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Capitol Update
August 12, 2019Like us on Facebook
Contents Include:
1. USCCB Urges Action on Federal Health Care and Immigration Rules
2. Upcoming Hearings of Interest
3. New Bills of Interest
 
USCCB Urges Action on Federal Health Care and Immigration Rules
In June, the Trump Administration took steps to correct a rule implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 of the ACA bans sex discrimination in federally-funded health programs and activities. However, after the ACA became law, the Obama Administration issued rules that wrongly interpreted "sex" in section 1557 to include "termination of pregnancy" and "gender identity." This put health care providers who do not consider abortion or "gender transition" procedures to be appropriate medical care - and health plans that do not cover these procedures - at risk of being charged with sex discrimination.
 
The Trump Administration has proposed new rules to eliminate this definition of "sex." The rules clarify that section 1557 does not force healthcare providers and insurers to perform or pay for abortion or gender transition procedures. In addition, the proposed rules recognize that nondiscrimination requirements must be interpreted in line with the First Amendment of the Constitution and federal pro-life, religious freedom, and freedom of conscience laws.
 
The United State Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a comment in support of this change and is urging Catholics to do the same by submitting comments through this website. The deadline for submitting comments is Tuesday, August 13, before 11 pm. Read more background information on this issue.
 
On July 16, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an "interim final rule" that seeks to drastically reduce the nation's asylum system. The rule would allow the Administration to block most individuals arriving at the southern border from gaining access to asylum in the U.S., instead requiring them to apply for protection in almost any other country through which they transit. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) submitted a comment urging that DOJ and DHS withdraw the rule and are urging Catholics to do the same through this website. The deadline for submitting comments on this rule is August 15, 2019, before 11 pm.
 
Upcoming Hearings of Interest
(N.B. Only bills of interest are flagged. In most cases, committees will be considering other bills as well.)
 
Senate Committee on Education, Tue, Aug 13, 10 am, 411-S
AB-054 School Drills (Born, Mark) Fire, tornado, and school safety drills for public and private schools.
 
Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality, 12:15 pm, Tue, Aug 13, UW Milwaukee Student Union, WI Room
Invited testimony:
  • DHS, DNR
  • American Council of Engineers
  • Milwaukee City Health Department and Milwaukee Water Works
  • MillerCoors
  • Milwaukee River Keepers and Milwaukee Water Commons
Invited testimony will begin at 12:15 pm and is expected to conclude at approximately 3:00 pm. Members of the public will have the opportunity to testify at the conclusion of the invited testimony.
 
Senate Committee on Utilities & Housing, Tue, Aug 13, 1 pm, 400-SE
SB-119 Housing Grants (Bernier, Kathy) Housing grants to homeless individuals and families and making an appropriation.
AB-123 Housing Grants (Snyder, Pat) Housing grants to homeless individuals and families and making an appropriation.
SB-120 Housing Navigator Grants (Bernier, Kathy) Housing navigator grants and making an appropriation.
AB-121 Housing Navigator Grants (Dittrich, Barbara) Housing navigator grants and making an appropriation.
SB-121 Housing Quality Standards Loans (Bernier, Kathy) Housing quality standards loans, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
AB-125 Housing Quality Standards Loans (Pronschinske, Treig) Housing quality standards loans, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.
SB-144 Housing Cost Grants (Olsen, Luther) Grants to defray housing costs and for diversion programming and making an appropriation.
AB-124 Housing Cost Grants (Plumer, Jon) Grants to defray housing costs and for diversion programming and making an appropriation.
 
Assembly Committee on Health , Wed, Aug 14, 10 am, 412-E
AB-304 Pharmacist Prescriptions (Kitchens, Joel) Permitting pharmacists to prescribe certain contraceptives, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and providing a penalty.
 
Senate Committee on Judiciary & Public Safety, 10 am , Wed, Aug 14, 411-S
SB-034 Certificates of Qualification (Darling, Alberta) Creating a procedure for granting certificates of qualification for employment for persons convicted of a crime and making an appropriation.
SB-049 Prostitution Prosecution (Darling, Alberta) Prosecuting a person under the age of 18 with committing an act of prostitution.
SB-316 Jailed Pregnant Person (Taylor, Lena) The treatment of a pregnant or postpartum person in prison and county jail.
 
Speaker's Task Force on Adoption, 2:00 pm, Wed, Aug 14, Vincent High School, Milwaukee
Invited testimony:
  • Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services
  • Kids Matter, Inc.
At the conclusion of the invited testimony, the Task Force will accept public testimony.
 
New Bills of Interest
SB-312 Handgun Waiting Period (Carpenter, Tim) Waiting period for purchase of handguns. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary & Public Safety AB-336  (Taylor, Chris)
 
SB-316 Jailed Pregnant Person (Taylor, Lena) The treatment of a pregnant or postpartum person in prison and county jail. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary & Public Safety
 
SB-324 MA Benefits Extension (Erpenbach, Jon) Extension of eligibility under the Medical Assistance program for post-partum women. Referred to Senate Committee on Insurance, Financial Services, Government Oversight, & Courts AB-346 (Kolste, Debra)
 
SB-326 Sexual Assault Bill of Rights (Jacque, Andre) Creating a sexual assault victim bill of rights. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary & Public Safety AB-352 (Brandtjen, Janel)
 
AB-337 Same Sex Marriage (Spreitzer, Mark) Marriage between persons of the same sex and extending parentage rights to married couples of the same sex. Referred to Assembly Family Law
Capitol Update is a periodic e-mail on legislative issues from the Wisconsin Catholic Conference.
 
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