1. Resources and Recap of Catholics at the Capitol
2. Joint Finance Begins Executive Sessions on State Budget
3. Governor Walker Signs Human Trafficking Bill
4. New Bills of Interest
5. Websites of Interest
Resources and Recap of Catholics at the Capitol
On Wednesday, April 8, 2015, Catholics from around the state met at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison for the 9th biennial Catholics at the Capitol day. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) and other Catholic organizations, the day was devoted to education, advocacy, and fellowship.
The theme for this year's event, "A Church United in Hope and Love," focused on how Catholic teaching enhances public policy debates. The day began with a morning prayer service presided by Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison and a keynote address by Dr. Jonathan Reyes, Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A closing panel discussion featured Archbishop Jerome Listecki and four laywomen and men, who discussed how best to address poverty.
Morning and afternoon breakout sessions covered a broad range of topics: Catholic social teaching, Wisconsin politics, servant leadership, poverty, immigration, the "social capital" of parishes and schools, the link between pornography and human trafficking, reform of the criminal justice system, racial disparity in Wisconsin, the pain of abortion, the challenge of making work "family friendly," environmental stewardship, and the Synod on the Family.
Materials from the day's events, including the WCC's five Issue Briefs, the 2015 Public Policy Positions, and the legislative directory are available on the WCC's website at www.wisconsincatholic.org. Videos of the keynote speech and several of the breakout sessions will be made available on our website.
The next Catholics at the Capitol will be held in the spring of 2017.
Joint Finance Begins Executive Sessions on State Budget
Having completed its public hearings on the 2015-17 biennial budget, the Joint Committee on Finance will hold its first executive session on the budget on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at 10:00am. The meeting will be held in Room 412 East, State Capitol, and cover the budgets of the following agencies:
- Secretary of State
- Public Service Commission
- State Treasurer
- Department of Revenue - Lottery Administration
- Department of Administration - Division of Gaming
- Supreme Court
- Circuit Courts
- Court of Appeals
- Judicial Council
- Judicial Commission
- Employment Relations Commission
Governor Walker Signs Human Trafficking Bill
On April 8, Governor Walker signed Assembly Bill 16 (Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton) as 2015 Wisconsin Act 5. The new law requires the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to produce a poster that provides information regarding the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline and to encourage establishments such as truck stops, hotels, salons, and hospitals to display the poster. The WCC registered in support.
To report possible human trafficking or to find information on services available for victims of trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).
New Bills of Interest
SB-078 Parental Choice Program (Larson, Chris (D)) Requiring 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. Referred to Senate Education Reform and Government Operations
SB-092 WI Consumer Act (Farrow, Paul (R)) Pleading requirements under the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Referred to Senate Revenue, Financial Institutions and Rural Issues
AB-117 WI Consumer Act (Born, Mark (R)) Pleading requirements under the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Referred to Assembly Financial Institutions
AB-118 Seven Day Work (Born, Mark (R)) Permitting an employee to voluntarily choose to work without one day of rest in seven. Referred to Assembly Labor
AB-148 Parental Choice Program (Barnes, Mandela (D)) Requiring 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. Referred to Assembly Education