This update is being provided to help keep citizens informed about important decisions happening at the State Capitol and to stay updated on how elected officials are voting on key issues in Madison.
Senate Regular Session - June 9
The State Senate met in regular session on June 9 to take up several legislative proposals.
Honoring the life and service of Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper (SJR 40)
Summary: The Senate and Assembly took up a resolution honoring Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year while trying to apprehend a robbery suspect. Casper’s family and law enforcement officers were present to accept the Legislature’s condolences.
How they voted: SJR 40 was adopted unanimously by the full Senate and Assembly.
Appointment of Michael Grebe to the UW Board of Regents
Summary: Gov. Scott Walker appointed the son of his campaign chairman to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. Democratic legislators objected to this appointment given Grebe’s political campaign connections and his support for the proposed $250 million cut to the UW System.
How they voted: The appointment was confirmed by the Republican majority on a 19-14 party-line vote.
Abortion Ban (SB 179)
Summary: This proposal would place greater restrictions on abortion care and prevent health professionals from delivering the highest standard of medical care to victims of rape and incest and women experiencing rare or unexpected pregnancy complications. SB 179 was overwhelmingly opposed by the medical community which objected to the political intrusions into the physician-patient relationship and cited the dangerous situations this bill would create.
How they voted: SB 179 was passed by the Republican majority on a 19-14 party-line vote.
Town road construction and maintenance expenditures (SB 118)
Summary: This bill, which is supported by the Wisconsin Towns Association and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, removes the limits on town expenditures for material and equipment for construction and maintenance of highways. Town boards would have the ability, if necessary, to modify their road construction and maintenance budget throughout the year by a vote of the board while still adhering to levy limits.
How they voted: SB 118 was passed with bi-partisan support on a voice vote.
Notification of school attendance and habitually truant students (SB 122)
Summary: Currently, schools must notify the parents of a student who is habitually truant by certified or registered mail. This bill, which is supported by several Republican and Democratic co-sponsors, adds first class mail as a notification option and allows the attendance officer to simultaneously notify parents electronically. These changes will simplify and modernize the truancy notification process while maximizing contact with parents so that they have more information about their child’s performance.
How they voted: SB 122 was passed with bi-partisan support on a voice vote.
Assembly Regular Session - June 9
The State Assembly met in regular session on June 9 to take up several legislative proposals.
WEDC Transparency and Oversight (AR 11)
Summary: Recent audits and investigative reports have raised concerns regarding a questionable loan to one of Walker’s top campaign donors. Despite public record laws, it is believed that documentation surrounding this loan was either lost, withheld from lawmakers or destroyed. Democrats introduced AR 11 to require Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to submit records and documents regarding all unsecured WEDC loans, loans issued over concerns of underwriters and those for which underwriting is missing or not complete.
How they voted: AR 11 was rejected by the Republican majority on a 63-36 party-line vote.
This State Capitol Update is provided by State Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), the Minority Leader in the Wisconsin State Senate. For additional information on legislative or committee action, please email Sen.Shilling@legis.wi.gov or call 608-266-5490.