1. WCC Resumes Publication of Capitol Update
2. 2015-16 Legislature and Citizen Resources
3. Save the Date: Catholics at the Capitol, April 8, 2015
4. New Bills of Interest
WCC Resumes Publication of Capitol Update
With the start of the new legislative session, WCC staff will resume regular publication of the Capitol Update every two weeks, with special updates as events warrant. Additional updated information is also regularly posted on the WCC website, www.wisconsincatholic.org.
2015-16 Legislature and Citizen Resources
For the third session in a row and with wider margins, Republicans will be in control of both the Senate and the Assembly. The Senate has 19 Republicans (a net gain of one) and 14 Democrats. The Assembly has 63 Republicans (a net gain of three) and 36 Democrats.
One of the first tasks of the new session will be developing the 2015-17 state budget. Governor Walker will deliver his State of the State address on February 3. The Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance will then hold hearings on the Governor's budget and make its revisions before sending it to the Senate and Assembly for their changes and approval. Once both houses pass their amended versions of the budget bill, it will be sent to the Governor for his signature in early to midsummer.
The Wisconsin State Legislature has redesigned its website, making it more accessible to the public. To find out who your legislators are, go to the Legislature's map of the districts or type your address in the top right hand corner box on the Legislature's home page. Other resources on the website include:
2015-16 Session Schedule
Weekly Schedule of Committee Activities
Citizens can also follow state government by tuning in to Wisconsin Eye, the independent, nonpartisan news service that provides uncut video coverage of state government proceedings.
Save the Date: Catholics at the Capitol, April 8, 2015
Every two years, the WCC hosts Catholics at the Capitol and hundreds of Catholics from around the state come to Madison for a day dedicated to reflection, discourse, and formation in Catholic social teaching and public policy issues.
This day-long event will take place at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. The day starts with registration and breakfast, followed by a morning general session that begins with a prayer service and ends with a keynote address. Past keynoters, such as Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, and Bishop Peter Christensen of Superior, have affirmed the role of religion in the public square and examined how we as Catholics can reclaim the common good. This year's keynote address will be provided by Dr. Jonathan J. Reyes, Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Dr. Reyes was educated at the University of Michigan, where he studied European History as a Rackham Fellow. He subsequently earned a Ph.D. in European History at the University of Notre Dame. In 2009, Dr. Reyes became the President/CEO of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver. While in Denver, he co-founded the Augustine Institute, a graduate program devoted to Catholic theological studies and leadership training, and served as its first President. Dr. Reyes has served as Vice President for ministry and formation for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students and has taught in the History Department at Christendom College, in Front Royal, Virginia, where he served two years as Vice President for Academic Affairs.
After the morning session, participants select one of seven breakout sessions to attend. These sessions focus on various aspects of Church social teaching and current policy issues. There is also an introduction to Catholic social teaching for those interested in gaining a better understanding of the principles that guide Catholic public policy engagement.
Lunch is followed by additional breakout sessions and an afternoon general session panel. To complete the day, participants are encouraged to meet with their elected officials and advocate for issues identified by the WCC.
The WCC invites everyone to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Please mark your calendars now and "save the date" for Catholics at the Capitol 2015.
Registration materials will be available soon at www.wisconsincatholic.org and in the next Capitol Update.
New Bills of Interest
AB-1.School Review System(Thiesfeldt) Creates a school review system, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from rule-making procedures, and granting rule-making authority.To Education.