Capitol Update-Under the Dome

September 20th, 2019

This week, Governor Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, and legislative Democrats announced legislation to combat gun violence in Wisconsin. The proposed legislation creates an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) process, which empowers families and law enforcement officers to act swiftly by seeking temporary removal of firearms by a judge when they believe someone is at risk of harming themselves or others. With the rising number of mass shootings and firearm suicides, this common-sense legislation is long overdue and makes strides in protecting Wisconsinites from gun violence.

On Thursday, State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor delivered the annual “State of Education Address” from the State Capitol. She emphasized the goal of working together on behalf of every child and the importance of equity in Wisconsin’s schools.

On Friday, a bipartisan bill was introduced to legalize medical cannabis in Wisconsin. People should not have to break the law to access medicine and pain-relief from debilitating conditions. Last fall, 16 Wisconsin counties and 2 cities passed referendums in favor of medical cannabis. This shows that Wisconsin is ready to join 33 other states in passing this common-sense legislation.

What Democrats Are Saying  

   

​ Democratic Proposals

LRB 4052 Registration of fantasy contest operators, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, and providing a penalty (Rep. Brostoff): This bill requires fantasy contest operators to register with the Department of Financial Institutions to operate in this state and imposes certain requirements on fantasy contest operators as specified in the bill.

LRB 0129 Changing the rate of the earned income tax credit (Rep. Reimer and Sen. Hansen): Under this bill, for taxable years beginning after 2019, an individual who is eligible to claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit may claim as a credit against Wisconsin taxes due 34 percent of the amount that the taxpayer may claim under the federal credit, regardless of the number of children the individual has.

LRB 4325 Honoring the life and public service of Dennis Burns (Sen. Miller and Rep. Hebl): On Sunday, September 8, 2019, Dennis Burns passed away after a 12 year battle with cancer. Dennis served the state of Wisconsin for over 30 years in both the State Senate and State Assembly. Most recently, Dennis served as the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms for the State Senate before retiring this July. Please see the attached resolution honoring his life and public service.

LRB 0200 Use of child safety restraint systems in motor vehicles (Rep. Taylor): This bill requires that children must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until at least age two and modifies several other child safety restraint system requirements.

LRB 2698 Creating a task force on murdered and missing tribal women and girls (Rep. Stuck, Rep. Mursau, Rep. Myers, Sen. Bewley): This bill creates a task force on missing and murdered tribal women and girls. The task force must be established by the attorney general and must consist of members who are knowledgeable in crime victims rights or violence protection and who work in a range of relevant positions as specified in the bill.

LRB 4327 Joint Resolution declaring Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week in Wisconsin (Rep. Myers)

LRB 0302 Deputy DA Positions (Sen. Miller): This proposal also allows the DAs of counties over 400,000 to receive the same salary as the DA from populous county.

LRB 4383 Extreme risk protection temporary restraining orders and injunctions (Rep. Sargent and Sen. Taylor): As such, LRB-4383/1 creates an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) in Wisconsin, that mirrors existing temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunction processes, such as the domestic abuse injunction process, affording families and law enforcement officers the opportunity to act when they believe someone is at risk of harming themselves or others. Under the ERPO process, if person is likely to injure themselves or another person, a family member or law enforcement officer may petition to temporarily prevent the person from possessing a firearm.

LRB 1624 End-of-Life Options Act (Rep. Pope, Sen. Risser, Rep. Hesselbein): This legislation would permit a Wisconsin resident who is of sound mind, not incapacitated, at least 18 years of age, and has a terminal disease to voluntarily request medication from his or her attending physician for the purpose of ending the individual’s life in a humane and dignified manner.

LRB 1055 and LRB 4395 Bi-Partisan Medical Cannabis Bill (Sen. Erpenbach, Sen. Testing, Rep. Taylor): This bipartisan bill recognizes that people shouldn’t have to engage in a criminal act to access medicine for debilitating conditions. It also recognizes the need to regulate the industry in order to provide a safe, legal path for people to obtain that medicine. LRB-1055 and 4395 create a tightly regulated process that requires a recommendation from a treating physician with whom a patient with a debilitating condition has an established relationship. The bill also requires the Department of Health Services to create and maintain a registry system, and requires the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to create a licensing system for growers, producers, and sellers to ensure safety and quality. It also makes certain that regardless of where you live, even if it is not near a dispensary, that you can access legally available medicine.

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 Institutions
Executive Session
The committee held an executive session on Senate Bill 208– allocation of early stage seed investment credit to offset taxes imposed on insurers.

The committee also held a public hearing on the following: Daniel Smith– Agriculture Representative on the Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Dr. Diana Dommer Martin– Veterinarian on the Veterinary Examining Board; Carla Washington- Consumer Representative on the Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Patty Edelburg- Agriculture Representative on the Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Senate Bill 351– a sales tax exemption for tangible personal property temporarily stored in this state; Senate Bill 362–  repealing obsolete refundable tax credits; Senate Bill 95– cost-sharing assistance for property tax assessments.; Senate Bill 96-actions for excessive property tax assessments; Senate Bill 97–  the submission of information for commercial property tax assessments.

Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts
The committee held an executive session regarding the following: Senate Bill 62-service of notice of claim against state officer, employee, or agent; Senate Bill 63 and Assembly Bill 59-service of certain pleadings and other papers by electronic mail; Senate Bill 131– self-insurance by religious sects for purposes of motor vehicle financial responsibility and liability insurance requirements; Senate Bill 155– participation in the Volunteer Health Care Provider program by agencies serving homeless individuals; Senate Bill 289– notice of change in terms or premium amount for insurance policy renewal; Senate Bill 314–  limiting certain 2nd class cities’ ability to designate or regulate historic landmarks.

The committee also held a public hearing regarding 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 on Judiciary and Public Safety

The committee held a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 163- causing bodily harm to a nurse and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 33– the collection of victim restitution; Senate Bill 139– sexual contact with an animal and providing a penalty; Senate Bill 50– body cameras on law enforcement officers; Senate Bill 266– 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 Education

The committee held an executive session on the following: Assembly Bill 53-pupil records.; Assembly Bill 54– fire, tornado, and school safety drills for public and private schools (Passed 9-0); Assembly Bill 67–  information on the school district and school accountability report (Passed 8-1)

The committee also held a public hearing on the following: Senate Bill 138-professional development training in character education for teachers, pupil service professionals, principals, and school; Senate Bill 160– The method for providing notice of a special meeting of a school board; Senate Bill 183– requirements for initial licensure as a special education teacher; Assembly Bill 194– requirements for initial licensure as a special education teacher; Senate Bill 184–  a license to teach based on reciprocity and granting rule-making authority; Assembly Bill 195–  a license to teach based on reciprocity and granting rule-making authority.

Committee on Natural Resources and Energy
The committee held an executive session on the following: Eric Birschbush– Public Member on the Land and Water Conservation Board; Andrew Buttles–  Farmer Representative on the Land and Water Conservation; Ronald Grasshoff- Charitable Organization Representative on the Land and Water Conservation Board; Randall Poelma–  Recreational User Group Representative on the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board; Bobbie Webster– Large City Representative on the Land and Water Conservation Board; Senate Bill 296– signs informing about Lyme disease in state parks, state trails, state recreational areas, and state forests and making an appropriation; Senate Bill 297–  making insect repellant available for sale in state parks and state forests; Senate Bill 298– Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to raise awareness about Lyme disease; Senate Bill 300–  establishing a tick-borne disease study committee.

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

Assembly Committee on Insurance & Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee
The Committee held a Joint Public Hearing with the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, September 17 where members heard testimony on 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 Health
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, September 17 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 427, relating to: emergency medical services programs. The Committee also held an Executive Session where members discussed Assembly Bill 427.

Committee on Children and Families
The Committee held an Informational Hearing on Wednesday, September 18 where members heard testimony on the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Department of Children and Families.

Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety
The Committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, September 18 where members heard testimony on Assembly Bill 175, relating to: causing bodily harm to a nurse and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 198, relating to: battery or threat to a probation, extended supervision, and parole agent; a community supervision agent; or an aftercare agent or a family member of the agent and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 308, relating to: pepper spray and CS gel substances; and Assembly Bill 350, relating to: money laundering and providing a penalty. The Committee also held an Executive Session where members discussed Assembly Bill 16, relating to: committing a fifth or sixth offense related to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 68, relating to: creating a false identity on social media and providing a penalty; Assembly Bill 259, relating to: stalking; and Assembly Bill 262, relating to: liability of owners of vehicles involved in certain speed limit and failure to yield right-of-way violations, driver education instruction, and providing a penalty.

Committee on Rural Development
The Committee held an Executive Session on Thursday, September 19 where members discussed Assembly Bill 266, relating to: a flood risk reduction pilot project and making an appropriation; and

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