WISCONSIN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
1. WCC Resumes Publication of Capitol Update
2. WCC Supports Protections for Religious In-Person Gatherings
3. WCC Opposes Discrimination in Vaccinating Incarcerated Persons
4. 2021-22 Legislature and Citizen Resources
5. WCC 2021 Public Policy Positions
6. New Bills of Interest
With the start of the new legislative session, WCC staff will resume regular publication of the Capitol Update every two weeks, with special updates as events warrant. Additional updated information is also posted regularly on the WCC website.
On January 21, the WCC testified in support of Senate Bill 7 (Jacque, Andre), which prohibits local health officers from closing or forbidding gatherings in places of worship during the current pandemic. The bill passed out of committee by a vote of 3-2 and is now available for a floor vote.
WCC Opposes Discrimination in Vaccinating Incarcerated Persons
On January 21, the WCC testified in opposition to Senate Bill 8 (Wanggaard, Van), which prohibits the Wisconsin Department of Health Services from prioritizing an incarcerated person for vaccination. The bill passed out of committee by a vote of 3-2 and is now available for a floor vote.
2021-22 Legislature and Citizen Resources
As in the last session, Republicans will be in control of both the Senate and the Assembly. The Senate has 20 Republicans, 12 Democrats, and one vacancy. The Assembly has 61 Republicans, 38 Democrats, and one vacancy.
To find out who your legislators are, go to the Wisconsin State Legislature's home page and type your address under Who Are My Legislators. Other legislative resources include:
Citizens can also follow state government by tuning in to WisconsinEye, the independent, nonpartisan news service that provides uncut video coverage of state government proceedings.
WCC 2021 Public Policy Positions
The WCC has published its 2021 Public Policy Positions, which it will share with state legislators, policy makers, and other interested parties. The document is organized around the seven principles of Catholic social teaching. Readers are encouraged to review and share it.
New Bills of Interest
SB-004 Vaccine Mandates (Jacque, Andre) Prohibiting certain government officials from mandating vaccination against the 2019 novel coronavirus. Referred to Senate Human Services, Children & Families
SB-005 Vaccine Mandates (Jacque, Andre) Prohibiting mandatory vaccination for employment. Referred to Senate Human Services, Children & Families
SB-006 School Closures (Wimberger, Eric) Requirements for a school board to close a school building to in-person instruction for more than 14 consecutive days during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years and a school board requirement to offer a full-time, in-person option to all pupils. Referred to Senate Human Services, Children & Families
SB-007 Worship Gatherings (Jacque, Andre) Closure of and forbidding gatherings in places of worship. Referred to Senate Human Services, Children & Families
SB-008 Vaccine Distribution (Wanggaard, Van) Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Referred to Senate Human Services, Children & Families
AB-001 COVID Response (Vos, Robin) State government actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority. Referred to Assembly Health
AB-004 Vaccine Administration (Sanfelippo, Joe) Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students administering vaccines. Referred to Assembly Health
AB-005 Vaccine Distribution (Sanfelippo, Joe) Facilitating and prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Referred to Assembly Health
AB-006 Abortion (Steineke, Jim) Requirements for children born alive following abortion or attempted abortion and providing a penalty. Referred to Assembly Health
AB-012 DHS Prohibitions (JCRAR) Prohibiting certain actions by the Department of Health Services related to the immunization program. Referred to Assembly State Affairs
AB-014 Family Therapist Rules (JCRAR) Rules defining unprofessional conduct by marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and social workers. Referred to Assembly State Affairs
Capitol Update is a periodic e-mail on legislative issues from the Wisconsin Catholic Conference.