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August 9th, 2019

This week, Democrats introduced legislation that would allow Wisconsin to accept federal funds to expand medicaid. A similar provision was included in Gov. Evers' budget proposal, but was blocked by the Republicans. Accepting the Medicaid funds would save taxpayers millions, direct more money to additional health initiatives, and free up state resources for schools, roads and job training. This legislation, authored by Sen. Erpenbach (D-West Point) and Rep. Riemer (D-Milwaukee) is the best way to expand access to affordable healthcare for all Wisconsinites, which is why 70% of the state support Medicaid Expansion. 

On Tuesday. Gov. Evers signed the bi-partisan Assembly Bill 275 into law as 2019 Wisconsin Act 18, which requires the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) to maintain a set of highway projects as possible selections for design-build projects.

Additionally, Gov. Evers and the Department of Health Services launched a website for parents with resources to ensure their kids and families have a healthy start to the school year. You can find the website here

 

What Democrats Are Saying  

   
​ Democratic Proposals

LRB 2962 Accepting Wisconsin's Share of the Federal Medicaid Tax Dollars (Sen. Erpenbach, Rep. Reimer): This bill makes the fiscally responsible decision to change the eligibility levels in the Wisconsin Medicaid program from 100% of the federal poverty limit to 133% of the federal poverty level, and bring $2 billion Wisconsin federal tax dollars home instead of donating them elsewhere.

LRB 2503 Requiring Clergy to Mandatory Report the abuse of Children (Rep. Taylor, Rep. Sargent, Sen. Taylor): This bill, also known as the Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act, requires just that--that clergy report instances of child abuse, including physical and sexual abuse, of which they become aware in their professional capacity.  This bill also ends the loophole shielding pedophile clergy by removing reporting exceptions for confidential, private communications.

LRB3450 Imposing a tax on firearm manufacturers and services provided to victims of crimes involving firearms, making an appropriation, and providing a penalty (Rep. Anderson and Sen. Taylor): This bill will create a fund within the Department of Justice to aid victims with costs related to an incidence of gun violence, doing so by imposing a tax on firearm manufacturers of 0.5 percent of the manufacturer's list price for each firearm that is sold in Wisconsin. 

LRB 1673 University of Wisconsin System nonresident tuition exemption (Rep. Zamarripa, Rep. Anderson, Rep. Taylor, Sen. Carpenter, Sen. Ringhand): This bill would allow undocumented students to pay resident tuition if: 1) he or she graduated from a Wisconsin high school or received a declaration of equivalency of high school graduation from Wisconsin; 2) he or she was continuously present in Wisconsin for at least three years following the first day of attending a Wisconsin high school or immediately preceding receipt of a declaration of equivalency of high school graduation; and 3) he or she enrolls in a UW System institution and provides the institution with an affidavit stating that he or she has filed or will file an application for permanent residency with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.

LRB 3814 Discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status under the open housing law (Rep. Taylor, Rep. Zamarripa, Rep. Anderson, Rep. Cabrera, Sen. Carpenter): Under this bill, our Fair Housing Laws would be updated to prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of citizenship or immigration status, extending these basic protections to Wisconsin’s immigrant community. We have a constitutional duty to uphold equal protections for all people under that law

LRB 1718 The statute of limitations for sexual contact with a child (Sen. Taylor, Rep. Taylor, Rep. Sargent): This bill would remove the time limits on when a person has to bring an action (the statute of limitations) for an injury resulting from being sexually assaulted or subject to incest as a child, or from being subject to sexual contact by a member of the clergy as a child.

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 Health and Human Services
The committee held a public hearing on Thursday, August 6th on the following: Gregory Quandt- Massage/Bodywork Therapist on the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing Board; Barbara Carter- Physical Therapist Assistant on the Physical Therapy Examining Board; Tony Peterangelo-  Pharmacist on the Pharmacy Examining Board; Jeffery Clark- Optometrist on the Optometry Examining Board; Lisa Slaby- Optometrist on the Optometry Examining Board; Sheldon Wasserman- Doctor-Medicine Representative on the Medical Examining Board; Francis Groh- Cemetery Business Representative on the Cemetery Board; Kristin Lee- Cosmetologist on the Cosmetology Examining Board; Emmylou Wilson-  Optometrist on the Optometry Examining Board; Randi Hanson- Occupational Therapist on the Occupational Therapists; James Dietsche- Public Member on the Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority; John Greene- Psychologist on the Psychology Examining Board; Teresa Black- Occupational Therapist Assistant on the Occupational Therapists Affiliated Credentialing Board; Joesph Schinkten-  Funeral Director/Embalmer on the Funeral Directors Examining Board; Dawn Adams-  Funeral Director/Embalmer on the Funeral Directors Examining Board; Jaime Ehmer- Technical College Representative on the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing Board; Ramona Trudeau-  Massage/Bodywork Therapy School Representative on the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing Board; Todd McEldowney- Public Member on the Physical Therapy Examining Board; Senate Bill 217- diabetes care and prevention plan. 

Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs
The committee held a public hearing on Curtis Schmitt- Representative on the Board of Veterans Affairs; William Schrum- Board of Veterans Affairs; Senate Bill 263-  Bills making honorary designations of state highways or bridges; Assembly Bill 249- Bills making honorary designations of state highways or bridges; Senate Bill 319-  The transportation facilities economic assistance and development program; Senate Bill 320- Evidence of ownership for purposes of obtaining certain motor vehicle certificates of title.

The committee held an executive session on Curt Thompson- Secretary of the Department of Transportation; Mary Kolar-  Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs

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

There were no committees scheduled this week. 

Next Week in the Legislature

Senate Committees

Committee on Utilities and Housing
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Joaquin Altoro- Executive Director of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development; Ivan Gamboa- Public Member on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority; Raynetta Hill- Public Member on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority; Victoria Parmentier- Public Member on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority; Jeffrey Skrenes- Public Member on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority; Senate Bill 119- housing grants to homeless individuals and families and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 123- housing grants to homeless individuals and families and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 120- housing grants to homeless individuals and families and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 121- housing navigator grants and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 121- housing quality standards loans, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 125- housing quality standards loans, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 144-grants to defray housing costs and for diversion programming and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 124- grants to defray housing costs and for diversion programming and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 247-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; Senate Bill 321- telephone company tax exemption for property used to provide broadband service.

Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety
The committee will hold a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 29- allowing district attorneys, deputy district attorneys, and assistant district attorneys to engage in the private practice of law for certain civil purposes; Senate Bill 34- creating a procedure for granting certificates of qualification for employment for persons convicted of a crime and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 49 prosecuting a person under the age of 18 with committing an act of prostitution; Senate Bill 104- sexual contact by a law enforcement officer with a person in his or her custody and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 171- sexual contact by a law enforcement officer with a person in his or her custody and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 290- pepper spray and CS gel substances; Senate Bill 311- pepper spray and CS gel substances; Senate Bill 316- the treatment of a pregnant or postpartum person in prison and county jail. 

Assembly Committees

Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention

The Task Force will hold an Information Hearing on Monday, August 12 where the documentary Saved from Suicide will be screened; The Task Force will also hold a Public Hearing on Monday where members will hear testimony from Chippewa Valley Technical College, Department of Corrections, Department of Military Affairs, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality

The Task Force will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, August 13 where members will hear testimony from the Department of Health Services and Department of Natural Resources, American Council of Engineers, Milwaukee City Health Department and Milwaukee Water Works, MillerCorps, and Milwaukee River Keepers and Milwaukee Water Commons; the Task Force will also hold an Information Hearing where members will meet for a tour of the UW Milwaukee School of Freshwater Science.

Committee on Transportation

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, August 13 regarding Assembly Bill 197, relating to: driver school offices in private residences; Assembly Bill 325, relating to: harbor assistance grant for the city of Green Bay and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 343, relating to: the transportation facilities economic assistance and development program.

Committee on Health

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, August 14 regarding Assembly Bill 258, relating to: Marquette University of Dentistry rural scholarship program and making an appropriation; Assembly Bill 304, relating to: permitting pharmacists to prescribe certain contraceptives, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing and exemption for emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty; and members will hear an update from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on the implementation of 2017 WI Act 279.

Speakers Task Force on Adoption

The Task Force will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, August 14 where members will hear testimony from the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services and Kids Matter, Inc.

Committee on Rural Development

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, August 15 regarding Assembly Bill 266, relating to: a flood risk reduction pilot project and making an appropriation.

Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, August 15 regarding Assembly Bill 163, relating to: retired credential status for certain professionals holding credentials granted by the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers, and Professional Land Surveyors – extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption for emergency rule procedures, and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 187, relating to: micro market licensing fees; and Assembly Bill 82, relating to: adopting revisions to the state’s uniform athlete agents act and providing a penalty.


Committee on Environment

The committee will hold a Public Hearing on Thursday, August 15 regarding Assembly Bill 190, relating to: wetland mitigation banks, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, providing and exemption from rule-making procedures, and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 210, relating to: time limits for correcting violations found by the environmental compliance audit program; Assembly Bill 297, relating to: changes to the electronic waste recycling program and granting rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 315, relating to: signs informing about Lyme disease in state parks, state trails, state recreational areas, and state forests and making an appropriation; and Assembly Bill 316, relating to: making insect repellant available for sale in state parks and state forests.

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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.