It’s been a whirlwind of decisions coming out of the US Supreme Court in the last few weeks. Last Thursday, the high court released its last round of opinions for this term, wrapping up months of dealing with numerous high-profile decisions that impact immediately or will impact in the future millions of Americans. Religious freedom was the crux of three recent decisions—and in all three cases the high court ruled in favor of respecting the First Amendment’s clear intent to give Americans the right to freely exercise their religion and conscience.
Our founders called religious freedom our “First freedom” because it is the underpinning of all of our other freedoms. In light of that, these decisions are encouraging. However, one other case the court decided this session that wrongly redefined the word sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity puts religious freedom and so-called civil rights on a collision course. We must remain vigilant.
Last week the state senate gave the needed final vote on a bill, SB 28, that helps families control their health care. The direct primary care bill, authored by Republicans Representative Joe Sanfelippo and Senator Chris Kapenga, exempts direct primary care agreements from the state’s insurance laws. Direct primary care agreements are contracts signed between a health-care provider and an individual in which the health-care provider agrees to provide primary care services to the individual for an agreed-upon fee and period of time. Governor Evers vetoed the bill last Friday.
“Direct primary care agreements offer families more flexibility and very often more affordability in their health care,” says Julaine Appling, WFA president. “It’s part of how we keep or help families become self-sufficient and independent. Getting insurance companies out of these agreements assures more control by the people directly giving and receiving the health care. Apparently Governor Evers isn’t interested in truly helping Wisconsin’s best natural resource–her families.”
Thank you, Chairman Sanfelippo and committee members, for the opportunity to testify on Assembly Joint Resolution 130.
Wisconsin Family Action strongly supports this joint resolution.
Currently, Article I, Section 1, of the Wisconsin Constitution provides that only those who are “born” are afforded certain “inherent rights,” including the right to life.
Joint Resolution 130 proposes to amend the language of Article 1, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution to reflect that, as applied to the right to life, the term “persons” applies to every human being in any stage of development, born or unborn.
We support this change for five main reasons:
(Click below on official document to read the entire testimony. Feel free to download and share.)
On Wednesday, December 18, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump. The Wisconsin delegation vote was along party lines, with Democrats Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Gwen Moore voting to impeach; and Republicans Bryan Steil, Jim Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman and Mike Gallagher voting against impeachment. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is now saying she isn’t going to release the impeachment articles to the Senate until she is satisfied that the rules the Senate establishes for how that body will handle the impeachment trial are “fair.” The Constitution requires that the House send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, but does not specify when that must be done.
Much confusion exists about the next steps and about whether or not the House vote means the president is removed from office. To be clear, the House voting to impeach the president, does not mean he is removed from office. The Constitution requires that after the House votes to impeach, the next step is, once the Senate receives the articles of impeachment, that the Senate acts as a kind of court, conducting some type of trial to determine whether the president would be removed from office.
The Daily Caller explains the impeachment process in a step-by-step manner that is easy to understand. CLICK HERE to learn more. Be sure to follow us for updates on this current issue.
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.
The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 286 this Wednesday, November 20, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 411 South of the State Capitol. Senate Bill (SB) 286, authored by Senator Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls), is the companion bill to Assembly Bill (AB) 304, legislation permitting pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptive patches (the Patch) and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives to persons 18 years of age and older. Currently, these contraceptives may only be prescribed by a physician.
Please ATTEND the public hearing and testify or register against SB 286.
Last Thursday, November 7, on a bipartisan vote of 82-14, the State Assembly passed a bill, AB 304, that gives pharmacists the authority to write prescriptions for certain oral contraceptives and patches. The 14 “no” votes were all Republicans. Among other problems, the bill has no exemption for the religious beliefs or conscience of pharmacists and requires only that the woman complete a medical questionnaire and that the pharmacist administer a blood pressure screen. Three of the state’s pro-life organizations have been opposed to the bill, including Wisconsin Family Action.
Julaine Appling, WFA president, says, “We believe this bill is not in anyone’s best interest. Currently pharmacists in Wisconsin cannot write prescriptions for anything. That’s for good reason—primarily the well-being of the patient. We are extremely proud of the Assembly Republicans who did the right thing and voted no on this bill that will bring far more harm than good. We hope the Senate will just let this bill die.”
The Senate Health Committee will be holding a public hearing on the Senate version of this bill, Senate Bill 286 (identical to AB 304), on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in Room 411 South of the State Capitol. SB 286 is last on the hearing agenda. The Senate Health Committee is chaired by Sen. Pat Testin, who is a senate co-sponsor of this bill. Once this hearing is held and the committee votes on the bill, the way is cleared for the full Senate to take up the bill passed in the Assembly last week.
What you can do: Call your senator and give them your opinion on the senate version of this bill, SB 286. Click HERE to find your senator’s contact information. (Type your address into the upper right-hand search box.) Phone calls to senators are extremely important with the public hearing coming up next Wednesday. Thank you for making a difference!
“There is a pressing need to pass fetal dignity laws, which affirm the dignity of the unborn and add protections for women through stricter regulation of the abortion industry. In 2010, the police raided the abortion clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and discovered the remains of unborn babies in jars. In 2019, it was discovered that another abortionist, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, had also been harboring the remains of thousands of unborn children. • States should ensure the respectful burial of unborn children killed in abortion. • Women who have miscarriages should be able to receive death certificates that provide validation and dignity to the loss of their children.”
What are fetal dignity laws and why do we need them? Read more HERE.
Julaine Appling, WFC president, says, “Republican leadership in Wisconsin have several times killed bills that would stop this atrocity. Fortunately, Senator André Jacque and Representative Janel Brandtjen are trying again this session with their “Human Dignity Act” bill. While no bill is perfect, this one does clearly stop the trade and use of the body parts of aborted babies and requires appropriate disposition of their bodies.”
Wisconsin Family Council’s mission is to advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life and religious liberty. Click HERE to securely partner with us today!
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 68 – Possession 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 138 – Funding 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 175 – Born 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 174 – Requiring 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.
On Tuesday, five pro-life bills were given public hearings in the state legislature. The Assembly Health Committee heard testimony on the “Born-Alive Protection” bill and on two bills stopping Medicaid funding for organizations that perform abortions, as well as on a bill that would prohibit abortions based on sex, race, or disability, and on a bill that would require that women seeking a chemical abortion be told about how they can reverse the effects of RU-486. Various senate committees heard the senate versions of the bills. The bills are fast-tracked in both houses. Wisconsin Family Action **testified on a number of these pro-life bills.
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, shares, “While no bill is perfect and each of these bills could be improved—and a couple really should be—the legislature is giving Governor Evers an opportunity to do the right thing regarding protecting human life and safeguarding women. We will soon find out whether the governor is beholden to Planned Parenthood, or if he is really all about children, as he says he is.”
Briefly, here is a short summary of the bills: **SB175/AB179: Born Alive Protection Bill – Requires any health care provider present at time of abortion or attempted abortion that results in a child born alive to exercise the same degree of professional skilled care and diligence to presrve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health provider would give to any other child born alive after an abortion or an attempted abortion.
Read WFA testimonies on SB175 and AB179 respectively.
SB173/AB182: Prohibits abortion based on sex, disability, race, color, national origin or ancestry. This bill also has an exception for so-called fatal anomalies.
SB174/AB180: Requires certain information regarding an abortion-inducing drug regimen to be given to a woman who is planning to have an abortion induced by the same. This is about the very potent RU486. Essentially, the bill requires that the woman be told that the first drug in the RU486 regimen may not result in an immediate abortion and that if she acts quickly, the woman can reverse the effects of the first drug and perhaps save her baby. This bill also requires abortion providers to report additional information. This information would be added to the “Woman’s Right to Know” publication. **AB181/SB199: Prohibits Medicaid funds from going into entities that perform abortions or are affiliated with organizations that perform abortions. This bill provides this prohibition but deals exclusively with Planned Parenthood. There is currently no senate version of this bill.
**SB187/AB183: Also deals with stopping these joint federal and state Medicaid monies from going to abortion providers but this bill has an express exemption for hospitals that perform abortions because of certain situations (rape, incest, life of the mother).
Read WFA testimonies on SB187 and AB183 respectively.
With all of these bills having had public hearings this week and the Assembly Health Committee having a vote in the committee today (Thursday, May 9) or tomorrow on these bills, it’s clear that the committee is going to move very quickly on these proposals. We suspect they will all be on the agenda next week when the Assembly convenes a floor session.
By taking action on these pro-life bills, the legislature is giving Governor Evers the opportunity to do the right thing (he has said he is “all about the kids”) and sign the bills into law. If he chooses to veto them, then the entire state of Wisconsin will clearly know where the Governor stands on life and, in some ways, on the protection of women.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Call your state legislator to give your opinion on these bills. Find your state senator and state representative and his/her contact information HERE. Please continue to pray about these bills and for our pro-life state legislators here in The Badger State.
Governor Evers’ budget proposal includes legalizing medicinal marijuana and decriminalizing possession of what he says is a “small amount” of marijuana, 25 grams, which is the equivalent of 75 joints. As a backup plan, should the Republican-
controlled legislature not keep these provisions in the budget, Assembly Representative Melissa Sargent, a Democrat from Madison, is holding a press conference today announcing that she is introducing a stand-alone bill to fully legalize marijuana, which would include both medicinal and recreational use.
Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, says, “As states across the country have embarked on this drug experiment, the evidence mounts that any legalization of marijuana comes with consequences, not the least of which is increased crime. In fact, law enforcement in Colorado deems this a public safety issue. Wisconsin lawmakers need to hear from citizens before going very far down this policy path.”
“Governor Tony Evers announced on Monday, Feb. 18 that his budget will include proposals to legalize medical marijuana, decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, establish an expungement procedure for individuals who have completed their sentence or probation for possession and align Wisconsin’s laws on cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil, with federal standards.
“Gov. Evers also wants to decriminalize possession, manufacturing or distribution of marijuana for amounts of 25 grams or less. This language would also prevent localities from establishing their own ordinances or penalties for possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana. The governor’s plan would also establish an expungement procedure for individuals convicted of possessing, manufacturing or distributing less than 25 grams of marijuana who have completed their sentence or probation.”
Julaine Appling, WFA president, says, “This is a policy issue and doesn’t belong in the budget. That said, we have a major opioid crisis. Many parents whose kids are involved with this epidemic will tell you the addiction started with marijuana. If we are going to deal with this issue, introduce a stand-alone bill and let’s have plenty of public debate about it. Too much is at stake to do otherwise.”
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311) which would protect infants who are delivered alive after a failed abortion procedure has been scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Monday, February 25.
This Senate action comes several weeks after the New York legislature passed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed, the so-called “Reproductive Health Act (RHA).” Among other provisions, the RHA repealed protections for infants born alive during an attempted abortion.
“The Senate will cast a vote on [Monday] February 25th to try to break the Democrat filibuster against a bill to stop infanticide.
“…Pro-abortion Senator Patty Murray blocked a vote on a bill from pro-life Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska that would stop infanticide nationwide. And in the House, Democrats have blocked a request by Republicans to vote on a bill that would stop infanticide a total of five times.”
**Contact WI US Senator Ron Johnson (R) and thank him for co-sponsoring this bill. Let him know you are thankful for his leadership and ask him to use his influence to get others to join him in voting in support of this bill. Email Sen. Johnson or call him at (202) 224-5323. **Pray that the Senate passes the Born-Alive Survivors Protection Act on February 25.
**Share this information with other WI friends and encourage them to contact Sen. Johnson and to also pray.
**Support the work of Wisconsin Family Action; we are 100% pro-life, from conception to natural death. We are YOUR voice in the legislature. Click HERE to donate TODAY.
We learned just hours ago that in the debate over the federal government shutdown, the U.S. House, led by abortion advocate Nancy Pelosi, has passed a spending bill over to the Senate that would give overseas abortion groups access to millions of YOUR taxpayer dollars.Unfortunately, seven Republicans joined with numerous Democrats to move this bill in the House. That means we really can’t just assume all the Republicans in the Senate will vote no on this bill.
You should NEVER be forced to fund abortion groups in America or anywhere in the world.
That’s why I’m asking you to help.
Our friends at the Susan B. Anthony List – one of the leading pro-life groups in America – are launching a campaign to encourage every pro-life U.S. Senator to STRIKE DOWN this bill.
Without notice, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has moved two fetal tissue bills out of their original committees and into the Committee on Assembly Organization. These bills make up the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative, (SB 423/AB 549 and SB 424/AB 550), authored by Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), that would ban the sale and use of body parts from aborted babies and inform parents about the ability to donate their miscarried or stillborn child’s tissue.
If Speaker Vos and the Committee on Assembly Organization do not advance the Heal Without Harm Legislative Initiative, then it can only be assumed that this move is intended to kill these bills.
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 the body parts of aborted babies and instead encourage the donation of tissue for research from children who are stillborn or miscarried.
Without notice, AB 549 and AB 550 have been pulled from their previously assigned committees and put into the Committee on Assembly Organization.
The public has a right to know why these bills were moved and if the committee has any intention of sending them to the floor for a vote.
Today the U.S. Senate Will Vote on S. 2311, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Call Senator Ron Johnson at 202-224-5323 and Senator Tammy Baldwin at 202-224-5653 to ask them to support S. 2311. We must protect unborn babies from painful, late-term abortions.
This bill will protect the lives of the unborn, especially when substantial medical evidence indicates that the child is capable of feeling pain during an abortion procedure. By 20 weeks gestation, an unborn child has pain receptors all over his or her body.
As Congressman Chris Smith said, “Abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember, and chemically poison babies each and every day.” He called this bill a “modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old.”
CALL NOW! Vote is said to be scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. CST.
Though cosponsored by nearly a third of the Wisconsin Legislature, the Heal Without Harm Initiative – a set of bills that would ensure fetal tissue research in Wisconsin continues without controversy – lingers in committee without action. The Fetal Remains Respect Act (SB 423/AB 549) and the Unborn Child Disposition and Anatomical Gift Act (SB 424/AB 550), authored by Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc), would ban the sale and use of body parts from aborted babies and inform parents about the ability to donate their miscarried or stillborn child’s tissue.
Initial introduction of the Senate bills was delayed by legislative leaders for months. Even though the bills received a hearing before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety in early November, Committee Chair Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) has yet to hold a vote on the bills. Senator Wanggaard’s office has indicated that the Chair will not schedule a committee vote until a majority of Senators consent to vote for the bill on the Senate floor. (more…)
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) need to hear from you immediately!
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 the body parts of aborted babies and instead encourage the donation of tissue for research from children who are stillborn or miscarried.
Currently, SB 423 and SB 424 have received public hearings, but Senate Judiciary and Public Safety committee Chair Senator Van Wanggaard has indicated he will not advance the bills out of committee unless Senators make their support for these bills known. However, Chair Wanggaard has advanced numerous bills through his committee with fewer Senate co-sponsors and with far less Senator support at the public hearing.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgeraldsupports this highly unusual delay in getting these bills out of committee. However, there are no Senate rules requiring bills to have sufficient floor votes in order to be voted out of committee; and many bills advance out of committee without prior knowledge of who will vote in favor of or against them on the floor.
The public has a right to know what committee members think about the Heal Without Harm Initiative.
Call Senator Fitzgerald at 608-266-5660 and urge that a committee vote on SB 423 and SB 424 be held ASAP.
Call Senator Wanggaard at 608-266-1832 and urge him to hold a committee vote on SB 423 and SB 424 ASAP.
The Senate will convene on January 23 for one of the last times this session. Tell Senators Fitzgerald and Wanggaard to support the democratic process and hold an executive session on these bills now! Committee action now means the Senate could vote on these bills on January 23!
Questions? Take some time to visit the HWH Q&A to learn more about this critical issue. Thank you for standing with us for life!
The Senate Education Committee recently held a public hearing on two bills regarding federal- and state-mandated standardized tests in public, charter, opportunity and choice schools. Senate Bill 222 requires school districts to consolidate and publicize information about each test, including grades administered in, reason for the test, and what the district will do with the results. Senate Bill 234 makes it clear that no matter the grade-level where a state or federal standardized test is given, parents can opt their children out of these tests.
Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) and Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) are the lead authors on the bills. They believe parents are responsible for the education of their children and that schools should take reasonable actions to help them in making wise educational decisions. Both of these common-sense, parent-focused bills have already passed in the state assembly; they just need a senate vote.
Call your state senator today and ask them to support Senate Bills 222 and 234.
Find your legislator HERE. (Simply enter your address into the search box in the upper right-hand corner.)
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.
Seven months after two bills were given to State Senate President Republican Roger Roth, they are now finally formally introduced. Senate rules stipulate that the Senate President is to “promptly” introduce bills given to him from senate authors. Introduction includes getting a bill number and a committee assignment, the first major steps in the legislative process. (more…)
July 17, 2017 – Madison, WI – Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling will attend the Assembly Committee on Science and Technology tomorrow at the state capitol and register favor of Assembly Bill 206 (companion bill SB 154) which prohibits both the UW System and Clinics Authority employees from performing abortions during the scope of their employment. The bills were introduced by State Representative André Jacque (R-De Pere) and State Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) respectively. (more…)
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 48 – commonly 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.
This week a Wisconsin Assembly Committee held a public hearing on two bills, AB 300 & AB 304, that would ensure school districts provide timely and complete notification to parents about any and all federal, state or local mandated tests, except those required for high-school graduation and would also make it clear that parents in public schools have a right to opt their children out of any federal or state mandated test, except for a test, like the Civics test, that is required for graduation. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du lac) and State Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) have authored the bills.
WFA president Julaine Appling states, “Laws that protect the right of parents to know what is happening in the schools and that safeguard the right of parents to opt their children out of standardized tests are appropriate. We all want local control. But when school boards make it difficult for parents to know and act in the best interest of their children, it’s time for a higher level of government to step in on behalf of parents.”
State Rep. André Jacque (R-DePere, photo left) and Sen. Dave Craig (R-Town of Vernon) have introduced a bill (AB 127) that would stop the state from making health insurance plans that cover abortions available to employees. The bill had a public hearing in the Assembly Health Committee on Wednesday, April 19. While no pro-abortion groups showed up to testify against the bill, three Democrat women committee members, all with former ties to the abortion industry, took the bill, the authors, and others in favor of the measure to task, alleging the proposal reduces women’s access to abortion. Supporters strongly disagreed.
Julaine Appling testified in favor of this bill stating, “As I said in the hearing last week, state law says no taxpayer funds are to be used to pay for abortions, but right now taxpayers are paying for some abortions through these state health insurance plans. Abortion is not health care. Nor is it a medically necessary procedure as these women each alleged. Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for anyone’s abortion, directly or indirectly.”
View the full recorded testimony from Wisconsin Family Action HERE courtesy of Wisconsin Eye.
On Wednesday, April 26, AB 127 cleared the state Assembly Health Committee.and is now headed to the full Assembly for consideration.