Legislative Update – April 11

Prevailing wage bill circulating
A bill (LRB-2889) is circulating to repeal prevailing wage legislation in Wisconsin. Last session, Wisconsin Act 55 was signed into law, repealing prevailing wage for local public works projects. Under this bill, restrictions would go further, eliminating prevailing wage altogether in the state, except where required by federal law.

Bill would make it a crime to offer someone a bribe of employment for not seeking office
A bill introduced this week (AB 223) would make it crime to offer employment in exchange for not seeking an elective state or local office. The bill comes after a state superintendent candidate in the spring election offered a deal to drop out in exchange for a government job and private driver. Both candidates lost their bids for office, but no criminal action could be taken under current law.

Are you ready for the next wave of budget hearings?
Public education is likely a big topic at the next wave of Joint Finance Committee budget hearings. If you’re able to attend a hearing, email Communications@WEAC.org so we can be sure to capture your testimony. All JFC hearings run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 18 –Spooner High School auditorium, 801 County Hwy A, Spooner
  • Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High School gymnasium, 323 W Hillcrest St, Ellsworth
  • Friday, April 21 –Marinette High School auditorium, 2135 Pierce Avenue, Marinette

Democratic Budget Hearings on Saturday, April 22
While the official budget hearings are being held during day, when educators are working with students, Democratic leaders are hosting listening sessions at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, to collect input.

  • Democratic Budget Listening Sessions, 10 a.m., Saturday, April 22
    • Dodgeville City Hall, 198 E. Fountain Street, Dodgeville
    • UW-Marathon County, 518 South 7th Avenue, Wausau

83 policy items pulled, but bad proposals still exist
You’ll remember that last week, the committee pulled 83 policy items from the budget they’re working from, but there are plenty of bad policies that still need to be addressed, including tying increased public school funding to Act 10 requirements, cutting the farm-to-school program to bring fresh produce to students and risky self-insurance for state employees.

Requiring legislative party caucuses to follow the open meetings law
A bill (AB 228) introduced this week would require legislative party caucuses to follow the open meetings law. Primary sponsors of the bill include 15 Democrats and one Republican, Ed Brooks (Reedsburg).

On the Forefront

  • Insiders are expecting Republicans to caucus this week for an up-down vote this week on the Constitutional Convention.

Don’t see something in the wrap-up? Looking for more information? Contact Christina Brey.