This 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.
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.