Legislative Update – November 6

WEAC ACTION ALERT! A bill to end Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave coverage would significantly harm Wisconsin families. Senate bill 490 would end the right to use paid sick leave while on family leave to care for a child after birth or adoption, and has many other negative impacts. The bill, which does not have a companion in the Assembly at this time, was referred to Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform. Read more, and then email the bill’s sponsors!

Here are some other bills WEAC is watching:

Character Education. SB-329/AB-419 would require professional development training in character education for teachers, principals, and school district administrators, was forwarded by the Senate Education Committee, and the Assembly version is currently in its Education Committee.

Competitive Bidding for School Districts. The Senate has voted in favor of  SB-236/AB 307, which would require a school board to advertise any project for construction, repair, remodeling or improvement of a public school building or public school facilities or for the furnishing of supplies or materials with an estimated cost greater than $50,000, and let the contract to the lowest responsible bidder. The bill would prohibit a school board from giving preference for where the bidder is located or using criteria other than the lowest responsible bidder. The competitive bidding bill has had a public hearing in the Assembly.

Drivers Education. An Assembly committee has forwarded AB540, requiring information on identifying and acting on suspicion of human trafficking in driver education courses. A fiscal estimate has been received for the companion bill, SB-444.

Financial Literacy in Schools. The Senate has passed SB-212/AB-280, which would require public schools to incorporate financial literacy into the curriculum. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards reports that school officials have worked with the authors and believe that most, if not all, districts already meet the criteria.  The bill is on the governor’s desk.

Prohibiting Discrimination. SB-328 adds gender identity or gender expression as a prohibited basis for
discrimination in employment, housing, and the equal enjoyment of a public place of accommodation or amusement; prohibits the UW System, the Technical College System, public elementary and secondary schools, and charter schools from discriminating against a student on the basis of the student’s gender identity or gender expression; and prohibits exclusion of a person from jury duty on the basis
of the person’s gender identity or gender expression.

Pupil Assessment Access. The Assembly Rules Committee moved forward on AB-488, which relates to access to pupil assessments that are required to be administered by school boards, operators of independent charter schools, and private schools participating in a parental choice program and repealing rules related to accessing pupil assessments.

Sanctuary Cities. The Senate Labor & Regulatory Reform forwarded SB-275, which would prohibit local ordinances, resolutions, and policies that prohibit the enforcement of federal or state law relating to illegal aliens or immigration status, authorizing certain elective officeholders to commence an enforcement action, providing a reduction in shared revenue payments, and creating governmental liability for damages caused by illegal aliens.

Supplemental Aid for Large-Area Districts. A bill to provide supplemental aid for school districts with a large area, AB-477, was passed by the Assembly.

Tuberculosis Screening. AB-382 / SB 382 was forwarded by the Assembly Rules Committee. The measure requires screening school district employees for tuberculosis. The Assembly will take up the bill Thursday.

Coming up:

  • The Wisconsin Economic Development Board will meet Wednesday to review the Foxconn contract in closed session.
  • The Assembly will meet Thursday. Among the items it will take up are AB-488, regarding access to pupil assessments that are required to be administered by school boards, operators of independent charter schools, and private schools participating in a parental choice program and repealing rules related to accessing pupil assessments.

Bills Circulating for Co-Sponsorship:

LRB-4670 would restore and improve on school district low revenue limits, something that was vetoed from the final budget. Read the memo.

WEAC continues to monitor legislative activity and the impact on educators and working families. Look for our updates and encourage your colleagues to sign up for them as well. Direct your questions to communications@weac.org.