, or certified check (Passed 9-0)

Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry
The committee held an executive session on the following: Beverly Dittmar-Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council (Passed 5-0); Joel Enking- Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council (Passed 5-0); Lee Van Zeeland-  Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council (Passed 5-0)

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session 

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

Assembly Committees 

 

Committee on Family Law
The Committee held an Executive Session on Tuesday, October 22 where members discussed Assembly Bill 103, relating to: eliminating administrative rule limitation on recovery of birth costs.

Committee on Local Government
The Committee will held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 22 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 527, relating to: grants related to preventing suicide by firearm and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 530, relating to: grants for suicide prevention programming and making an appropriation.

Committee on Community Development
The Committee held an Informational Hearing on Wednesday, October 23 where members heard testimony on Wisconsin's workforce housing as it relates to community development, including property taxes, housing affordability, and urban planning.

Committee on Children and Families
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, October 23 where members heard testimony on Clearinghouse Rule 19-070, relating to: the administrative enforcement of interest on child support; Clearinghouse Rule 19-089, relating to: child care certification and licensing updates related to the child care development block grant and streamlining; and Clearinghouse Rule 18-098, relating to: substance use disorder specialty authorization. 

Committee on Sporting Heritage
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, October 23 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 239, relating to: placing, possessing, or transporting a bow or crossbow in or on a motorboat, vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, or utility terrain vehicle; and Assembly Bill 414, relating to: the fee for a first-time annual fishing license for residents who are 16 or 17 years old or who are 65 years old or older. 

Committee on Science and Technology
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, October 23 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 264, relating to: the use of a surveillance device by an owner of real estate in connection with the sale of the real estate and providing a penalty.


Committee on Ways and Means
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, 24 October where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 49, relating to: the authority of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to delegate authority to invest trust fund moneys and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 395, relating to: repealing obsolete refundable tax credits. 

Committee on Consumer Protection
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday , October 24 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 335, relating to: prohibited practices of motor vehicle manufacturers, importers, and distributors and providing a penalty; and Assembly Bill 345, relating to: immunity for motor vehicle sellers.

Committee on Judiciary
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, October 24 where members heard testimony on 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 222, relating to: revocation of operating privilege for certain offenses related to operating while intoxicated; Assembly Bill 257, relating to: withholding from a Wisconsin Retirement System lump sum payment or annuity to satisfy an order of restitution; and Assembly Bill 478, relating to: prohibiting a judge from holding a nonjudicial office of public trust while serving in the office to which the judge was appointed or elected.

Committee on Education
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, October 24 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 528, relating to: grants to support peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs in high schools, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 529, relating to: grants to the Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 531, relating to: requiring that student identification cards include contact information for suicide prevention hotlines.

Committee on Housing and Real Estate
The Committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, October 24 where members discussed WHEDA 2019-20 Dividend Report. The Committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 544, relating to: workforce housing tax credits and economic development revolving loan funds; and Assembly Bill 445, relating to: an exception to commercial building code requirements for the installation or operation of a stairway chair lift in a church constructed before 1919.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Committee on Elections, Ethics, and Rural Issues
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 399- temporary practice by physicians at camps, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority; Senate Bill 396- regulation of recreational and educational camps, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority; Senate Bill 394- electronic health records at recreational and educational camps; Senate Bill 410- temporary practice by registered nurses at camps, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority.

Committee on Education
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 495- application and reporting deadlines for the statewide parental choice program and evidence of accreditation for a private school participating in a parental choice program; Senate Bill 437- the revenue limit ceiling for school districts. 

Committee on Health and Human Services
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Dr. Benjamin Wedro- Athletic Trainers Affiliated Credentialing Board; Carl Kugler- Chiropractic Examining Board; Senate Bill 500- certificates to practice respiratory care; Senate Bill 434- emergency medical services programs.


Assembly Committees

Committee on Health
The Committee will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 29 where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 525, relating to: implementing a suicide prevention program and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 526, relating to: requiring continuing education on suicide prevention for physicians, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and substance abuse counselors and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority; and Assembly Bill 438, relating to: ratification of the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority.

Committee on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation
The Committee will hold an Informational Hearing on Tuesday, October 29 where members will hear testimony on The Wisconsin Forest Practices Study (Background of the study, findings, and next steps); and Mass Timber (General Background, use in Wisconsin, including the Milwaukee Ascent Project, and looking ahead).

Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs
The Committee will hold an Executive Session on Tuesday, October 29 where members will discuss Assembly Bill 75, relating to: local regulation of honorary firearm discharges.

Committee on Family Law
The Committee will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 29 where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 559, relating: grounds for finding a child in need of protection or services or for terminating parental rights, right to a jury trial in a termination of parental rights proceeding, and permanency plan reviews; Assembly Bill 560, relating to: termination of parental rights if a child has been placed outside the home for 15 of the last 22 months; Assembly Bill 561, relating to: postadoption contact agreements; Assembly Bill 562, relating to: the rights of a foster parent or other physical custodian of a child on removal of the child from the person's home; Assembly Bill 563, relating to: providing permanency plan and comments to foster parents and foster children over the age of 12 in advance of a permanency plan review or hearing; Assembly Bill 564, relating to: eligibility for adoption assistance; Assembly Bill 565, relating to: placement of a child with a relative under the Children's Code or the Juvenile Justice Code; and Assembly Bill 566, relating to: the procedure in a CHIPS or JIPS proceeding for an involuntary termination of parental rights.

Committee on Rural Development
The Committee will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, October 30 where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 428, relating to: temporary practice by physicians at camps, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 435, relating to: regulation of recreational and educational camps, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 437, relating to: electronic health records at recreational and educational camps; and Assembly Bill 458, relating to: temporary practice by registered nurses at camps, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority

Committee on Medicaid Reform and Oversight  
The Committee will hold an Executive Session on Wednesday, October 30 where members will discuss Assembly Bill 410, relating to: coverage of services under Medical Assistance provided through telehealth and other technologies, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority

Committee on Jobs and the Economy
The Committee will hold an Executive Session on Wednesday, October 30 where members will discuss Assembly Bill 328, relating to: agricultural development loan guarantee program administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.

Committee on Health
The Committee will hold an Executive Session on Wednesday, October 30 where members hear testimony on Assembly Bill 70, relating to: the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact; Assembly Bill 178, relating to: eligibility for physician, dentist, and health care provider educational loan assistance programs; Assembly Bill 258, relating to: Marquette University School of Dentistry rural scholarship program and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 287, relating to: certifications for advance directives and findings of incapacity related to powers of attorney for health care; Assembly Bill 304, relating to: permitting pharmacists to prescribe certain contraceptives, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 313, relating to: establishing a tick-borne disease study committee; Assembly Bill 314, relating to: increasing the number of authorized positions for the Department of Health Services and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 317, relating to: Department of Natural Resources' efforts to raise awareness about Lyme disease; Assembly 525, relating to: implementing a suicide prevention program and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 526, relating to: requiring continuing education on suicide prevention for physicians, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and substance abuse counselors and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority.

Committee on Environment
The Committee will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, October 31 where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 347, relating to: sand removed from Lake Michigan or Lake Superior; and Clearinghouse Rule 19-007, relating to: aquaculture and fish farms.

Committee on Insurance
The Committee will hold an Executive Session on Thursday, October 31 where members will discuss Assembly Bill 550, relating to: various changes to insurance laws.

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