Senate Passes Choice Accountability Bill
On a vote of 29-3, the Senate approved Senate Bill 286 (Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon), which would modify existing law by requiring that choice schools have student information systems (SIS) in place by 2015-16. The bill does not change current law, requiring that the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) establish a school accountability report card for each choice school one year after submission of the SIS data to DPI. The WCC provided testimony in support of the bill, which now awaits action in the Assembly.
WCC Testifies on Assembly Choice Accountability Bill
Because the Assembly version of the aforementioned SB 286, Assembly Bill 379 (Rep. Steve Kestell, R-Elkhart Lake) varies significantly, the WCC presented its concerns in testimony for information. The Assembly Committee on Education took no further action on the bill.
WCC Supports Special Needs Scholarship Bill
The WCC provided testimony in support of Assembly Bill 682 (Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown), which would provide scholarships to children with disabilities so that they can attend the school of their choice. The Assembly Committee on Education took no further action on the bill.
Assembly Passes Human Trafficking Bill
On a voice vote, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 620 (Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton), which would further protect victims of human trafficking and aid in prosecuting perpetrators. The WCC provided testimony in support of the bill, which now awaits action in the Senate.
Assembly Passes Treatment Alternative (TAD) Grants
Under current law, the Department of Justice provides grants to counties that have established qualifying treatment and diversion (TAD) programs for persons who are or may be charged with, or who are convicted of, an offense related to the person's use or abuse of alcohol or other drugs. By a vote of 95-0, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 668 (Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette), which would increase funding for TAD grants to counties by $1,500,000 in each fiscal year of the current fiscal biennium. The WCC supports the bill, which now awaits action in the Senate.
Proposed Repeal of Constitutional Definition of Marriage
Senate Joint Resolution 74 (Sen. Tim Carpenter, R-Milwaukee) would repeal Article XIII Section 13 of Wisconsin's Constitution, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This proposal, introduced with only a handful of days remaining in the 2014 legislative session, has no chance of approval this year. The Roman Catholic bishops of Wisconsin reaffirm their support of marriage as defined in Article XIII Section 13 and as expressed in their June 28, 2006 letter. They invite others to do the same.
New Bills of Interest
SJR-74. Marriage (Carpenter) Eliminates constitutional restrictions on marriage (first consideration). To Judiciary and Labor.
SB-604. Income Taxes (Miller) Authorizes certain same-sex couples to file a joint individual income tax return. To Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue.
SB-619. Academic Standards (Vukmir) Creates a model academic standards board. To Education.
SB-620. CCAP (Harris) Removes from records and from the Consolidated Court Automation Programs Internet site a criminal conviction if the person who was convicted has been pardoned. To Judiciary and Labor.
SB-623. Abortion Ultrasound (Erpenbach) Eliminates requirement to have an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion and eliminates requirement that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges at certain hospitals.
To Health and Human Services.
AB-773. Choice Schools (Mason) Requires a private school participating in a parental choice program to employ certain special education staff and to comply with certain provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To Education.
AB-776. Child Abuse (Kleefisch) Child abuse investigations when a court suspects a person of permitting, allowing, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution and consent decrees or deferred prosecution agreements for such a child. To Criminal Justice.
AB-784. DOT (Zamarripa) Issuance of motor vehicle operator's licenses and identification cards by the Department of Transportation. To Transportation.
AB-789. Criminal Justice (Hebl) The criminal justice coordinating council. To Criminal Justice.
AB-794. Raffles (Kuglitsch) The regulation of raffles. To State Affairs and Government Operations.
AB-796. Choice Program (Kooyenga) Qualifications of teachers at private schools participating in a parental choice program. To Urban Education.
AB-800. Food Protections (Bies) Requires certain persons to hold certificates of food protection practices in order to operate certain school lunchrooms participating in the National School Lunch Program. To Education.