WISCONSIN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
May 23, 2019
WISCONSIN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
May 23, 2019
1. JCF Action on WCC Priorities
2. WCC Supports Pro-Life Bills
3. WCC Supports Adoption Tax Credit Bill and Motion in State Budget
4. WCC Supports Child Welfare Bills
5. Upcoming Hearings of Interest
6. New Bills of Interest
JCF Action on WCC Priorities
As noted in its
2019-2021 State Budget Issue Brief
, the WCC requested that seven proposals be retained in the budget, two be removed, and one added. The following describes Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) actions thus far on these priorities.
- Homelessness Initiatives. The JCF voted along party lines, to allocate money, but to postpone action on Governor Evers' homelessness proposals in favor of letting both houses deliberate similar, but not identical, legislation in the following separate bills: SB 119 / AB 123 (housing); SB 122 / AB 119 (shelters); SB 124 / AB 122 (jobs); SB 145 / AB 120 (case management); and SB 155 / AB 162 (health care). Both the Governor's proposals and the aforementioned bills are largely based on the recommendations of the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness.
- The JCF voted along party lines, 11-4, to remove EITC Expansion, Immigrant Driver's Cards, Medicaid Expansion, Juvenile Justice, and increased four-year-kindergarten funding (see Education Funding)from the budget.
- The JCF also voted along party lines to remove proposals from the budget that the WCC requested be removed, namely a provision that would have allowed public Funds to Abortion Providers; and restrictions on Educational Choice.
Please continue to contact your legislators and urge them to support the measures identified in the WCC issue brief, including the addition of the Adoption Tax Credit in the state budget (see below). To contact your State legislators, visit the Wisconsin State Legislature website at
and use the "Find Your Legislator" tool, or call the State Legislative Hotline, 1-800-362-9472.
WCC Supports Pro-Life Bills
On May 7, in four separate public hearings, the WCC
in support of five proposals that aim to protect children, provide more information to women seeking abortion, and better track and regulate the provision of abortion in Wisconsin.
Senate Bill 175
(Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton) and
Assembly Bill 179
(Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna), known as the Born Alive Survivors Protection Act, establish a standard of required medical care for infants who survive an induced abortion. SB 175 failed to advance in committee, but AB 179 passed the Assembly on a vote of 62 to 35 and now awaits action in the Senate.
Senate Bill 173
(Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point) and
Assembly Bill 182
(Rep. Barbara Dittrich, R-Oconomowoc) prohibit selective abortions, which are abortions that are sought solely because of the race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or disability of the unborn child. SB 173 passed out of committee, and AB 182 passed the Assembly on a vote of 62 to 35 and now awaits action in the Senate.
Senate Bill 174
(Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield) and
Assembly Bill 180
(Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester) require that a woman seeking an abortion via medication be informed that she may be able to continue her pregnancy if she seeks immediate medical assistance to counteract the effects of the first administration of the abortion drug. The bills also require improved abortion reporting to the state. SB 174 passed out of committee, and AB 180 passed the Assembly on a vote of 62 to 35 and now awaits action in the Senate.
Senate Bill 187
(Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville) and
Assembly Bill 183
(Rep. Dittrich) prohibit the state from certifying a private abortion services provider or affiliate under the Medicaid program, but provide an exemption for facilities that perform abortions in order to save the life of the mother, to prevent grave, long-lasting damage to her health, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. SB 187 passed out of committee, and AB 183 passed the Assembly on a vote of 62 to 32 and now awaits action in the Senate.
Assembly Bill 181
(Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls) also prohibits the state from certifying a private abortion services provider or affiliate under the Medicaid program, but does not have exemptions. No executive action was taken in committee.
WCC Supports Adoption Tax Credit Bill and Motion in State Budget
The WCC registered in support of
Senate Bill 191
(Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls) and companion
Assembly Bill 201
(Rep. Mike Rohrkaste, R-Neenah), which would provide adoptive parents with a state adoption tax credit. Wisconsin currently has a tax deduction for adoption expenses. The WCC also supports adding the adoption tax credit to the state budget proposal through a motion to the JCF. Readers are asked to contact their legislators to urge their support for both the bills and the motion.
WCC Supports Child Welfare Bills
The WCC registered in support of three child welfare bills.
Senate Bill 49
(Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills) and companion
Assembly Bill 41
(Rep. Jill Billings, D-La Crosse) prohibit prosecuting a child under the age of 18 for committing an act of prostitution. The Assembly
Committee on Children and Families
voted unanimously to advance the AB 41.
Senate Bill 61
(Sen. Darling) and companion
Assembly Bill 52
(Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton) permit unaccompanied 17-year-olds to seek admission to a shelter facility or transitional living program. An amended SB 61 received a public hearing. The Assembly
Committee on Children and Families
voted unanimously to advance an amended version of AB 52 and the Assembly passed this amended version, which now awaits action in the Senate.
Senate Bill 25 (Sen. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee) and companion Assembly Bill 22
(Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac)
require that commercial motor vehicle driver education provide instruction in the recognition and prevention of human trafficking. The Assembly passed the bill, which now awaits action in the Senate.
Upcoming Hearings of Interest
(N.B. Only bills of interest are flagged. In most cases, committees will be considering other bills as well.)
Speaker's Task Force On Water Quality, 10:30 am, Wed, May 29, Blackhawk Technical College, 6004 S. County R
Testimony will be from invited speakers. Invited testimony will begin at 10:30. Members of the public will have the opportunity to testify at the conclusion of the invited testimony.
Assembly Committee on Rural Development, 10:30 am, Thu, May 30, 328NW
Informational hearing on workforce housing in the state. Testimony will be from invited speakers only.
New Bills of Interest
(Jacque, Andre) Certification of abortion providers in the Medical Assistance program. Referred to Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology, & Consumer Protection
Adoption Tax Credit
(Rohrkaste, Mike) Creating a nonrefundable individual income tax credit for certain adoption expenses and modifying eligibility for the adoption expenses tax deduction. Referred to Assembly Ways and Means
(Mursau, Jeff) Mandatory parenting classes. Referred to Assembly Family Law
(Sargent, Melissa) Marijuana possession, regulation of marijuana distribution and cultivation, medical marijuana, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, granting rule-making authority, making an appropriation, and providing a penalty. Referred to Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Programs (Myers, Lakeshia) Teacher preparatory programs and granting rule-making authority. Referred to Assembly Education
is a periodic e-mail on legislative issues from the Wisconsin Catholic Conference.
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