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March 6th, 2020

Gov. Evers signed several bipartisan bills this week. The bills include supporting the safety of students, taking crucial steps to address the opioid, heroin and methamphetamine crisis in Wisconsin, and encouraging local investments across the state. The full list of the bills can be seen here.

Also this week, legislative Democrats introduced the Respect Women Act to improve women's access to safe health care. One bill keeps politicians out of the exam room by repealing unnecessary abortion restrictions that are not grounded in medical science or widely accepted medical best practices. The other bill ensures all patients receive honest, medically accurate information when seeking health care by preventing politicians from dictating what doctors say to their patients. Wisconsin Democrats want to respect a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions free from harassment, intimidation, and false information.

This week, Gov. Evers took a major step toward fixing our local roads by announcing that 152 local communities will receive $75 million in  grant funding through the Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) program. The program pays up to 90% of total eligible costs with local governments providing a minimum of 10% cost share. Funds are used for projects statewide related to roads, bridges, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, railroads and harbors. For over 10 years, Republican leadership have allowed our road infrastructure to decay. Governor Evers and legislative Democrats are committed to taking swift action to build a strong, safe and reliable transportation network. The investment is critical for boosting economic development and creating good-paying jobs. 

 

What Democrats are Saying 

   
​ Democratic Proposals

LRB 3386 Encouraging lodging establishments to provide training to employees on recognizing and preventing human trafficking (Rep. Haywood, Sen. Taylor): Under the bill, lodging establishments that provide training to their staff will be eligible for certification by DOJ. The training includes identifying potential victims, differentiating the types of trafficking, and how to officially report and intervene once it is recognized.

LRB 5714  Membership of the Higher Education Aids Board (Sen. Bewley and Rep. Meyers): This legislation would give the state’s two tribal colleges voting representation on the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB).

LRB 4991 Paid interns from low-income families within assembly, senate, DOJ, and governor offices (Rep. Haywood, Rep. Fields, Sen. Johnson): This bill authorizes the employment of one paid intern in each assembly office and up to two paid interns in each senate office, four paid interns in the Milwaukee offices of the governor, four paid interns in the Madison offices of the governor, and four paid interns in the Milwaukee offices of the Department of Justice

LRB 4919 Respect Women Act (Rep. Taylor and Sen. Erpnebach): This act creates a statutory right for women to obtain a safe, legal abortion according to the principals established in Roe v. Wade and subsequent case law. This bill does not create a new legal right, but codifies current federal constitutional protections in Wisconsin law. This Act ensures the right of all patients to receive honest, medically accurate information from their health care providers and establishes the right of health care providers to provide such information, free from political interference.

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 Economic Development, Commerce and Trade
The committee held an executive session on the following: Assembly Bill 294-  changing the 12 percent rule regarding the total value of taxable property included in the creation of a tax incremental financing district in the village of Ontario; Assembly Bill 821-  changing the 12 percent rule regarding the total value of taxable property included in the creation of, or amendment to, a tax incremental financing district in the village of Little Chute; Assembly Bill 859- making changes related to mixed-use tax incremental financing districts, increasing the amount of time a city or village may extend the life of a tax incremental district to improve its affordable and workforce housing, allowing a reduction in the amount of certain impact fees, and authorizing local units of government to implement workforce housing initiatives.

Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry
The committee held an executive session on Abigail Haas- Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council; Michael Holden-  Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council; Don Mortek- Representative on the Snowmobile Recreation Council; Sue Smedegard- Representative on the Snowmobile Recreational Council; Senate Bill 719-  modifying administrative rules relating to the use of wood to contain bear bait in stumps; Senate Bill 762- the governor's bear tag; Senate Bill 867- the managed forest land program

This Week in the Assembly

Assembly Session 

The Assembly did not hold 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, March 3 where members heard testimony on Clearinghouse Rule 19-079, relating to immunization of students.

The Committee on Public Benefit Reform

The committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 3 where members heard testimony on Clearinghouse Rule 18-016

Committee on State Affairs

The committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, March 4 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 634, relating to: designating the spring peeper as the state amphibian; and Assembly Bill 548, relating to: creating a task force on missing and murdered tribal women and girls and making an appropriation.

Committee on Ways and Means

The committee held a Public Hearing where members heard testimony on Assembly bill 231, relating to an income tax exemption for cash tips paid to an employee; Assembly Bill 466, relating to: creating an individual income tax deduction for certain income earned by an individual from the practice of psychiatry; and Assembly Bill 521, relating to: additional local sales and use tax for Milwaukee County.


Committee on Constitution and Ethics

The committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, March 5 where members discussed Clearinghouse Rule 19-079, relating to: immunization of students. 

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 586- legal custody and physical placement factors for a child of a service member; Senate Bill 734-guardian training requirements and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 786-  guardian training requirements and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 748- purchase and renovation of a center for the employment of blind and visually impaired individuals, sale of the existing center, granting bonding authority, and making an appropriation

Committee on Utilities and Housing
The committee will hold an executive session on Assembly Bill 544- workforce housing tax credits and economic development revolving loan funds; Assembly Bill 655- regulation of home inspectors, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority; Elizabeth Lauer- Real Estate Broker Representative on the Real Estate Examining Board; Melissa Allen-  Public Member on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

Committee on Health and Human Services
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Kerry Connelly-  Member on the Podiatrists Affiliated Credentialing Board; Dr. Robert Sage-  Podiatrist on the Podiatry Affiliated Credentialing Board; Senate Bill 738-  licensing and regulation of pharmacies and remote dispensing sites under the pharmacy practice law, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from rule-making procedures, and granting rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 788-  licensing and regulation of pharmacies and remote dispensing sites under the pharmacy practice law, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from rule-making procedures, and granting rule-making authority; Senate Bill 763- allowing discounts for prompt payment of health care fees; Assembly Bill 841- allowing discounts for prompt payment of health care fees.

The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Dr. Randal Kittleon- Podiatrist on the Podiatry Affiliated Credentialing Board; Diana Whalen- Dental Hygienist Representative on the Dentistry Examining Board; Jack Hutter- Podiatrist on the Podiatry Affiliated Credentialing Board; Daisy Quintal- Cosmetologist on the Cosmetology Examining Board; Kayla Cwojdzinski- Cosmetologist on the Cosmetology Examining Board; Assembly Bill 895-  construction of or improvements to indoor, athletic or aquatic athletic facilities, granting bonding authority, and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 364- raising the legal age for sale, purchase, and possession of cigarettes and nicotine and tobacco products, providing a legal age for sale, purchase, and possession of vapor products, and providing a penalty.


Committee on Education 

The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 506- grants to the Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 744-  incorporating the Holocaust and other genocides into the state model social studies standards and requiring instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides; Senate Bill 789- expanding the part-time open enrollment program
 
Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Trade
The committee will hold a public hearing and an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 157-  the creation of a local exposition district by the City of Superior; Assembly Bill 869-  creating a private event venue permit issued by the Department of Revenue; the issuance by the Department of Revenue of retail alcohol beverage permits for motor vehicle racetrack grounds and for the state fair park; authorizing caterers to make retail sales of alcohol beverages on racetrack grounds; closing hours for certain alcohol beverage retailers and wineries and hours for retail sales by brewers; and providing a penalty

The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 157- the creation of a local exposition district by the City of Superior; Assembly Bill 869- creating a private event venue permit issued by the Department of Revenue; the issuance by the Department of Revenue of retail alcohol beverage permits for motor vehicle racetrack grounds and for the state fair park; authorizing caterers to make retail sales of alcohol beverages on racetrack grounds; closing hours for certain alcohol beverage retailers and wineries and hours for retail sales by brewers; and providing a penalty

Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions
The committee will hold an executive session on the following: Senate Bill 646- expanding applicability of the room tax, making substantive and technical changes to the local room tax, and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 683- expanding applicability of the room tax, making substantive and technical changes to the local room tax, and providing a penalty

The committee will also hold a public hearing on the following: Arden Sherpe- Member on the Veterinary Examining Board; Assembly Bill 469- nonrefundable volunteer fire fighters and emergency responders tax credit; Senate Bill 756- the revised uniform unclaimed property act; Assembly Bill 752- the revised uniform unclaimed property act; Senate Bill 451- the distribution and labeling of fertilizers and soil or plant additives produced from manure; Assembly Bill 511- the distribution and labeling of fertilizers and soil or plant additives produced from manure; Assembly Bill 48- promissory notes of certain public bodies.


Assembly Committees

There are no committee hearings scheduled at this time in the assembly. 

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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.