UPDATE: Wisconsin GOP-led Legislature approves election law changes

Local News

TUESDAY, 5/11/2021 6:11 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has approved bills that would make it more difficult to vote absentee.

The proposals passed Tuesday were all but certain to be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, but GOP lawmakers say they are needed to address issues that arose during last year’s presidential election. The measures are part of a national push by Republicans to change voting laws following former President Donald Trump’s defeat in November and his unfounded claims that there was widespread fraud and abuse.

Wisconsin Democrats say Republicans are perpetuating a lie. Republicans say they’re trying to restore confidence in elections.

UPDATE: Wisconsin Assembly passes police reform, national anthem bills

TUESDAY, 5/11/2021 5:18 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Senate has begun passing bills in the Assembly Tuesday afternoon. Here’s a rundown of what has currently passed:

Wisconsin Assembly approves raising voucher school income

Wisconsin families who want to send their children to a private school using a voucher paid for by taxpayers would increase to three times the federal poverty level under a Republican-backed bill the state Assembly has passed.

Conservative supporters say the change is needed given the increasing interest in sending students to private schools during the pandemic, which has led many public schools to reduce in-person classes. The change is opposed by the statewide teachers union and groups representing public school administrators, school boards and rural schools.

The measure would loosen income cutoffs for the statewide voucher program, bringing them into line with the Milwaukee and Racine voucher programs.

Wisconsin Assembly calls on Evers to send help to border

The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a Republican-sponsored resolution calling on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to send aid and support to help secure the Mexico border and enforce immigration laws.

The resolution approved Tuesday comes from a pair of Republican legislative leaders who recently visited the border in south Texas. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke and President Pro Tempore Tyler August say the issue there is a national crisis that demands Wisconsin take action, even though the state is more than 1,300 miles from the border.

The resolution is non-binding, meaning Evers is not required to take any action.

Wisconsin Senate passes first police reform bills

The Wisconsin Senate has passed the first police reform bills in the state since George Floyd died last year.

The Senate voted Tuesday on measures that would create a $600,000 grant program for police; require police to post use-of-force policies online; require the state Justice Department to gather more data on use-of-force incidents and produce an annual report; require police to share personnel files during the hiring process, and require Milwaukee and Madison’s police oversight commissions to add union nominees.

The legislation now goes to the Assembly. The bills are non-controversial but their main sponsors, Republican Van Wanggaard and Democrat Lena Taylor, say they’re a start toward accountability. They say other bills are coming, including a ban on choke holds.

National anthem would be required under Wisconsin bill

The national anthem would have to be played before all sporting events held at Wisconsin venues that received any public funding under a mostly symbolic bill passed by the state Assembly.

The Assembly passed the proposal on a bipartisan 74-22 vote Tuesday. The measure now heads to the Senate. Democrats derided it as a political stunt that was unworkable.

The requirement would apply at all levels of athletic events played on a field that ever received public money, from a bar league softball game at the local park to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Original Story: Wisconsin Assembly to vote on national anthem, sending help to the border, others

TUESDAY, 5/11/2020 8:12 a.m.

(WFRV) – The Wisconsin Assembly is set to vote on multiple laws ranging from requiring the national anthem to be played, to raising voucher school income.

Below are the topics that the Wisconsin Assembly will vote on:

National anthem required to be played before all sporting events held at Wisconsin venues that received any public funding

The national anthem would have to be played before all sporting events held at Wisconsin venues that received any public funding under a bill up for a vote Tuesday in the state Assembly. The sweeping proposal received bipartisan support in committee, even as a group representing parks and recreation areas across the state questioned whether it was an unmanageable mandate.

The requirement would apply at all levels of athletic events played on a field that ever received public money, from a bar league softball game at the local park to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Raising voucher school income

Wisconsin families who want to send their children to a private school using a voucher paid for by taxpayers would increase to three times the federal poverty level under a Republican-backed bill the state Assembly is scheduled to pass.

Conservative supporters say the change is needed given the increasing interest in sending students to private schools during the pandemic, which has led many public schools to reduce in-person classes. The change is opposed by the statewide teachers union and groups representing public school administrators, school boards and rural schools.

The measure would loosen income cutoffs for the statewide voucher program, bringing them into line with the Milwaukee and Racine voucher programs.

Calling a Constitutional convention

The Wisconsin Assembly plans to vote on a resolution calling for a convention of the states to consider making changes to the U.S. Constitution, an effort backed by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.

The full Legislature in 2017 passed a resolution that allowed for calling a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment. The latest proposal up for a vote Tuesday is more expansive.

It allows for the convention to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the federal government’s powers and impose term limits for members of Congress and other federal officials. Democrats and other opponents argue that calling a constitutional convention could get out of control.

Sending help to the border

The Wisconsin Assembly is scheduled to vote on a Republican-sponsored resolution calling on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to send aid and support to help secure the Mexico border and enforce immigration laws.

The resolution up Tuesday comes from a pair of Republican legislative leaders who recently visited the border in south Texas. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke and President Pro Tempore Tyler August say the issue there is a national crisis that demands Wisconsin take action, even though the state is more than 1,300 miles from the border.

The resolution is non-binding, meaning that even if it passes Evers would not be required to take any action.

Local 5 will update this story with the voting results.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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