Legislative Update: Governor Acts on 34 Bills in December

In December, Gov. Tony Evers (D) has taken action on 34 bills, signing 27 of them into law and vetoing seven others. The bills were presented to the governor automatically on December 2. During a two-year legislative session in Wisconsin, bills that have passed both houses of the Legislature are periodically sent to the governor on certain dates, if those bills were not already presented at the direction of legislative leaders.

The following day, December 3, Gov. Evers announced that he had signed Assembly Bill (AB) 314 into law as 2021 Wisconsin Act 92, requiring several state agencies to work collaboratively to increase the state’s exports of agricultural and agribusiness products. Later that same day, Gov. Evers announced that he had taken action on another 29 bills, signing 22 and vetoing seven.

Notably, the governor signed three bills related to reimbursement rates for pharmacy services, registration and practice of pharmacy technicians, and regulation of remote dispensing sites (SB 255/Act 98, SB 300/Act 100, SB 308/Act 101, respectively). Gov. Evers also signed SB 588, now Act 114, making mostly technical and administrative changes to laws administered by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, including provisions affecting accreditation, penalties, virtual meetings, and funding agreements.

Notable among the seven bills vetoed by the governor was SB 125, which would have created an individual income tax subtraction for tuition paid for apprenticeship programs. Gov. Evers also vetoed four bills related to restrictions and requirements for abortion procedures, a bill requiring school boards to make public certain information about learning materials and educational activities, and another requiring educational resources be provided to the parents of children with certain congenital conditions.

Early the following week, Gov. Evers made a series of announcements that he had signed the remaining four bills presented to him into law:

  • AB 297/Act 115: Creates a new crime and penalty for traffic violations resulting in bodily harm that occur in a road construction, utility work, or emergency response area and applies the doubling of fines for certain violations in road construction and utility work areas to emergency response areas. Read the governor’s press release here.
  • SB 71/Act 116 and SB 94/Act 117: According to the governor’s press release, the former bill establishes “a statutory procedure for collecting and submitting sexual assault kits to state crime laboratories for processing and retention” while the latter creates “a tracking system for survivors to access information about the status of their sexual assault kit.”
  • AB 218/Act 118: According to the governor’s press release, the bill “allows a credentialing board to delegate authority to the Department of Safety and Professional Services to make an immediate determination regarding whether an applicant meets the credential qualifications and to automatically grant, grant with limitations, or deny a credential in accordance with that determination.”

We previously covered key floor votes and committee actions of the Wisconsin Legislature from October and November in this article.