1. WCC Testifies in Opposition to Drug Testing and FoodShare Bills
2. WCC Joins Coalition Opposing Assisted Suicide
3. New Bills of Interest
4. Websites of Interest
WCC Testifies in Opposition to Drug Testing and FoodShare Bills
On April 30, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) joined other religious advocates in opposing two proposals that would mandate drug tests for some public assistance programs. Assembly Bill 191 and Assembly Bill 192, both authored by Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah), are identical to Governor Walker's budget proposals reported on in the April 24 Capitol Update. The religious advocates presented the Assembly Committee on Public Benefits Reform their April 16 interfaith letter. Both bills passed out of committee and will be voted on by the full Assembly on Wednesday, April 13. WCC readers are urged to contact their legislators, asking them to vote no. Talking points can be found in the WCC's state budget Issue Brief.
At the same April 30 hearing, the WCC also testified in opposition to Assembly Bill 177(Rep. Robert Brooks, R-Reedsburg), which limits the foods that may be purchased under FoodShare, the state's name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps. The WCC emphasized that there are other, better, alternatives to helping people in poverty improve their diets. The bill passed out of committee and will be voted on by the full Assembly on Wednesday, April 13. WCC readers are urged to contact their legislators, asking them to vote no.
WCC Joins Coalition Opposing Assisted Suicide
The WCC has become a member of the newly formed "Wisconsin Coalition Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide." The coalition was formed in response to a nationwide movement that seeks to make assisted suicide legal in all 50 states. Companion bills Senate Bill 28 (Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison) and Assembly Bill 67 (Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Cross Plains) would legalize assisted suicide in Wisconsin. Though neither bill is likely to receive a public hearing this session, disability rights groups, medical organizations, faith-based groups, right-to-life groups, and family organizations have formed a coalition to speak out on the issue.
The coalition took its first action on April 22, when it delivered a statement to the Wisconsin Medical Society (WMS), objecting to any change in the WMS's current policy of opposing assisted suicide. The coalition statement reads:
The Wisconsin Coalition Against Assisted Suicide urges the Wisconsin Medical Society to continue its strong position in opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide. The Coalition is dedicated to promoting excellent palliative care and protecting vulnerable patients from the prescription of lethal drugs. Administration of lethal drugs is bad public policy which will have a detrimental impact on the historical role of the health care provider as healer and caregiver.
The coalition was gratified that WMS members voted a few days later to retain their opposition to assisted suicide.
Coalition members include:
American Academy of Medical Ethics
Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities
Christian Life Resources
Disability Rights Wisconsin
Milwaukee Guild of the Catholic Medical Association
St. Jude Hospice
Wisconsin Catholic Conference
Wisconsin Family Action
Wisconsin Guilds of the Catholic Medical Association
Wisconsin Right to Life
New Bills of Interest
SB-139 Epi Pens (Vukmir, Leah (R)) Supply and use of epinephrine auto-injectors by certain authorized entities. Referred to Assembly Health
SB-141 Child Custody (Petrowski, Jerry (R)) The notification of relatives when a child is removed from the custody of the child's parent and placement of a child with a parent of a sibling of the child who has custody of the sibling. Referred to Senate Judiciary and Public Safety
AB-193 Child Custody (Loudenbeck, Amy (R)) The notification of relatives when a child is removed from the custody of the child's parent and placement of a child with a parent of a sibling of the child who has custody of the sibling. Referred to Assembly Children and Families
AB-194 Civics Requirement for Graduation (Brooks, Robert (R)) Requiring the successful completion of the civics portion of a citizenship test as a condition for obtaining a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma. Referred to Assembly State Affairs and Government Operations
AB-200 FoodShare Replacement Cards (Heaton, Dave (R)) A waiver to limit the number of FoodShare replacement cards. Referred to Assembly Public Benefits Reform
AB-201 Duty to Stop at Accidents (Jacque, Andre (R)) The duty to stop at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Referred to Assembly Judiciary
AB-203 Epi Pens (Edming, James (R)) Supply and use of epinephrine auto-injectors by certain authorized entities. Referred to Assembly Health