Telehealth, Senate Denies Confirmation & Special Session

Legislature Approves Telehealth Medicaid Bill This week the State Senate and Assembly passed legislation to allow Medicaid providers to seek reimbursement for services provided via telehealth. Telehealth, sometime called telemedicine, is the delivery model in which technology is utilized for healthcare providers to remotely speak to, treat, and monitor patients. The passage of the bill … Read more

MU Poll, Gun Control Battle, & Health Committee Updates

Marquette University Law School Releases New Poll Results

On Wednesday, October 23, Marquette University Law School released its most recent poll results. The poll, which was conducted between October 13-17 among 799 Wisconsin voters, sought public opinion on a range of state and federal topics. The poll indicated good news for Democratic Governor Tony Evers and less optimistic results for Republican President Donald Trump.

Evers’ job approval remains relatively high at 52% with 34% disapproval. This number is down slightly from August, which then indicated a 54% job approval rating. However, the new number is within the margin of error. Additionally, 53% of respondents said the state is headed in the right direction.

Read moreMU Poll, Gun Control Battle, & Health Committee Updates

Senate and Assembly Voting, Cabinet Confirmations, & Special Election Problem

Senate and Assembly Back in Session

The State Senate and State Assembly were on the floor voting on a wide range of legislation this week. The activity marked the first floor days after the summer break. Both houses worked diligently throughout August and September in the committee process to prepare much of the legislation voted on this week. In total, the two houses took up over eighty bills and resolutions.

The State Senate was in session on Tuesday, October 8. Debate was generally uneventful with much of the legislation passing on bipartisan voice votes or unanimously. Among the highlights was a bill from Republican Senator Patrick Testin regarding industrial farming of hemp. Specifically, Senate Bill 188, aims to take the state’s current hemp cultivation pilot program to a permanent program. The bill’s authors cited the 2019 numbers that show over 1,400 growers and 700 hemp processors applied for permits from the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. The bill passed 30-2 with Republicans Steve Nass and Duey Stroebel voting in opposition.

The Senate also took up a piece of legislation known as the Lemonade Stand Bill, which seeks to legalize minors being able to sell certain non-hazardous foods. The legislation was introduced following some stories in Wisconsin and other states about children being cited by local law enforcement for operating food stands without permits. The bill, Senate Bill 170, passed on a unanimous voice vote.

Rep. Anderson
Rep. Anderson

The State Assembly convened on Thursday, October 10. Like much of the Senate calendar, many bills passed on simple bipartisan voice votes. However, the calendar included a somewhat controversial resolution that sought to change Assembly rules. The controversy stemmed from events last year in which Representative Jimmy Anderson (D – Fitchburg) sought changes to Assembly rules which would allow him to call into committee meetings. Anderson, a paraplegic, sought the rule change in order to participate in committee meetings while also tending issues related to his disability.

Read moreSenate and Assembly Voting, Cabinet Confirmations, & Special Election Problem

Congressional Bids & Medical Marijuana Bill in WI

Congressional bids for two open seats and a new medical marijuana bill are top September headlines in Wisconsin politics. State Senators Announce Congressional Bids Earlier this month, Congressman James Sensenbrenner announced he is not seeking reelection the the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020. A few weeks prior, Congressman Sean Duffy announced he would be … Read more

Legislature Passes 2019-2021 State Budget

This week, the State Legislature finished its deliberations on the state budget. On June 25, the State Assembly passed the comprehensive spending bill on a 60 to 39 vote with all Democrats and three Republicans voting in opposition. Debate on the bill lasted over 10 hours. The State Senate passed the bill yesterday, June 26, … Read more

Joint Committee on Finance Concludes Budget Work

Joint Committee on Finance Concludes Budget Work This afternoon, the Joint Committee on Finance completed its work on the 2019-2021 biennial state budget. The committee’s budget work began over three months following Governor Tony Evers’ budget address on February 28. The Joint Committee on Finance began its work in March by receiving testimony from state … Read more