Governor Walker Presents "State of the State"Address
On January 22, Governor Walker presented his "State of the State" address to a joint session of the Legislature. In it he called for the immediate creation of a special session to take up proposals for use of a projected budget surplus of over $900 million. The Governor's proposals include property and income tax reductions, state investment in technical colleges, job training for high school students and people with disabilities, and a contribution to the state's rainy day fund.
WCC Supports Bills on Human Trafficking
The WCC submitted written testimony in support of bi-partisan, companion bills (Senate Bill 492 and Assembly Bill 620), which would strengthen Wisconsin's human trafficking laws. Among other things, the bills would create a process by which a victim of human trafficking who is convicted of prostitution may request a court to vacate the conviction.
WCC Supports Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
The WCC registered in support of Assembly Bill 526 and Senate Bill 401, companion bills that would require public and private employers to provide reasonable accommodation of any condition of an employee that is related to pregnancy or childbirth, and an employee's inability to adequately undertake job-related responsibilities due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition. To date, neither bill has received a public hearing.
Senate Passes Mental Health Package
With bi-partisan support, the Senate has passed and sent to the Governor for his signature a package of mental health bills. A summary of the bills can be found on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website. Governor Walker is expected to sign the bills.
USCCB's Justice for Immigrants Urges Calls to Congress
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will meet early next week to develop a plan on immigration reform. They could announce their reform principles by the middle of the week.
Catholics and other supporters of immigrants and their families are strongly encouraged to call their Republican Members of Congress on Monday and Tuesday, January 27 and 28, and ask that these two elements be included in their immigration reform principles:
- Include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
- Maintain family unity by preserving the family immigration system.
Use this toll free number, 1-855-589-5698, to connect to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Upcoming Hearings of Interest
(N.B. Only bills of interest are flagged. In most cases, committees will be considering other bills as well.)
Senate Health and Human Services, 11 am, Wed., Jan. 29, 411-S
SB-461. Child Placement(Leibham) Advertising related to adoption or other permanent physical placements of a child, delegation of parental power regarding the care and custody of a child for more than one year, unauthorized interstate placements of children, requesting a study of adoption disruption and dissolution, and providing penalties.
SB-471. Child Neglect (Shilling) Neglect of a child and providing penalties.
Senate Education, 10:05 am, Thu., Jan. 30, 411-S
SB-451. Out of Home Care (Moulton) Extended out-of-home care to 21 years of age for children with individualized education programs, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from rule-making procedures, and granting rule-making authority.
New Bills of Interest
SB-461. Child Placement (Leibham) Advertising related to adoption or other permanent physical placements of a child, delegation of parental power regarding the care and custody of a child for more than one year, unauthorized interstate placements of children, requesting a study of adoption disruption and dissolution, and providing penalties. To Health and Human Service.
SB-471. Child Neglect (Shilling) Neglect of a child and providing penalties. To Health and Human Services.
SB-492. Human Trafficking (Petrowski) Human trafficking, human trafficking victims, property forfeitures, rights of victims, admitting evidence of past actions, definitions of certain offenses, and providing penalties. To Transportation, Public Safety, and Veterans and Military Affairs.
SB-503. Family Care (Cowles) Requiring the Family Care benefit and self-directed services option to be provided in certain northeastern Wisconsin counties. To Health and Human Services.
SB-504. Parental Rights (Lazich) Waiver of a parent's right to counsel in a contested adoption or an involuntary termination of parental rights proceeding for failure to personally appear as ordered by the juvenile court. To Judiciary and Labor.
SB-505. Minimum Wage (Wirch) A state minimum wage, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from rule-making procedures, and requiring the exercise of rule-making authority. To Judiciary and Labor.
AB-581. Child Placements (Kleefisch) Advertising related to adoption or other permanent physical placements of a child, delegation of parental power regarding the care and custody of a child for more than one year, unauthorized interstate placements of children, requesting a study of adoption disruption and dissolution. To Family Law.
AB-599. DPI (Kestell) Rule-making procedures and modifying and repealing various administrative rules promulgated by the Department of Public Instruction. To Education.
AB-607. Bisphenol A (C. Taylor) Manufacture and sale of food and beverage containers that contain bisphenol A and providing penalties. To Consumer Protection.
AB-610. BadgerCare Plus (Assembly) Changing the timing of eligibility changes and other changes to BadgerCare Plus. To Joint Finance.
AB-616. Biometric Data (Larson) Prohibiting the collection of a pupil's biometric data and the use of any device to assess a pupil's physiological or emotional state. To Education.
AB-617. DPI Standards (Knudson) Directing the Department of Public Instruction to establish model academic standards. To Education.
AB-618. Student Information System (Pridemore) The students information system, the disclosure of personally identifiable student data, and the disclosure of pupil records. To Education.
AB-620. Human Trafficking (Loudenbeck) Human trafficking, human trafficking victims, property forfeitures, rights of victims, admitting evidence of past actions, definitions of certain offenses. To Criminal Justice.
AB-626. Child Neglect (Doyle) Neglect of a child and providing penalties. To Criminal Justice.
AB-630. Child Abuse (Berceau) Elimination of a provision that excepts spiritual treatment of a child in the law criminalizing physical abuse of a child and in the laws governing the practice of medicine or surgery, the investigation of child abuse or neglect, the administration of psychotropic medication to juveniles in correctional custody, and the election of Christian Science treatment in lieu of medical or surgical treatment. To Health.
AB-643. College Standards (Schraa) Public hearings regarding the adoption of college and career readiness standards. To Education.
AB-651. Medical Assistance (Sargent) Assisting counties to expand Medical Assistance eligibility. To Health.
AB-654. Newborns (Strachota) Tests administered to newborns for congenital disorders. To Children and Families.