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October 4th, 2019

This week, the Joint Finance Committee approved the release of funds for the HOPELINE suicide prevention hotline, which provides help to people in crisis by sending text messages. Funding for this program was initially proposed by Governor Tony Evers as part of the 2019-21 State Budget to address Wisconsin's growing suicide rates. JFC Republicans, however, refused to release the funds for this vital program and delayed action by 3 months. Republicans decided to play politics instead of taking immediate action to address a suicide epidemic that has touched communities all over the state. 

Both the Senate and the Assembly are expected to be in session next week, where several gubernatorial appointments are expected to be on the Senate floor calendar.

 

What Democrats are Saying 

   
​ Democratic Proposals

LRB 1622 Applicability to private roads and driveways of certain rules of the road governing passing school buses (Rep. Pope, Sen. Miller): Current law requires motorists who approach a school bus that is stopped on a public road and is displaying flashing red lights to stop their approaching vehicle not less than 20 feet from the bus and to remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the bus driver extinguishes the flashing red warning lights. This requirement only applies to public roads.

LRB 3735 Limiting Annexation by Cities and Villages of Certain Towns (Sen. Miller): 
This legislation requires a vote of the people of a town before annexation can take place, if the town has fewer than 7,500 people and the town has at least 12% of its territory in conservation easements. 

LRB 2534  Indigenous Peoples Day (Rep. Bowen, Rep. Milroy, Sen. Taylor, Sen. Risser): This legislation
 renames Columbus Day, observed on the second Monday in October, as Indigenous Peoples Day. This legislation will give our state a real opportunity to celebrate and learn about the native people who call Wisconsin home.

LRB 4366 Honoring Justice John Paul Stevens (Rep. Spreitzer, Rep. Reimer, Sen. Carpenter, Sen. Wirch)

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 Economic Development, Commerce and Trade
The committee held a public hearing on Troy Dennhof- Racine County Representative on the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board; Colleen Scholl- Professional Engineer on the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors; Senate Bill 391- lengthening the time during which tax increments may be allocated and expenditures for project costs may be made and extending the maximum life for Tax Incremental Districts Number Three and Four in the village of Lake Delton. 

Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry
The committee held an executive session on Preston Cole-Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. 

The committee held a public hearing on the following: Lee Van Zeeland- Southern Area Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council; Joel Enking-Northern Area Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council; Beverly Dittmar- Northern Area Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council; Senate Bill 231-placing, possessing, or transporting a bow or crossbow in or on a motorboat, vehicle, allterrain vehicle, or utility terrain vehicle; Senate Bill 325- a deer carcass disposal grant program; Senate Bill 383- 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 Natural Resources and Energy
The committee held a public hearing on William Smith- Northern Area Representative on the Natural Resources Board; Senate Bill 423- : lead testing of potable water sources in certain schools; providing loans for lead remediation in certain schools; and providing an exception to referendum restrictions for lead remediation; Senate Bill 424- Testing for lead in drinking water in facilities used for recreational and educational camps and child care.

Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs
The committee held a public hearing on Senate Bill 447- supplemental transportation aids; Senate Bill 369- federal emergency management assistance payments to municipalities

The committee also held an executive session on Senate Bill 86-  registration and operation of vehicles defined as autocycles; Senate Bill 411- designating the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge; Senate Bill 433-  designating the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway and directional signage for the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial and Education Center; Senate Bill 447- supplemental transportation aids; Senate Bill 304- prohibited practices of motor vehicle manufacturers, importers, and distributors and providing a penalty

Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade
The committee held an executive session on the following: on the following: Troy Denhof-  Racine County Representative on the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board; Colleen Scholl- Professional Engineer on the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors, Senate Bill 391- lengthening the time during which tax increments may be allocated and expenditures for project costs may be made and extending the maximum life for Tax Incremental Districts Number Three and Four in the village of Lake Delton.

Committee on Utilities and Housing
The committee will hold an informational hearing, where committee members will hear testimony from Professor Kurt Paulsen from the UW-Madison Department of Urban & Regional Planning, will be discussing a new study on workforce housing titled “Falling Behind: Addressing Wisconsin’s Workforce Housing Shortage To Strengthen Families, Communities, and Our Economy.” 

Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Mark Afable-Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance; Senate Bill 200- storage and processing of sexual assault kits and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority; Senate Bill 214- municipal ordinance enforcement and court procedures; Senate Bill 332- tracking of sexual assault kits in sexual assault cases and making an appropriation. 

The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 329-  regulation of public adjusters and granting rule-making authority; Senate Joint Resolution 57-  convention of the States for one or more Constitutional amendments restraining abuses of power by the federal government.

Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 233- withholding from a Wisconsin Retirement System lump sum payment or annuity to satisfy an order of restitution; Senate Bill 269- tax increment value reporting errors and property tax reimbursement; Senate Bill 292- notices of eligibility to receive a prize.

Committee on Education
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 407- the age at which a child may attend four-year-old kindergarten; Senate Bill 408- counting pupils enrolled in four-year-old kindergarten; Senate Bill 409- grants for feasibility studies of school district consolidation or whole grade sharing and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 412-  a whole grade sharing categorical aid for school boards and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 413-  a shared services aid program for school districts, granting rulemaking authority, and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 415-  the timing of equalization aid payments to school districts.

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 Agriculture

The Committee held an Executive Session on Tuesday, October 1 where members discussed Assembly Bill 31, relating to: grants for obtaining farm tractor rollover protection structures and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 165, relating to: weight limits for certain vehicles transporting maple sap or syrup. The Committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 206, relating to: regulating hemp, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.

Committee on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation

The Committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 1 where members heard testimony on Clearing House Rule 8-086, relating to: the managed forest law and forest crop law programs. The Committee also held an Executive Session where members discussed Assembly Bill 134, relating to: amounts obligated under the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship 2000 Program for water infrastructure projects in state parks and making an appropriation.

Committee on Insurance

The Committee  held a revised Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 1 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 357, relating to: regulation of public adjusters and granting rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 340, relating to: evidence of ownership for purposes of obtaining certain motor vehicle certificates of title; and Assembly Bill 305, relating to: notice of change in terms or premium amount for insurance policy renewal. The Committee also held a revised Executive Session where members discussed Assembly Bill 300 relating to: requiring political subdivisions and Marquette University to pay health insurance premiums for survivors of a law enforcement officer who dies in the line of duty and making an appropriation.

Committee on Corrections

The Committee held an Executive Session on Tuesday, October 1 where members discussed Assembly Bill 63, relating to: bringing contraband into a jail or prison and providing a penalty.  The Committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 30, relating to: creating a procedure for granting certificates of qualification for employment for persons convicted of a crime and making an appropriation.

Committee on State Affairs

The Committee held an Executive Assembly on Tuesday, October 1 where members discussed Assembly Bill 471, relating to: grants for Next Generation 911 and granting rule-making authority.

Committee on Energy and Utilities

The Committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, October 2 where members discussed Assembly Bill 426, relating to: trespassing on the property of an energy provider and providing a penalty.

Committee on Colleges and University

The Committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, October 2 where members discussed Assembly Bill 161, relating to: late payment of tuition benefits for student veterans enrolled in the University of Wisconsin System or a technical college; Assembly Bill 189, relating to: transferability of courses between the University of Wisconsin System, technical college system, and tribally controlled and private colleges; and Assembly Bill 361, relating to: requirements for colleges when service member students are called into active duty.

Committee on Small Businesses Development

The Committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, October 2 where the members discussed Assembly Bill 26, relating to: direct primary care agreements.

Committee on Ways and Means

The Committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, October 2 where members discussed Assembly Bill 469, relating to: a nonrefundable volunteer fire fighters and emergency responders tax credit; Assembly Bill 221, relating to: exempting from taxation the pension benefits of certain retired federal employees; Assembly Bill 225, relating to: allocation of early stage seed investment credit to offset taxes imposed on insurers; Assembly Bill 472, relating to: an exception from local levy limits for certain amounts levied for charges assessed by a joint emergency medical services department; and Assembly Bill 453, relating to: lengthening the time during which tax increments may be allocated and expenditures for project costs may be made and extending the maximum life for Tax Incremental Districts Number Three and Four in the village of Lake Delton.

Joint Committee on Finance

The Committee held a 13.10 Meeting on Wednesday, October 2 where members discussed budget supplements from the Department of Public Instruction and the University of Wisconsin System. The Committee also held an Executive Session where members discussed Senate Bill 266, relating to: requiring political subdivisions and Marquette University to pay health insurance premiums for survivors of a law enforcement officer who dies in the line of duty and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 300, relating to: requiring political subdivisions and Marquette University to pay health insurance premiums for survivors of a law enforcement officer who dies in the line of duty and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 325, relating to: harbor assistance grant for the city of Green Bay and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 469, relating to: a nonrefundable volunteer fire fighters and emergency responders tax credit. The Committee also held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 470, relating to: adding 12 circuit court branches to be allocated by the director of state courts; and Senate Bill 458, relating to: adding 12 circuit court branches to be allocated by the director of state courts.

Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs

The Committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, October 3 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 75, relating to: local regulation of honorary firearm discharges.

Committee on Education

The Committee held a Joint Public Hearing on Thursday, October 3 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 441, relating to: a shared services aid program for school districts, granting rulemaking authority, and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 442, relating to: a whole grade sharing categorical aid for school boards and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 456, relating to: grants for feasibility studies of school district consolidation or whole grade sharing and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 461, relating to: the timing of equalization aid payments to school districts; Assembly Bill 464, relating to: the age at which a child may attend four-year-old kindergarten; and Assembly Bill 465, relating to: counting pupils enrolled in four-year-old kindergarten.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees


Committee on Health and Human Services
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Mark Jinkins- Public Member on the Psychology Examining Board; John Greany-  Physical Therapist on the Physical Therapy Examining Board; Shana Weiss-  Public Member on the Pharmacy Examining Board; Lisa Yee- Marriage and Family Therapist on the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board; Megan Jackson- Marriage and Family Therapist on the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board; Candace Coates- Public School Representative on the Cosmetology Examining Board; Bryan Bee- a Nursing Home Administrator on the Nursing Home Administrator Examining Board; Edward Porter- Professional Member on the Cemetery Board; Andrea Simon-  a Professional Counselor on the Marriage and Family Therapy Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board; Senate Bill 259-  trauma-informed care position grants and making an appropriation; 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; 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.

The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 103-  hours of instructional program for nurse aides; Assembly Bill 76- : hours of instructional program for nurse aides 

Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Michael Friedman-  Accountant on the Accounting Examining Board; Senate Bill 45- creating individual and corporate income and franchise tax deductions for tuition paid for apprenticeship programs; Senate Bill 116- : reducing the eligibility threshold to claim the veterans and surviving spouses property tax credit; 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; 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; providing temporary authority to act as a mortgage loan originator while a license application is pending; property subject to garnishment or tax levy in possession of a financial institution; entities that provide to financial institutions electronic data processing services; loans to state banks by a Federal Home Loan Bank; and consolidating the Banking Review Board and Savings Institutions Review Board in the Department of Financial Institutions.

Assembly Committees

Committee on Transportation

The Committee will hold an Executive Session on Tuesday, October 8 where members will discuss Assembly Bill 78, relating to: registration and operation of vehicles defined as autocycles. The Committee will also hold a Public Hearing where members will hear testimony on Assembly Bill 486, relating to: supplemental transportation aids. 

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