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Legislative Update


Assembly education committee to hold hearing on suicide prevention bills

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. read more…

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Public hearing held on limiting governor’s veto power to increase spending

A proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit the governor from using his veto authority to increase spending, authored by state Senator Dave Craig (R-Big Bend), had a public hearing this week.  The proposal was heard before the Senate Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight and Courts chaired by Craig. 

The proposed amendment comes after a state budget in which Gov. Tony Evers used his veto to increase spending for schools.  A proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by the state Legislature in two consecutive sessions and then be approved by voters in a statewide referendum.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: read more…

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DPI numbers show vouchers will cost taxpayers nearly $350 million

As we previously posted, the DPI recently released certified aid numbers for school districts.  Included in that release, were numbers on the state’s voucher programs. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“In all, Wisconsin taxpayers will spend $349.6 million on vouchers for 43,450 students enrolled in its three Parental Choice and Special Needs Scholarship programs this year. That’s up from $302 million for 40,039 students last year.

“Most of the growth has been in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, which grew by 37% to 9,764 students this year; and the Special Needs program, which jumped 55% to 1,058.”

They also provided the data on the amounts of state aid deducted from public schools: read more…

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DPI releases certified general aid numbers

From the Department of Public Instruction: 

“The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) posted information today that supports school districts as they plan for state general school aids they will receive during the current school year. Today’s information includes certified general school aid amounts for each school district, as well as 2019-20 student enrollment numbers for independent charter schools and private schools participating in state parental choice programs. These enrollments were used to determine amounts that will be deducted or withheld from school districts’ aid payments to fund these programs. read more…

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Numerous K-12 bills scheduled for committee action on Oct. 17

The Senate Education Committee has scheduled an executive session on a host of K-12 bills, including a number of bills that reflect recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding.  The committee, which is chaired by Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) is scheduled to meet on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 300 Southeast of the State Capitol.

Among the bills scheduled to be taken up and voted out of committee are the following:

  • Assembly Bill 110, relating to: developing a guidebook related to dyslexia and related conditions.

read more…

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Support building for hearing on bill to set 21 as legal age for tobacco, nicotine and vaping products

Support for a public hearing on legislation to raise the legal age for sale, purchase, and possession of cigarettes and nicotine and tobacco products to 21, and to establish a minimum legal age of 21 for the sale, purchase, and possession of vapor products appears to be growing.  This legislation has been nicknamed the “Tobacco 21” or “T-21” bill, for short.

State Rep. Jon Plumer (R-Lodi) who chairs the Assembly Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention has indicated he would like to hold a hearing on the Assembly version of the bill (Assembly Bill 422) on October 23.  A Senate companion version of the bill (Senate Bill 364) has also been introduced and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. read more…

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Senate approves bills on school board meeting notices, pupil records, teacher licensure among others

All of the K-12 bills we previously posted about that were taken up in the state Senate yesterday were approved on bipartisan voice votes (unanimously, with no objections). 

The following bills were previously approved by the state Assembly and now head to the governor for his signature:

  • Assembly Bill 51 — Relating to: the minority teacher loan program. The WASB has not taken a position on this legislation.
  • Assembly Bill 53 — Relating to: pupil records. The WASB testified in favor of AB 53 when it was before the Assembly Education Committee.
  • Assembly Bill 54 Relating to: fire, tornado, and school safety drills for public and private schools. The WASB testified in favor of AB 54 when it was before the Assembly Education Committee.
  • Assembly Bill 195 — Relating to: a license to teach based on reciprocity and granting rulemaking authority. The WASB supports Assembly Bill 195.

read more…

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State Senate to meet Tuesday, take up several K-12 related bills

Capital DomeThe Wisconsin Senate will meet in floor session on Tuesday, Oct. 8, beginning at 11:00 a.m. This will be the only day in October the full Senate will meet.

Among the bills on Tuesday Senate calendar will be:

Senate Bill 160 — Relating to: the method for providing notice of a special meeting of a school board.

By Senators Olsen, Bewley, Kooyenga and Wanggaard; cosponsored by Representatives Gundrum, Ballweg, Brandtjen, Edming, Felzkowski, Horlacher, Knodl, Kulp, Milroy, Skowronski, Subeck, Tittl, Tusler and Wichgers.

read more…

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Education committees to hold joint hearing on school funding commission bills

The Senate and Assembly Committees on Education will hold a joint public hearing on Thursday, October 3 at 9:00 a.m. in Room 412 East, State Capitol. Because this is a joint committee hearing for both houses, it will be the only opportunity this legislative session to testify and provide feedback on these proposals.

The committees are chaired by state Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and are scheduled to take public testimony on the following bills based on recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding: read more…

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Hearing Tuesday on bill requiring schools to test drinking water for lead contamination

The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 1, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 330 Southwest, State Capitol.

The Committee is chaired by Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay) and is scheduled to take public testimony on the following bills:

PUBLIC HEARING:

Senate Bill 423, relating to: lead testing of potable water sources in certain schools; providing loans for lead remediation in certain schools; and providing an exception to referendum restrictions for lead remediation.

read more…

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