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What’s happening in Wisconsin?; YOUR WFA Legislative Update

Wisconsin Family Action has been working hard on your behalf throughout the 2019-2020 legislative session and provides a comprehensive legislative update so you can track the issues.

What legislative topics are in this update? Wisconsin bills that have passed, failed or are currently in progress and that pertain to our core issues of marriage, family, life and religious freedom, such as:
Decriminalizing child prostitution
Possession of child pornography
Prohibiting so-called “conversion therapy” for minors
Creating a nonrefundable tax credit for adoption expenses 
Removing “personal conviction” exemption from vaccination requirements 
Funding character education in public schools
Born Alive Bill
And so much more….

CLICK HERE to read about these, and other, very important issues that WFA has been working on and where we stand on each bill.

Wisconsin Family Action Legislative Update

WISCONSIN FAMILY ACTION LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
2019-2020 Wisconsin Legislative Session
Current as of December 16, 2019

(To view as a pdf, click HERE.)

MARRIAGE/FAMILY
AB 41/SB 49 Decriminalization of child prostitution.  (WFA opposes)

Despite intentions and motives of those authoring and co-sponsoring this bill Wisconsin Family Action believes this proposal is ill-advised because it takes a tool away from law enforcement who are trying to get minors engaged in prostitution off the streets, assumes all minors involved in this activity are being coerced and gives an advantage to the Johns and the pimps to recruit more minors into their nefarious work, including sex trafficking. A substitute amendment was offered by author Republican Senator Alberta Darling. This amendment improved the bill. The Senate passed the bill on November 5, 2019, and sent it to the Assembly where it is currently in the Rules committee ready to be scheduled for a floor vote. The Assembly committee has already recommended the bill for passage.

AB 71/SB 68Possession of child pornography (WFA supports)

This bill tightens up the definition of child pornography making it easier to bring charges against someone who is engaged in this activity. The bill passed in both the Senate and the Assembly. Governor Evers signed it into law in July as 2019 Wisconsin Act 16.

AB 111/SB 107 – Prohibiting so-called “conversion therapy” for minors (WFA opposes)

This bill prohibits certain mental health workers from actually providing real hope and real help for minors dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction and/or gender confusion. It makes it clear that the only advice these mental health workers can give is that which affirms, normalizes and encourages minors to continue with these beliefs and behaviors. The bill trounces on religious freedom of mental health workers and on the rights of parents regarding counseling for their children. This bill is in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate; no further action to date.

AB 201/SB 191 – Creating a nonrefundable tax credit for adoption expenses (WFA supports)

The intent of this bill is to encourage Wisconsin families to adopt children. This $5,000 tax credit piggybacks on the federal adoption tax credit and helps parents offset some of the costs related to adoption, which today can be very expensive. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 248/SB 262 – Removing “personal conviction” exemption from vaccination requirements (WFA opposes)

Wisconsin currently has three options for parents seeking to exempt their children from vaccinations: health, religious and personal conviction. This bill would remove “personal conviction,” which would make it harder for parents choosing to not vaccinate their children. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 439/SB 398 –Eliminating waiting period after a divorce is finalized before a re-marriage (WFA opposes)
Wisconsin law currently requires that after a divorce is finalized that an individual must wait six months before entering into another marriage, whether that marriage is in Wisconsin or another state or country. This waiting period is both reasonable and responsible, especially if minor children are involved. The state has a valid interest in the well-being of the next generation. Parents rushing into another marriage immediately after a divorce is not in the adults’ best interest and certainly not in the best interest of minor children who are already dealing with much uncertainty and loss as a result of their parents’ divorce. The bill is authored by Republicans with substantial Republican support as co-sponsors, along with some Democrats. Both the Senate and the Assembly committees have held public hearings on the bill. The Senate Committee has passed it, but the Assembly Committee has not yet voted on the bill.

      EDUCATION (subheading of Marriage/Family)
AB 108/no senate version yet – Requiring parental choice program schools and charter schools to provide instruction in American Indian history, culture, and tribal sovereignty. (WFA opposes)
WFA does not support more requirements for voucher schools. We do not believe this curricular mandate does anything to increase the educational value in any given school. It simply takes away from time that could be better spent.  We believe most schools cover this topic already in the course of implementing their curriculum across the grades. This bill is in committee; no further action to date.

AB 129/SB 111 – Allowing voucher schools to provide pupil instruction virtually (WFA supports)

This bill levels the playing field with public schools by allowing voucher schools to offer direct pupil instruction virtually—to make up for missed time due to extreme weather closings and also as a part of the regular program of the school. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 149/SB 138Funding character education in public schools (WFA opposes)

Character education under this bill is not defined—and there is too much room for “character” to be stretched beyond its typical meaning and understanding. The bill authorizes DPI to award grants to schools to pay teachers to receive “professional development trainings in character education.” The Senate Education Committee held a public hearing and voted to move the bill to the full Senate. As of this update, the bill has not been scheduled for a Senate floor vote. There has been no public hearing on the Assembly version.

LIFE
AB 128/SB 114 – Creating a tax credit for parents who experience a stillbirth (WFA supports)

This bill seeks to compensate parents who have had a stillbirth for some of the costs related to this heart-rending situation (up to $2,000). These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

AB 179/SB 175Born Alive bill (WFA supports with one concern).
This bill requires any health care provider present at the time an abortion or attempted abortion results in a child born alive to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive. The bill makes intentionally causing the death of a child born alive as a result of an abortion or attempted abortion a felony with a penalty of life imprisonment. WFA’s concern is that the bill has an express exemption for a woman who intentionally kills her baby that has managed to survive an abortion or an attempted abortion. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 180/SB 174Requiring that women taking RU-486 be told there is a reversal to the abortion-causing drug (WFA supports).
This bill requires certain information regarding an abortion-inducing drug regimen to be given to a woman who is planning to have an abortion induced by this abortion-inducing drug regimen. This is primarily about RU-486. Essentially the bill requires that the woman be told that the first drug in the regimen may not result in an immediate abortion and that if she acts quickly, she can reverse the effects of the first drug and perhaps save her baby. This information would be added to the Woman’s Right to Know publication. The bill also requires that any place an abortion takes place, including a hospital, certain information must be collected and reported. The bill adds to what the law already requires abortionists to report. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 181/SB 199 – Stopping taxpayer funded Medicaid payments from going to most abortion providers (WFA supports).
This bill generally prohibits an entity that does abortions from receiving Medicaid payments. This bill is effectively dead with the legislature having voted on AB 183/SB 187.

AB 182/SB 173 – Prohibiting abortions based on sex, race, nationality, ethnicity or disability (WFA supports with one concern).
Our concern is that the bill has an exception related to disability. That exception deals with a situation where medical professionals determine an unborn baby has a disability that is deemed “fatal,” meaning the child is unlikely to survive outside the womb and the condition is not treatable. We believe this is an unnecessary exception. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 183/SB 187 – Stopping taxpayer funded Medicaid payments from going to most abortion providers (WFA supports).
This bill generally prohibits an entity that does abortions from receiving Medicaid payments. Passed in Assembly & Senate. Governor vetoed.

AB 590/SB 524 –Prohibits the sale and use of the body parts of aborted babies, requires reporting of the sex and any fetal anomaly of an aborted baby, and requires proper final disposition of an aborted baby (WFA supports)
This bill has been introduced in prior legislative sessions. Even with a Republican governor and strong Republican majorities in the Senate and the Assembly, the bill has never received a floor vote. Current Republican leadership does not seem inclined to move these bills at all. The bills are currently in committee in both the Senate and the Assembly; no public hearing has been scheduled.

LIBERTY
AB 185/SB 197 – Changing how WI’s electoral votes are allocated (WFA opposes)
This bill erodes the Electoral College. Instead of awarding WI’s 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in our state, those 10 votes would go to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. These bills are in committee in both the Assembly and the Senate. No further action to date.

MISCELLANEOUS
SB 577/no Assembly version to date – Decriminalizing 28 grams or less of marijuana (WFA opposes).
This bill makes a number of changes in the current law as it relates to bringing charges against a person who possesses, attempts to possess, possesses with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or deliver marijuana. WFA believes marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to using other harder drugs and that marijuana use in and of itself can significantly impair judgment and alter behavior. Twenty-eight grams of marijuana is the equivalent of over 80 “joints.” The bill is currently in committee; no further action to date.

AJR 106/SJR 75 – Renaming the decorated tree in the capitol rotunda during the Christmas holiday season as the Wisconsin State Christmas Tree (WFA supports).
These joint resolutions reflect the long-standing tradition of referring to the tree in the capitol rotunda during Christmas as a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree as Governor Evers refers to it. The Assembly passed the resolution in November on a bi-partisan vote; the resolution is waiting for action in the Senate.

AJR 108/SJR 59 – Prohibiting the governor from using the partial veto to increase state expenditures (first consideration) (WFA supports).
This resolution would amend the Wisconsin constitution to prevent the governor from using his/her partial veto power in an appropriations bill (like the state budget) to increase state expenditures for any purpose other than what is provided in the bill that is presented to him/her for signing. A proposed constitutional amendment requires adoption by two successive legislatures and then ratification by the people in a statewide referendum before it becomes law. If this resolution passes both the Assembly and the Senate this session (which concludes December 31, 2020), then it would need to be reintroduced and passed again sometime between January 2021 and December 2022 before it could be put on a statewide referendum. The Senate passed the resolution in November; the Assembly has not held a public hearing yet on the proposal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard
9 state legislators earn 100% for their work in most recent session; 15 others have distinguished scores

MADISON, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) released its 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard, giving its assessment of how all thirty-three State Senators and all ninety-nine State Assembly Representatives did this past legislative session. The session began in early January 2017 and floor activity concluded in March of this year.

“Within our mission, we work on or at least track quite a variety of bills during a legislative session. It’s important that citizens get an idea of how their elected officials did relative to those proposals,” said Julaine Appling, WFA president.

This past session, two (2) senators and seven (7) representatives earned a 100% score from WFA, meaning on all bills scored, these legislators agreed with WFA’s position.

The 100% senators are Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville). State representatives earning 100% are Scott Allen (R-Waukesha), Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls), Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield), André Jacque (R-DePere), Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), and Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac).

“Earning a 100% on our scorecard is not easy. We are proud of these state legislators whose body of work during this past session evidences courage and true commitment to conservative principles and ideas. We congratulate these nine on a job very well done,” noted Appling.

Legislators scoring a 95%-99% also distinguished themselves as strong pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty lawmakers. Six (6) senators and nine (9) representatives achieved this score. Senators with these scores are Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), and Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield). Representatives achieving this score are Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago), Bob Kulp (R-Stratford), Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee), Romaine Quinn (R-Barron), Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin), Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc), Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) and Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego).

“We are also very pleased to recognize the excellent work of those in this group of lawmakers,” Appling commented. “Being an elected official is not easy. It requires tough decisions in pressured situations. We are grateful for those officials who consistently do the right thing.”

This edition of WFA’s Scorecard scores ten bills in the state senate and 11 bills in the state assembly. Details on scoring, WFA’s position, and the bills themselves are available in the Scorecard.

WFA’s 2017-2018 Legislative Scorecard is available online HERE.

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Wisconsin Family Action is a statewide organization engaged in strengthening, preserving and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty in Wisconsin.

Copy available online here.

Call TODAY: Move the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative Forward

Your legislators need to hear from you!

The Heal Without Harm (HWH) Legislative Initiative – SB 423/AB 549 and SB 424/AB 550 (Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls and Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc) – would ban the sale and use of aborted fetal body parts and instead encourage the donation of tissue from children who are stillborn or miscarried for use in research.

Currently, SB 423 and SB 424 have received public hearings, but Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Chair Van Wanggaard has indicated he will not advance the bills out of committee unless Senators make their support for these bills known. AB 550 has received a public hearing and will be voted out of committee thanks to the quick action of Assembly Health Committee Chair Joe Sanfelipppo. AB 549 has been separated from AB 550 and was sent to the Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee chaired by Representative John Spiros and has yet to receive a public hearing.

Please call your State Senator ASAP and urge him/her to do the following:
Support SB 423 and SB 424 and make that support known by contacting Sen. Van Wanggaard.
Ask Sen. Waggaard to hold an executive session on SB 423 and SB 424 and vote to advance these bills out of committee ASAP.

Please call your State Representative ASAP and urge him/her to do the following:
Ask Rep. John Spiros to hold a public hearing and executive session on AB 549 ASAP.

Don’t know your State Senator and State Representative?  Go to legis.wisconsin.gov and type in your home address under “Find My Legislators” or call the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-362-9472.  After you call your Senator, contact the HWH Coalition with any feedback you received.

Questions?  Take some time to visit our HWH Q&A to learn more about this critical issue.

WFA Legislative Update – Bills to Follow

AB 64 – Budget bill – currently at a standstill as Republican-controlled Senate and Assembly have major disagreements over at least 2 key areas of spending: K12 education and transportation. WFA has weighed in on several budget provisions, including funding a PR campaign to promote the Success Sequence (finish school, get a job, marry and then have kids), an amendment that gives Christian/Bible camps the same amount of tax exempt property as all other camps in Wisconsin. 

AB 128/SB 81 – companion bills that prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions for state employees (related to state health insurance programs). Assembly committee has held a public hearing on the bill and voted in favor of it going to the full Assembly. The Senate has taken no action on the bill. WFA supports the bill and testified in the Assembly hearing in support of it.

AB 206/SB154 – companion bills that stop the cozy relationship that currently exists allowing UW Medical School employees to perform abortions at Madison Planned Parenthood. No hearing has been scheduled in either the Assembly or the Senate. WFA supports the bill.

AB 208/SB 157 – extends existing $5000 tax deduction to Wisconsin families who finalize adoptions in another state or country, but bring the child to live in Wisconsin. Assembly committee held a public hearing on the bill. No action on the Senate side. WFA supports the bill and testified in the Assembly hearing.

AB 300 & AB 304 – AB 300 requires that parents receive notice of all federal, state and local mandated tests their children will be expected to take. AB 304 allows parents to opt their children out of any federal or state mandated test or any local assessment, as long as the test is not required for high-school graduation (e.g., civics test).  A hearing has been held on both bills in the Assembly. No action in the Senate. WFA attended the Assembly hearing and registered in support of both bills.

AB 48commonly referred to as the “Blue Lives Matter” bill. Adds crimes against members of law enforcement to existing hate crimes statutes. Hearing held in Assembly. No Senate version of the bill is currently introduced.  WFA opposes this bill on the grounds that trying to add something good to a bad law, doesn’t make the bad law good and the bill is far more symbolic than substantive.

2020 Legislative Priorities

At Wisconsin Family Action we are dedicated to strengthening, preserving & promoting: MARRIAGE & FAMILY (including the Economy & Education) LIFE FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Below you will find links to the outlines of this...

Wisconsin Family Action Releases 2015-2016 Legislative Scorecard

Twelve state legislators earn 100% for their work in most recent legislative session

MADISON, WI – Today, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) released its 2015-2016 Legislative Scorecard, giving its assessment of how all thirty-three State Senators and all ninety-nine State Assembly Representatives did this past session. The session began in early January 2015 and floor activity concluded in March of this year.

“Within our mission, we work on or at least track quite a variety of bills during a legislative session. It’s important that citizens get an idea of how their elected officials did relative to those proposals,” said Julaine Appling, WFA president.

This past session, three (3) senators and nine (9) representatives earned a 100% score from WFA, meaning on all bills scored, these legislators agreed with WFA’s position.

Read more here.

WFA Update on important bills; final days of Wisconsin legislative session

WFA_logoThis is an important update on some of the bills Wisconsin Family Action has been following and keeping you informed about as well as notes from WFA president Julaine Appling. Scroll down to find out how you can take action NOW!

Senate Bill 238/Assembly Bill 311: would make it illegal for organizations that are abortion providers to overbill the state and its taxpayers for drugs it buys very cheaply through a Medicaid program and then dispenses to their clients.  Some estimate stopping this overbilling will keep over $4 million per year away from Planned Parenthood of WI.

STATUS: This bill is scheduled for its final vote, which would be in the Assembly, tomorrow, Thursday, February 11. However, the Assembly is having a shortened floor period tomorrow—ending by 4 p.m.—to that the Democrats are free to go to the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate tomorrow evening in Milwaukee.

Julaine’s Note: There’s speculation that with this shortened time on the floor, this bill may not actually get a vote tomorrow—we’ll monitor it closely.  This Assembly vote is the final vote needed before the bill goes to the Governor.

UPDATE 2/17/2015: PASSED by the WI State Assembly on 2/11/2016 – CLICK HERE to read more.

Assembly Bill 469: The “student privacy protection” bill. This bill requires all WI public schools to designate restrooms and changing rooms as exclusively for males or females. It also requires that students use the facilities that correspond to their biologic sex as recorded on their birth certificate. If a student or his/her parents wish to use another facility, they can request that of the school administration. The administration may grant this request by providing either a single-user facility or a multi-user, gender neutral facility where the stalls are completely self-contained units with locking doors.

STATUS: This bill is still in the Assembly Education Committee.

Julaine’s Note: Assembly Education Committee chairman Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du lac), held a public hearing on this bill in November, but apparently doesn’t think he has the votes among his committee members to get the bill passed out of committee, which I find very interesting. There are 11 Republicans on that committee and 6 Democrats. It takes just 9 votes for a bill to pass out of that committee and be ready for the entire assembly to vote on.  Apparently some of the Republicans who like to say they are conservative are not willing to support this bill. My editorial comment is this: the issue this bill is addressing is not going away; it’s not only not going away, it’s going to get worse.  The longer the state waits, the worse the problem is going to be in school districts all across our state.

Assembly Bill 800: This bill would legalize and regulate Daily Fantasy Sports games—which are really just online gambling. Authored by and co-sponsored by mostly republicans, this bill would basically result in the largest expansion of gambling in Wisconsin’s history because it would open up online gambling, which to this point has been illegal in our state—and most other states. The hearing on this bill was late last month.

STATUS: The bill is still in committee.

Julaines Note: I don’t see any committee action involving this bill and no movement on the senate companion bill either. With time ticking away, it is looking as if this bill won’t get floor votes.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Even in the waning days of this session, citizen input is very important.  If you want to give your elected officials your opinion on any of the bills mentioned above, SB 238, AB 469 or AB 800 — now is the time to do that.

To find out who represents you and his/her contact information, CLICK HERE to visit your Election Central. You’ll find this information, and more!

Additionally, you can call the state’s toll-free legislative hotline at 800-362-9472  or you can check online at legis.wisconsin.gov and put your address in the appropriate place on the home page or you can all our office at 888-378-7395 and we can help you get that information.

Wisconsin Pro-Life Issues on the Agenda for Legislative Session

State capitolWisconsin Family Action continues to work on your behalf to strengthen, defend and promote life in the Badger State, and the upcoming legislative session will reflect the extent of these efforts as plans are already in the works for the next legislative session.

As we partner with pro-life families throughout Wisconsin, we move forward to protect God’s most precious gift of life. Some of the issues that we will work on will be to obtain a right-of-conscience law which will allow people to refuse actions according to their moral or religious beliefs.

We will also partner with our friends at Pro-Life Wisconsin and bring back the specialty license plate “Choose Life Wisconsin” which supports Wisconsin’s wonderful life-giving, woman-helping pregnancy resource centers with the proceeds from every sale.

>>>>>Read more HERE and HERE

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Click HERE to send a secure financial donation to Wisconsin Family Action – your Pro-Life Partner in Wisconsin!
  2. Pray for mothers who are considering abortion, that they may choose life!
  3. Pray for the lives of our precious unborn children.
  4. Consider volunteering for, or supporting, your local Wisconsin Pregnancy Resource Center.
  5. Click HERE for more pro-life resources!

WFA E-Connection – January 21, 2021

MARK YOUR CALENDARS Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event!  Watch here for more events coming in 2021!___________ JANUARY isSANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE MONTHCLICK HERE to find anevent near you!(This list of events...

UPDATED: Thank you, an update and what you can expect re: AB1

UPDATED: 1/20/2021

Brief Recap
Important Update
What You Can Do
The Reality

Last week we alerted you to a bill that was in the State Senate related to COVID-19 issues. The purpose of this article is to provide you with an update and also to alert you to a public hearing that will be held this Thursday, January 21, 2021, in the state capitol on several stand-alone bills that will be mentioned below.

BRIEF RECAP

Earlier this month the State Assembly passed Assembly 1 (with one amendment), a bill related to COVID-19 matters in Wisconsin. Included in the Assembly bill was language that would have done the following:
1) Prohibited employers and state (primarily the Department of Health Services) and/or local health officials from mandating that a person receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Please note: nothing in the bill would have mandated the vaccine. The provisions were about STOPPING, FORBIDDING any such mandates.)
2) Prohibited the state Department of Health Services and/or local health officials from closing or prohibiting gatherings in places of worship.
3) Limited the amount of time a public school can close down in-person instruction.**
**We alerted you to items 1) and 2) above, but not 3).

When the senate received the bill, senate leadership stripped out the language related to items 1-3 above. We asked you to call your senator and ask them not to pass the bill unless the above provisions were included.  We know you did as we requested, but the Senate proceeded to pass the bill as amended and returned it to the Assembly for what is called “concurrence,” meaning the Assembly has to agree with what the Senate has given them. To date, the Assembly has not met for that vote.  The vote in the senate was 30-2–with only one Republican and one Democrat voting against it.

IMPORTANT UPDATE

The Senate did not believe Gov. Evers would pass the Assembly version, but senate leadership believed everyone could agree that businesses, organizations, churches, etc., needed protection from people suing them because they caught COVID while on their property or at one of their events. Senate leadership got assurance from Governor Evers that he would sign a bill that focused primarily on this liability protection—and that’s what the Senate stuck with. However, Senate leadership immediately after the vote said they were not yet done with the issue and would be doing “stand-alone” (single issue) bills on several more COVID-related matters very soon. Wisconsin Family Action received assurances that this was true and that items 1) and 2) above would be among those bills.

Within a day, bills related to all three of the above-noted issues were being circulated for co-sponsors.  And late yesterday, we learned that a public hearing is scheduled for all of those bills: 

Senate Bill 4 – Deals with prohibiting certain state and/or local officials from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine
Senate Bill 5  – Deals with prohibiting employers from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine
Senate Bill 6 – Deals with limiting the amount of time a public school can close down in-person instruction
Senate Bill 7 – Deals with prohibiting local health officers from closing or prohibiting gatherings in places of worship

These bills are currently in the Senate’s Committee on Human Services, Children and Families, chaired by Senator André Jacque (R-DePere). The hearing will be held in Room 201 Southeast in the State Capitol beginning at 12 noon this Thursday, January 21. The overflow room for the hearing will be Room 300 Southeast. Senator Jacque is the author of Senate Bills 4, 5, and 7. The hearing notice is available HERE. Typically the bills are taken up in the order in which they are listed on the hearing notice, although the Chairman can at his/her discretion change the order.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  1. Plan to attend the hearing and speak if at all possible. This is especially important for pastors and ministry leaders who are concerned about the reach of the state and/or local officials interfering with their church’s operation and ministry. Prepare written testimony if you are going to speak. Plan to bring 10 copies of your testimony with you. Helpful information regarding testifying at a public hearing is available HERE.
  2. If you can’t attend the hearing but want to let the committee members know your opinion on the bills and how you want them to vote, send them an email. You can email all 5 committee members by clicking HERE.​​​​​​  You can also call the committee members:
    Chairman Sen Andrè Jacque – 608-266-3512
    Vice-Chair Sen Joan Ballweg – 608-266-0751
    Sen Eric Wimberger – 608-266-5670
    Sen. LaTonya Johnson – 608-266-2500
    Sen Melissa Agard – 608-266-9170
  3. If you are not a pastor or ministry leader, be sure to forward this email to your pastor and let him know about the bill related to churches and the hearing on Thursday.
  4. If you are interested in watching the hearing, visit wiseye.org and click on “Live” or scroll down to a listing of the broadcasts for that day.
  5. Share this page/info with friends and family members who may be interested in these issues/bills.
  6. Pray! Last in the list but certainly not last or least in importance.

THE REALITY
Some have asked us why anyone should care about these bills, let alone work to get them passed in the state legislature, because it’s pretty much a given that the governor will veto them. That’s a legitimate question for sure. Our response to this is that, first, it’s always right to do right. These bills aren’t perfect. We wish they weren’t restricted to COVID-19; we think they should be broader in their scope and more general in their application. But in this situation, these bills certainly do what they need to do for the current crisis. Second, once the bills land on the governor’s desk, it’s all on him. He will have to answer to the public for why he wants to invade personal privacy and violate people’s conscience, medical decisions, and religious beliefs by allowing officials and employers to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. He’s the one who will have to explain why he thinks churches should be considered “non-essential” in this crisis but abortion facilities and liquor stores are considered “essential.” Let him tell parents that he’s just fine with schools be shuttered indefinitely for in-person instruction. These bills will put Governor Evers clearly on the record–and that’s very important as we head into another election cycle. He’s up for re-election in 2022.

Many thanks for engaging in your government! Your voice matters regardless of who is in office at any level of government.  Good citizenship requires we engage even when we don’t think we will “win.” God calls us to faithfulness–faithfulness to the truth and to our duty–not to victory. We are grateful for you!


THANK YOU–AND AN UPDATE!

Yesterday we sent out two rush emails when we learned about the State Senate going to the floor in just hours to vote on a bill that did not include language on at least two important issues–language that had been included in the Assembly version of the bill, AB 1. The two issues were 1) limiting the authority of the state (in particular the Department of Health Services) and/or local health officials from closing places of worship and/or limiting capacity during COVID-19, and 2) prohibiting employers, the Department of Health Services, and local health authorities from mandating the COVID-19 vaccine.

We urged you to contact your state senator immediately and ask them to vote no on the Senate’s version of the bill because these two issues were not included. We know you did as we asked, because we have heard from numerous senate offices saying their phones were very busy yesterday!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Those calls are so very important!  One strategic senate office told me this morning that while their phones were very busy yesterday, they found the callers to be extremely polite. In fact, the staffer told me the callers were nice and courteous. This staffer was incredibly impressed. In case you don’t think how you speak to a legislator matters, well, here’s proof that it does. Thank you for calling and thank you for doing so with grace and civility. You have definitely made a difference. It is so true that for Christians, we must think bigger, look higher and expect more–of ourselves especially!

All that said, the Senate yesterday passed the Substitute Amendment to Assembly Bill 1 WITHOUT amending it to put back in the language related to the two issues I’ve noted: vaccine mandate and protections for places of worship. The measure passed with just two senators objecting: Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Senator Chris Larsen (D-Milwaukee). I knew when all but 1 Democrat supported this measure what had happened. The Senate had made a calculation that the governor would veto the bill as passed by the Assembly. Senate members especially wanted liability protections for businesses, schools, churches, etc. so that people cannot sue them for getting COVID because they were in their place of business or at an event sponsored by the entity. That liability protection was the central part of the Senate Substitute Amendment, and Senate leadership had received word that the Governor would sign that bill. As a result, the senate made the decision to pass the bill as they had amended it.  Now it goes back to the Assembly for final concurrence and then to the governor for signing.

So what about our very real concerns for not having the vaccine mandated and making sure places of worship aren’t forced to close or to limit capacity?

As you can imagine, I was talking to senators yesterday about this. Immediately after the vote, I talked with a senator who said our concerns were going to be put into stand-alone bills and that these bills would be in circulation soon. I can confirm that this is true–and will give you the specifics as soon as the information is made public. The bills will need a significant number of co-sponsors, and we will be asking for your help to make that happen. Then, once they are introduced and assigned bill numbers and committees, public hearings will happen. We will let you know about those as well. The bills use the exact same language as what was in the Assembly’s original bill.


I’m encouraged by all this. I’m heartened that the new senate leadership, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), are listening to constituents and to us as an organization. We definitely need to hold our elected officials accountable, and I can assure you we will do everything we can to see that these standalone bills pass and go to the governor, even though he may and likely will veto them. I say let him veto them; November 2022 will be here faster than any of us realize (that’s when we elect a new governor).

In the meantime, I urge you to stay informed and involved. We will keep you updated on these bills and many others (some pro-life bills are already in the works) as we go through this legislative session. Your voice is unbelievably important. Elected officials do listen. I can’t say for sure that we wouldn’t be talking about standalone bills for the vaccine mandate and protections for places of worship if we hadn’t put some pressure on senators, but your calls definitely made sure they will be a reality.

WFA E-Connection – January 14, 2021

MARK YOUR CALENDARS Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event!  Watch here for more events coming in 2021!___________ JANUARY isSANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE MONTHCLICK HERE to find anevent near you!(This list of events...

WFA E-Connection – January 7, 2021

MARK YOUR CALENDARS Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event!  Watch here for more events coming in 2021!___________ JANUARY isSANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE MONTHCLICK HERE to find anevent near you!(This list of events...

WFA E-Connection – December 31, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event.Watch here for more events coming in 2021! TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!Is this YOU? 300 people investing $1000 by midnight TONIGHT, December 31,so Wisconsin...

WFA E-Connection – December 24, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event.Watch here for more events coming in 2021! Is this YOU? 300 people investing $1000between now and December 31,so Wisconsin Family Action hasthe resources we...

WFA E-Connection – December 17, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event.Watch here for more events coming in 2021! Is this YOU? 300 people investing $1000between now and December 31,so Wisconsin Family Action hasthe resources we...

WFA E-Connection – December 10, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event.Watch here for more events coming in 2021! Is this YOU? 300 people investing $1000 between now and December 31,so Wisconsin Family Action hasthe resources...

WFA E-Connection – December 3, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event!   Stay tuned for MORE events to come!___________BE PART of GIDEON’S ARMYIs this YOU? 300 people investing $1000between now and December 31,so...

WFA E-Connection – November 25, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event!   Stay tuned for MORE events to come!___________BE PART of GIDEON’S ARMYIs this YOU? 300 people investing $1000between now and December 31,so...

WFA E-Connection – November 19, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event!   Stay tuned for MORE events to come!___________BE PART of GIDEON’S ARMYIs this YOU? 300 people investing $1000between now and December 31,so...

WFA E-Connection – November 12, 2020

MARK YOUR CALENDARS ​ Call our office at 866-849-2536 to schedule a speaker from WFA or WFC for your next event!   Stay tuned for MORE events to come!___________BE PART of GIDEON’S ARMYIs this YOU? 300 people investing $1000 between now and December 31,so...

Voter Fraud: WHAT TO DO

ENSURING THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS

Wisconsin Family Action is compiling testimonies/stories sent in to us by Wisconsin voters, like you, to give to the Legislative Committee assigned by Speaker Robin Vos for investigation into the integrity of Wisconsin’s election process.

If you believe you have experienced voter fraud or had problems at your polling place or any other voting issues, such as:

⇒Received more than one ballot in your name in the mail.

⇒Received a ballot without requesting one.

⇒Know of a ballot that was sent in the name of a deceased person.

⇒Were asked to do something, or saw something, you felt was unusual at your polling place.

Even if you aren’t sure, please report your experience to us BELOW so we may allow the Legislative Committee to review and decide if this will help with their investigation.

PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW NOW: