(WFRV) – Wisconsin lawmakers are busy Tuesday night as they consider bills that span the spectrum, from penalties for protesters and contracts for state troopers.
Wisconsin lawmakers agree to penalties for protesters
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would create tougher penalties for protesters.
The proposal would make witnessing a riot or blocking a street a misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months in prison and participating in a riot causing property damage or bodily harm a felony punishable by up to go up to three and a half years in prison.
The Senate and Assembly passed the measure on Tuesday and sent it to Governor Tony Evers. The assembly also approved a bill that would make it a crime to damage historically significant government property.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
Wisconsin Assembly Approves Vaccine Passport Ban, Waiver of Immunity
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans who control the Wisconsin Assembly have approved bills that would require employers to count prior coronavirus infection as an alternative to vaccinations and testing and ban vaccine passports.
Both measures would face a likely veto from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Last year, the governor vetoed a GOP bill that would have prohibited public health officials from requiring people to get vaccinated. Republican supporters argue that natural immunity is at least as effective as vaccination.
And supporters of banning passports for vaccines say they fear the federal government will force them. The Assembly approved the Vaccine Passport Bill by voice vote and the Immunity Bill by 59 votes to 34. Both bills are now heading to the Senate
Wisconsin Senate sends critical race theory ban to Evers
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin public schools would be banned from teaching students and training employees on concepts like systemic racism and implicit bias under a Republican bill the state Senate sent to Governor Tony Evers.
Democratic Evers will almost certainly veto the measure. The Senate passed it Tuesday 20-13, with all Democrats and Republican Sen. Howard Marklein against. The Assembly passed it in a party vote in September. Republicans do not have the votes to override Evers’ expected veto.
Wisconsin’s proposal follows a national trend of Republican-controlled legislatures seeking to counter some ideas they associate with “critical race theory.”
Lawmakers approve contracts for soldiers and construction trades
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers have signed new contracts for state troopers, carpenters, masons, electricians and plumbers.
Agreements for workers other than state troopers cover past and current fiscal years. They are calling for increases ranging from 1.23% to 1.8%. The University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW System have also negotiated agreements providing the same increases for their workers.
The soldier’s contract covers the previous two-year period that ended June 30, 2021. The Senate passed all contracts on Tuesday without debate.
The Assembly followed suit on Tuesday evening. The contracts then go to Governor Tony Evers, who is expected to sign them.
Only citizens could vote in Wisconsin under amendment
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate has passed a constitutional amendment that says only citizens can vote in elections.
The Republican-drafted amendment approved on Tuesday must also be passed by the Assembly this year and both houses of the Legislature in the next session before it is up to voters to decide. The governor does not have the power to veto constitutional amendments. The Wisconsin Constitution guarantees that every U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older is a qualified voter.
But it does not specifically say that only US citizens are qualified to vote in state or local elections. Republican supporters of the measure say the ambiguity must be corrected by a constitutional amendment.