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Slow pace of legislation lags previous sessions

Split party control of Wisconsin state government appears to have greatly slowed the flow of legislation being enacted into law in the current 2019-20 legislative session and it appears unlikely the pace will pick up anytime soon.

According to the Wheeler Report, neither the state Senate nor the state Assembly are expected to meet in floor session during the month of September. Lawmakers had set aside the period from Sept. 17 to 26 for a floor period when they organized the session schedule back in January. The next scheduled floor period is October 8-10. (more…)

Assembly passes budget bill; Senate next

The state Assembly passed the budget bill on a 60-39 vote late in the evening of June 25 after 10 hours of floor debate.  GOP Reps. Brandtjen (Menomonee Falls), Gundrum (Slinger) & Ramthun (Campbellsport) joined all Assembly Democrats in voting No on the bill.

The Assembly added a last minute amendment that was designed to garner support from certain GOP Senators after two have already announced they intend to vote No. The amendment also modified language in the  bill to make it more difficult for the governor to use his powerful partial veto pen to alter the modified provisions.  The bill now heads to the state Senate and is scheduled to be taken up today (June 26) at 10am along with several other bills. Watch the debate LIVE on WisconsinEye. (more…)

State budget debate this week; non-fiscal policy update

The state Assembly will act first on the state budget (Assembly Bill 56), beginning at noon on Tuesday, June 25 with the state Senate following the next day on Wednesday, June 26 at 10:00 am.   Major changes to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) budget are not expected, but some last minute changes have been discussed amid two GOP Senators announcing they did not support the JFC package. You can follow the budget debates LIVE on WisconsinEye. Stay tuned…

One side benefit of having different parties controlling the governorship and legislature is a dramatic reduction in the amount of non-fiscal policy jammed into the budget bill.  Non-fiscal item items often do not receive the attention and deliberation that a typical stand-alone piece of legislation would (some recent examples include changes to open records laws and voucher expansion). (more…)

Assembly passes bills related to teacher licensure

On June 20, the state Assembly met in floor session.  K-12 education-related bills regarding initial licensure as a special education teacher and license reciprocity were each approved on a voice vote.  These bills were requested and supported by school administrators within CESA 3 and now head to the state Senate for consideration.

Below is additional information on the bills that were passed from the non-partisan Legislative Council and Legislative Reference Bureau and includes descriptions of amendments to the bills that were adopted and passed by the Assembly: (more…)