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July 26th, 2019

This week, members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) met to approve state agency funding request for various programs. Republicans refused to discuss or vote on a request from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), which funded mental health assistance for farmers and their families. The funding would have established a mental health hotline to aid farmers, created workshops for farmers and their families, and provided vouchers to cover counseling sessions. Despite farm bankruptcies and farmer suicides at an all time high, Republicans failed to fund critical mental health services to Wisconsinites in need. While the GOP are abandoning our farmers by refusing to release funds that were already approved by JFC, Gov. Evers and Legislative Democrats are committed to taking swift action to assist farmers who are struggling. 

 

What Democrats Are Saying  

   
​ Democratic Proposals

LRB 3522 Caps on Insulin Prices (Sen. Hansen): This bill caps the cost of co-pays for insulin at $100 per month and requires the Office of Insurance Commissioner to investigate and report on the pricing of insulin to help determine what other actions may be needed to address this crisis.

LRB 1693 Spinal Cord Injury Research Grants and Symposia  (Rep. Anderson and Sen. Larson): This bill requires the Higher Educational Aids Board to establish a program to award grants to persons in this state for research into spinal cord injuries.  

LRB 1554 Requiring candidates for president or vice president to file tax returns with the Elections Commission (Rep. Crowley, Rep. Anderson, Sen. Hansen, Sen. Larson): This bill requires each candidate for president or vice president to submit with his or her declaration of candidacy copies of the candidate's federal tax returns for the three most recent years for which the candidate filed such returns.

LRB 3677 Attempted homicide of a child’s parent as grounds for involuntarily terminating a person’s parental rights to the child (Sen. Bewley and Rep. Meyers): 
This bill adds attempted homicide of a child's parent as a ground for involuntarily terminating a person's parental rights to the child and allows the ground of homicide or attempted homicide of a parent to be based on evidence produced at a fact-finding hearing, not only a judgment of conviction.

LRB 3679 Retail liquor license quotas (Sen. Bewley and Rep. Meyers): 
This bill allows a municipality that has reached its liquor license quota to issue one additional license if certain conditions exist. Current law prohibits a person from selling alcohol beverages at retail unless the seller possesses a license or permit authorizing the sale.

LRB 2441 Teen dating violence prevention Education (Rep. Sargent, Sen. Shilling): This bill requires schools to provide teen dating violence prevention education and establishes certain criteria governing the instruction provided.

LRB 1522 The Unlock the Vote Legislative Package (Sen. Taylor, Rep. Emerson, Rep. Crowley, and Rep. Stubbs): 
This package aims to restore voting rights for felons after completion of jail or prison time and to count inmates as members of their districts of last residence.

LRB 3666 Reach Higher for Higher Education Package 1 (Rep. Shankland and Sen. Hansen): Fully funds the tuition freeze by increasing funding for the University of Wisconsin System general program operations by $16,800,000 in FY 2019-20 and by $33,600,000 in FY 2020-21
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LRB 3574  Reach Higher for Higher Education Package 2 (Rep. Shankland and Sen. Hansen): Requires that all future tuition freezes for the UW System be funded, ensuring our educators have the resources they need so students won’t wait for courses to graduate.

LRB 3575 Reaching Higher for Higher Ed Package 3 (Rep. Shankland and Sen. Hansen)Fully funds the Wisconsin Technical College System’s 2019-21 budget request by appropriating $11,000,000 from the general fund in the 2019-21 fiscal biennium.

LRB 3576  Reaching Higher for Higher Ed Package 4 (Rep. Shankland and Sen. Hansen): Creates a 19-member Blue Ribbon Commission for the University of Wisconsin System, tasked with studying and facilitating discussion of a public agenda for higher education, a set of long-term goals and priorities for higher education, and accessibility and affordability of higher education. The commission will include the president of the UW System, four faculty and four academic staff members of UW System campuses that is underserved or undergoing significant programmatic changes, four UW System students, one higher education expert, one workforce development expert, and four legislators. One notable goal of the commission is to study the feasibility of establishing a state program to provide debt-free college education to all Wisconsin residents.

LRB 3577  Reaching Higher for Higher Ed Package 5 (Rep. Shankland and Sen. Hansen): 
Ends the wait list for need-based financial aid for UW System and technical college students by increasing HEAB’s biennial appropriation for Wisconsin Grants for UW students by $27,000,000 in each year of the 2019-21 fiscal biennium and for technical college students by $18,000,000 in each year of the 2019-21 fiscal biennium.

LRB 3578 Reaching Higher for Higher Ed Package 6 (Rep. Shankland and Sen. Hansen): Remits UW undergraduate student teachers’ academic fees for the semester they are student teaching.

LRB 3714 Provision of menstrual products in state and local buildings and school buildings (Rep. Sargent): This bill requires that restroom facilities in buildings owned, leased, or occupied by the state or a political subdivision have available tampons and sanitary napkins at no charge.

LRB 0957 Restoring private individual authority to bring qui tam claim against a person for making a false claim for medical assistance and providing a penalty (Rep. Subeck): This bill restores a private individual's authority to bring a qui tam claim against a person who makes a false claim for medical assistance, which was eliminated in 2015 Wisconsin Act 55. 

LRB 0286 and LRB 2692  Equal Pay Enforcement Act & Equal Pay Transparency Act (Rep. Sinicki):  These pieces of legislation aims to narrow the wage gap in Wisconsin

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

There are no committees scheduled this week. 

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

Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality

The task force held an Informational hearing on Tuesday, July 23 where members met for a virtual tour of the PCA Tomahawk Water Treatment System. Although members may discuss subject matter within the committee's jurisdiction, the committee will not formally consider any legislation or take any official action. The task force also held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, July 23 where members heard testimony from Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association; National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI); Wisconsin Paper Council; Lincoln County; Short Lane Ag Supply; Invited testimony will begin at 1:00 PM and is expected to conclude at approximately 3:30 PM. Members of the public had the opportunity to testify at the conclusion of the invited testimony. The task force also held an Informational Hearing on Wednesday, July 24 where members met for a tour of the UW Stevens Point Water and Environmental Analysis Lab located at 800 Reserve St. Room 200 Stevens Point, WI 54481. Although members discussed subject matter within the committee's jurisdiction, the committee did not formally consider any legislation or take any official action. The task force also held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, July 24 where members heard testimony from Portage County; USDA - Agricultural Research Service; Mark Borchardt; Water Well Association; Central Sands Water Action Coalition; Farmers of Mill Creek Producer Led Group and Wood County Land Conservation. Invited testimony began at 12:00 PM and was expected to conclude at approximately 2:30 PM. Members of the public had the opportunity to testify at the conclusion of the invited testimony.

Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption

The task force will held a Public Hearing on Thursday, July 25 where members heard testimony from Polk County Sheriff; Polk County Children and Families Department; Wisconsin Tribes; Catholic Charities; CESA 11. At the conclusion of the invited testimony, the Task Force accepted public testimony.

 

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

There are no committees scheduled at this time.

Assembly Committees

Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention

The task force will hold a Public Hearing on Monday, July 29 where members will hear testimony from National Farm Medicine Center; Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension. The task force will also hold an Informational Hearing on Monday, July 29 where the National Farm Medicine Center will provide members with a welcome and tour of facilities at the Marshfield Clinic.

Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, July 31 where members will hear testimony regarding EmR 1907, relating to harvest management regulations in the Lake Superior Fishery and affecting small business; EmR 1908, relating to educator licenses for military spouses; EmR 1909, relating to cleanup revisions to educator license rules; Clearinghouse Rule 19-031, relating to the brownfield green space and public facilities grant program; Clearinghouse Rule 19-040, relating to waste tire removal and recovery; Clearinghouse Rule 19-046, relating to a forestry research and development grant program; Clearinghouse Rule 19-047, relating to state market development priorities for recycled and recyclable material. The committee will also hold an Executive Session on Wednesday, July 31 where members will discuss EmR 1902, relating to wildlife harvest management regulations; EmR 1906, related to the examination on the treatment and management of ocular disease; EmR 1907, relating to harvest management regulations in the Lake Superior Fishery and affecting small business; EmR 1908, relating to educator licenses for military spouses; EmR 1909, relating to: cleanup revisions to educator license rules; Clearinghouse Rule 19-031, relating to the brownfield green space and public facilities grant program; Clearinghouse Rule 19-040, relating to waste tire removal and recovery; Clearinghouse Rule 19-046, relating to a forestry research and development grant program; Clearinghouse Rule 19-047, relating to state market development priorities for recycled and recyclable material. 

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 To view updated committee notices, visit the legislative website and click on Committee Schedule: Wisconsin State Legislature.

 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.