Regular Legislative Session in Recess until January
The Legislature ended its last floorperiod of the year on November 14. The next regular floor session will open on January 14, 2014. However, Governor Walker has said that he will call for a special session to delay by three months the transition of certain adults into and out of the BadgerCare program, as well as the termination of the state's Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan, to March 31, 2014. Individuals in both programs were expected to seek coverage on the federal health exchanges. The Assembly is scheduled to convene on December 4 to take up the bills.
Assembly Passes "Choose Life" License Plates
On a vote of 54-38, the Assembly last week passedAssembly Bill 206 (Rep. Andre Jacque, R-DePere), which would permit Wisconsin residents to obtain special license plates with the words "Choose Life." The proceeds from the sale of these plates would support the state's pregnancy care centers. The WCC provided testimony in support of the bill, which now awaits action in the Senate.
Assembly Passes Mental Health Package
Last week, the Assembly passed a package of bills that came out of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's Task Force on Mental Health. All bills were either passed on a voice vote or without opposition. The bills in the package include Assembly Bills 450, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 458, 459, 460, and 488. A summary of the bills can be found on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website. The bills now await Senate action.
Assembly Approves Funding for Offenders with Mental Illness
On a unanimous vote, the Assembly last week passed Assembly Bill 457 (Paul Tittl, R-Manitowoc), which would provide grants to counties that offer treatment and diversion (TAD) programs to persons who have a diagnosed mental illness and who are or may be charged with, or who are convicted of, offenses related to the person's mental illness. The bill now awaits Senate action.
New Bills of Interest
SJR-59. Child Development (Darling) Early childhood brain development. To Senate Organization.
SB-401. Pregnant Employees (Harris) Reasonable accommodation of any condition of an employee that is related to pregnancy or childbirth and of an employee's inability to adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of a particular job because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition. To Judiciary and Labor.
SB-402. Expunging a Record (Harris) Expunging a record of conviction or adjudication of delinquency if the offender was a victim of human trafficking. To Judiciary and Labor.
SB-409. Mental Illness (Petrowski) Individual placement and support program for employment of individuals experiencing mental illness. To Health and Human Services.
SB-410. Mental Health (Petrowski) Mental health benefits and reimbursement for mental health services under the Medical Assistance program. To Health and Human Services.
AJR-59. Disability Awareness (Milroy) Disability Awareness Month. To Rules.
AJR-71. Adoption (Kolste) Wisconsin Adoption Month. To Rules.
AJR-72. Runaway Prevention (Sargent) Proclaims November as Runaway Prevention Month. To Rules.
AB-500. Emergency Detention (Pasch) Emergency detention pilot program in Milwaukee County. To Health.
AB-508. Cemetery (Kleefisch) Permitting a funeral establishment to be located in a cemetery, prohibiting discrimination against a funeral establishment that has no relationship with a cemetery, prohibiting discrimination against a cemetery that has no relationship with a funeral establishment, and eliminating a property tax exemption for cemetery authority property. To Consumer Protection.
AB-511. Identification for Disabilities (Swearingen) Use of special identification cards for persons with physical disabilities. To Health.