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Contents

March 29, 2019

This week, the Republican lame duck session came under intense legal scrutiny once again as Wisconsin Judge Frank Remington ruled that the legislation violated our state’s separation of powers. On Wednesday, a three-judge panel on the 3rd District Court of Appeals granted a stay of last week’s ruling by Judge Richard Niess which sided with the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin in eliminating the lame duck laws in their entirety.  

 

Judge Remington’s decision in the case brought by unions challenging the lame-duck blocked some of the provisions of the laws while he considers the case. His ruling remains in effect for now, so parts of the laws continue to be on hold despite the appeals court's ruling.

 

This means that some of the lame-ducks laws will go back into effect, however another law preventing Gov. Tony Evers from withdrawing Wisconsin from a law suit against the Affordable health Care act is still on hold. Despite the chaos that was created by the Republican’s illegal actions during the lame-duck session, Democrats remain confident that the courts will rule in favor of fair and transparent democracy and will ultimately undo the lame-duck legislation. Now that two separate judges have ruled against GOP leadership in this case, it is time that for Republicans to respect the democratic process and stop wasting time and money defending an unconstitutional power-grab.

 

Also this week, the Joint Committee on Finance announced four public hearings on the Governor’s 2019-21 Biennial Budget. Those dates and times are as follows:

Friday, April 5th
10am-5pm
Pontiac Convention Center
28009 North Pontiac Drive

Wednesday, April 10th
10am-5pm
Oak Creek Community Center
8580 South Howell Ave. 
Oak Creek, WI 53154

Monday, April 10th
10am-5pm
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
University Center – Riverview Ballroom #260
500 Wild Rose Avenue
River Falls, WI 54022

Wednesday, April 24
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
University Union-Phoenix Rooms
2430 Campus Court
Green Bay, WI 54311

 

Written comments on the budget can be emailed to the Committee at BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov, or sent via U.S. mail to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702  

 

Also, a reminder that the Spring General election is this upcoming Tuesday, April 2nd. Reach out to our municipal clerk or go to myvote.wi.gov for more info or if you have any questions.

 

What Democrats Are Saying 

   
​ Democratic Proposals

 

LRB 2579 and LRB 2580- Congratulating the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men's hockey team for winning the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship title (Rep. Shankland)

 

LRB 2513- The distribution of excess sales tax revenue collected by a local professional baseball park district and making an appropriation - This bill would distribute any excess revenue distributed to the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District through the collection of the sales and use tax back to the five counties that make up the district and the municipalities within those counties. (Sen. Carpenter)

 

LRB 2337- Proclaiming March 31, 2019, as Cesar Chavez Day in the State of Wisconsin (Rep. Zamarripa)

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 Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Intuitions

The committee held an Executive session on Tuesday, March 26th on Senate Bill 13, relating to notification of changed property tax assessment for agricultural land (Approved 9-0)

 

The committee also held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 26th on Senate Bill 35, relating to grants for obtaining farm tractor rollover protection structures and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 54, relating to the disclosure of a retailer's sales tax liability to a successor; Robert Misey as public member on the Accounting Examining Board; Susan Strautmann as an Accountant on the Accounting Examining Board; Elizabeth Kessler as Commissioner on the Tax Appeals Commission; and Senate Bill 43, relating to paddlewheel raffles.

 

Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, March 27th on Senate Bill 1, relating to designating and marking a highway interchange in Winnebago County as the Michael G. Ellis Memorial Interchange; and Senate Bill 3, relating to: denial, suspension, and revocation of certain licenses related to motor vehicle dealers.

 

Committee on Natural Resources and Energy

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday March 27th on Senate Bill 91, relating to buying and selling water pollution credits through a central clearinghouse

 

Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, March 27th on Senate Bill 15, relating to new internship grants and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 16, relating to career and technical education incentive grants and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 17, relating to workforce training grants for seminars in high-demand fields to teach new skills and provide micro-credentials and making an appropriation.  

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 Aging and Long Term Care

The committee held a Public Hearing in Tuesday, March 26 where members discussed Assembly Bill 76, which relates to hours of instructional program for nurse aids.

 

Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety

The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 26 where members discussed Assembly Bill 68 relating to creating false identities on social media and providing penalties, and Assembly Bill 71 relating to possession of child pornography and providing a penalty.

 

Committee on Transportation

The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 26 where members discussed Assembly Bill 9 relating to designating and marking a highway interchange in Winnebago County as the Michael G. Ellis Memorial Interchange, Assembly Bill 77 relating to designating and marking STH 33 in Colombia County as the Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch Memorial Highway, Assembly Bill 80 relating to indication of veteran status on an operator’s license or identification card, and Assembly Bill 3 relating to the denial, suspension, and revocation of certain licenses related to motor vehicle dealers.

 

Committee on Mental Health

The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 26 where members heard from the Department of Health Services, Department of Corrections, Department of Veteran Affairs, and NAMI Wisconsin.

 

Committee on Local Government

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, March 27 where members discussed Assembly Bill 2 relating to motor vehicle immobilization devices, and Assembly Bill 8 relating to the notification of changed property tax assessment for agricultural land.

 

Committee on Children and Families

The committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, March 27 where members discussed Assembly Bill 41 relating to prosecuting a person under the age of 18 with committing an act of prostitution, and Assembly Bill 52 relating to a minor contracting for admission to a shelter facility or transitional living program.

 

Committee on State Affairs

The committee held an Executive Session on Wednesday, March 27 where members discussed Assembly Bill 20 relating to terminology changes for those with an intellectual disability in administrative rules, and Assembly Bill 74 relating to retail sales of intoxicating liquor for consumption off the licensed premises.

 

Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention

The committee held an Informational Hearing on Wednesday, March 27 where members heard from experts in the field of substance abuse and prevention.

 

Committee on Ways and Means

The committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, March 28 where members discussed Assembly Bill 46 relating to the disclosure of a retailer’s sales tax liability to a successor, and Assembly Bill 73 relating to lease terms and the imposition of sales and use taxes related to a local professional baseball park district.

 

Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs

The committee held an Informational Hearing on Thursday, March 28 where members heard testimony from invited speakers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Military Affairs.

 

Committee on Colleges and Universities

The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, March 28 where members discussed Assembly Bill 22 relating to driver education instruction on human trafficking. The committee also held an Informational Meeting on Thursday, March 28 where members heard an overview of Midwest Higher Education Compact (MHEC) and Open Education Resources (OER). Additionally, the committee held a Public Hearing on Thursday, March 28 where members discussed Assembly Bill 51 relating to the minority teacher loan program.

 

Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety

The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, March 28 where members discussed Assembly Bill 28 relating to crime victim impact statements, Assembly Bill 33 relating to expungement of records of certain crimes, and Assembly Bill 34 relating to prostitution crime surcharge and making an appropriation.

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

 

There are no scheduled Senate Committees at this time.

 

Assembly Committees

 

Committee on Forestry, Parks, and Outdoor Recreation

The committee will hold an Informational Hearing on Tuesday, April 2 where members will hear testimonies and presentations from staff at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on various forestry related issues.

 

Committee on Forestry, Parks, and Outdoor Recreation

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, April 2 where members will discuss Assembly Bill 39 relating to a higher wild animal protection surcharge for the unlawful taking of deer.

 

Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, April 3 where members will hear testimony from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Land and Water, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, and Wisconsin Water Quality Association.

 

Joint Committees 

 

Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, April 3 where members will hear testimony from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Land and Water, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, and Wisconsin Water Quality Association.

 

Joint Finance Committee

The committee will hold the following agency briefings on the Governor's 2019-21 budget:

Wednesday April 3rd (10:00am)

  • Department of Public Instruction
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of Health Services

Thursday, April 4th (10:00am)

  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Corrections
  • Department of Natural Resources     
 
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 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.