Governor Vetoes Temporary School Voucher Expansion
On June 18, Governor Evers vetoed AB-059 (Dittrich, Barbara), which would have increased the income eligibility for the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program to 300 percent of the federal poverty level for the 2021-2022 school year, matching the income eligibility of the other parental choice programs. The WCC had registered in support of the bill.
Policing Reform Passes Both Houses
In the past two weeks, the following policing bills passed both the Senate and Assembly on voice votes and now await the Governor’s action. The WCC registered in support:
SB-121 (Wanggaard, Van) prohibits the use of choke holds by law enforcement officers in use of force policies.
SB-122 (Wanggaard) gives the public access to policies regarding the use of force by law enforcement.
SB-123 (Wanggaard) requires reporting of law enforcement use of force incidents.
Senate Passes Use of Force Requirements
On June 16, the Senate passed, via a 30-2 vote, an amended SB-120 (Wanggaard), which places requirements on what must be included in a law enforcement agency’s use of force policy and protects a law enforcement officer who reports a violation of that policy. The bill now awaits action in the Assembly. The WCC registered in support.
Assembly Passes Expungement and Policing Reform
On June 16, the Assembly passed, on voice votes, several bills to reform expungement records and policing. These bills now await action in the Senate.
The WCC testified in favor of AB-069 (Steffen, David), which gives more individuals the opportunity to have their records expunged.
The WCC registered in favor of the following bills. All but the first came out of the bipartisan Assembly Speaker’s Taskforce on Racial Disparities:
AB-190 (Tusler, Ron) makes certain changes to the responsibilities of the Law Enforcement Standards Board (LESB, the entity that regulates the training of law enforcement officers) to train officers and to ensure that their employment files are made available to future policing and corrections agencies when a former employee applies for a new job.
AB-329 (Steineke, Jim) requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to collect information from law enforcement agencies and prepare an annual report to the Legislature about the issuance of search warrants and the use of no-knock or unannounced entries upon execution of search warrants.
AB-330 (Steineke) requires the Office of School Safety in the DOJ to develop standards and approve a certified training program for school resource officers. The bill prohibits law enforcement agencies from assigning officers after September 1, 2022, as school resource officers unless they have completed a training program that DOJ has approved. The bill also requires the Office of School Safety to maintain a database of all school resource officers.
AB-331 (Steineke) requires prospective law enforcement officers to complete a psychological examination prior to employment as a law enforcement officer.
AB-332 (Steineke) requires law enforcement officers to complete four hours of crisis management training every two years, with such hours counting towards the required 24 hours of annual recertification training. The bill also requires the LESB to establish criteria for crisis management training and exempts such criteria from current law requirements governing the promulgation of administrative rules.
AB-333 (Steineke) permits crisis grants to counties, municipalities, or regions comprised of multiple counties or municipalities so they can establish and enhance law enforcement and behavioral health services emergency response collaborations.
AB-334 (Steineke) requires written policies so that each law enforcement officer who is involved in an officer-involved critical incident submits to drug and alcohol testing, with such testing to be completed as soon as practicable after the incident. The written policy must also require that the drug and alcohol testing include testing for the presence and concentration of at least the following substances: alcohol; amphetamines; cannabis or cannabinoids; opiates; cocaine; phencyclidine (PCP); and anabolic steroids.
AB-335 (Steineke) creates a grant program under which the DOJ must award grants to law enforcement agencies for the purchase of body cameras.
Assembly Passes Male, Female, and Coed Athletics
On June 16, on a 59-38 vote, the Assembly passed two amended bills that regulate athletic competition on the base of the participant’s sex. AB-195 (Dittrich) requires separate male, female, and coed teams at the University of Wisconsin and technical colleges. AB-196 (Dittrich) requires the same for teams operated or sponsored by public schools or private schools participating in a parental choice program. The bills now await action in the Senate. The WCC testified in support of both proposals.