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Legislative Update

Assembly education committee to hold hearing on suicide prevention bills

by | Oct 18, 2019 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue | 0 comments

The Assembly Committees on Education will hold a public hearing on Thursday, October 24 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 417 North, State Capitol. The committee is chaired by state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and is scheduled to take public testimony on the following bills based on recommendations of the Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention:

Assembly Bill 528 Relating to: grants to support peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs in high schools, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.

This bill requires the Department of Public Instruction to establish a competitive grant program to award grants for the purpose of supporting peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs in public, private, and tribal high schools. Under the bill, a grant may be awarded to support an existing peer-to-peer suicide prevention program or to implement a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program at a high school. However, for the purposes of awarding grants, the bill requires DPI to give a preference to applications to implement peer-to-peer suicide prevention programs.
Under the bill, for each high school for which a grant is awarded, DPI may award the governing body of the high school up to $1,000. The bill further specifies that DPI may renew a grant for an individual school for up to three additional school years.

Assembly Bill 529 Relating to: grants to the Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center and making an appropriation.

This bill requires the Department of Public Instruction to annually award a grant to a cooperative educational service agency to support a collaborative project between DPI and CESAs that provides training and technical assistance to school districts related to prevention and intervention programs for alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, mental health programs, and programs to promote school safety.
This collaborative project is known as the Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center or the WISH Center. Under the bill, the CESA that receives the grant must use the money to support the ongoing operations of the WISH Center and, if money is available, to expand the WISH Center’s offerings to include training and technical assistance related to general wellness.

Assembly Bill 531 Relating to: requiring that student identification cards include contact information for suicide prevention hotlines.

This bill provides that, if a school board, operator of an independent charter school, or governing body of a private school, or an institution of higher education (college), issues identification cards to, respectively, pupils or college students, the school board, operator, or governing body, or the college, shall include on the identification card certain contact information for suicide prevention and crisis support hotlines.

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