Senate and Assembly Floor Sessions: November 7 (Education, Natural Resources, Death Reporting Standards)

Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature met November 7 to vote on bills, resolutions, and executive appointments. Visit the links for coverage of the November 9 and November 14 floor days.

Senate (floor calendar)

The Senate passed 16 bills and five resolutions. The Senate approved six bills recommended by the 2022 Study Committee on Uniform Death Reporting Standards and two bills constituting employment agreements between the state and the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association and the State Building Trades Negotiating Committee. Most bills were passed by a unanimous roll call or voice vote, except for SBs 98, 177, and 344 and AB 394, as noted below:

  • SB 97 Traffic Violations Penalties for certain traffic violations where highway maintenance workers are present and providing a penalty.
  • SB 98 Citizenship Verification Verifying citizenship of individuals on the official voter registration list and contents of operator’s licenses and identification cards. Passed, 21-10.
  • SB 173 Death records Providing additional information fields regarding occupation and substance use on death records.
  • SB 174 Electronic vital records Requiring use of the electronic system of vital records for medical certifications of death.
  • SB 175 Death certificate training Recommended training for persons who complete and sign medical certifications of death.
  • SB 176 Death investigations Requiring the Department of Health Services to establish and encourage best practices for coroners and medical examiners.
  • SB 177 Fatality Review Teams Fatality review teams and granting rule-making authority. Passed, 29-1.
  • SB 178 Death notification Requiring notification to the medical examiner or coroner of any death that occurs within 24 hours of presentment at or admission to certain facilities.
  • SB 223 Benjamin Neal Highway Designating and marking the Corporal Benjamin H. Neal Memorial Highway.
  • SB 280 Tribal Welcome Signs Tribal nation welcome signs.
  • SB 333 Sexual Misconduct Sexual misconduct against a pupil by a school staff member or volunteer and providing a penalty.
  • SB 344 Unborn Child Dependent Designating an unborn child as a dependent for income tax purposes and increasing the income tax exemption for a dependent. Passed, 20-11.
  • SB 554 WLEA Agreement Ratification of the agreement negotiated between the state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association, for the 2023-25 biennium, covering employees in the public safety collective bargaining unit, and authorizing an expenditure of funds.
  • SB 555 Building Trades Agreement Ratification of the agreement negotiated between the State of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Building Trades Negotiating Committee, for the 2023-24 fiscal year, covering employees in the building trades crafts collective bargaining unit, and authorizing an expenditure of funds.
  • AB 36 Sexual Assault Kits A time limit for processing sexual assault kits.
  • AB 394 Driver Ed Grants A driver education grant program. Passed, 29-2.

In addition to unanimously passing a resolution commemorating Victims of Communism Memorial Day, the Senate adopted four resolutions containing proposed constitutional amendments, each by a party-line vote.

SJR 54 would prohibit the state and any political subdivision from ordering the closure of or forbidding gatherings in places of worship in response to any national, state, or local state of emergency, including for public health reasons. This amendment must be approved again by the Legislature during the 2025-26 session before it can be presented to voters in a future election.

The three other resolutions, all relating to elections and voting, were subsequently passed by the Assembly on November 9, including two that will appear on statewide ballots next year. More details about those proposals are available in this article.

The Senate also voted unanimously to confirm 26 executive appointments to various state boards and commissions, including the boards that regulate physicians, nurses, physician assistants, naturopaths, chiropractors, and dentists, as well as they Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority.

Finally, the Senate rejected a motion to take up a Democrat-authored election reform bill.

Assembly (floor calendar)

The Assembly passed 19 bills and one resolution. The Assembly’s calendar primarily consisted of bills addressing higher education (the University of Wisconsin and state technical college systems) as well as various issues related to natural resource management and outdoor recreation.

The Assembly passed three bills that cleared the Senate earlier that day, including the two employment agreements and SB 280. Along with those three bills, the Assembly passed the following, all by voice vote or unanimous roll call unless otherwise noted:

  • AB 95 Local Office Eligibility Eligibility for local office following removal.
  • AB 370 UW Admission Guaranteed admission to University of Wisconsin System institutions and technical colleges and requiring high schools to prepare class rankings for certain pupils. Passed, 63-34.
  • AB 545 Technical College District Board Technical college district board membership.
  • AB 548 Wisconsin-Ireland Trade Commission Requiring the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to create the Wisconsin-Ireland Trade Commission.
  • AB 549 Tech College Grants Grants related to technical college manufacturing and truck driving programs and making an appropriation.
  • AB 550 Tech Ed Grants Technical education equipment grants, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and making an appropriation. Passed, 91-7.
  • AB 551 Freedom of Press Freedom of speech and of the press in school-sponsored media.
  • AB 553 UW Free Speech Free speech and academic freedom at University of Wisconsin System institutions and technical colleges, due process in disciplinary proceedings at University of Wisconsin System institutions and technical colleges, Wisconsin grant funding allocation, and causes of action against the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and technical college district boards. Passed, 62-36.
  • AB 554 Race-Based Programs Race-based higher education programs and requirements.Passed, 62-35.
  • SB 85 Lake District Email Notices Authorizing email for notice of public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district board business.
  • SB 105 Snowmobile Trail Signs Signs along snowmobile trails that advertise nearby businesses.
  • SB 140 Dam Removal Financial assistance limits for dam removal.
  • SB 159 Habitat Work Plan Department of Natural Resources habitat work plan.
  • SB 207 Wildlife Control Grants Eligibility for local wildlife control grants.
  • SB 208 Nuisance Wildlife Nuisance wildlife management at airports.
  • SB 239 ATV Maps Software, communications equipment, and maps for nonprofit organizations that promote the operation of all-terrain and utility terrain vehicles.

The Senate Bills (SB) listed above have passed both houses of the Legislature and can be presented to the governor for his signature or veto, except for SB 85, which was amended by the Assembly and returned to the Senate for further consideration.

The Assembly also approved the joint resolution, passed unanimously by the Senate the same day, commemorating Victims of Communism Memorial Day, by a vote of 95-4.

For more information about the 2023-24 legislative session in Wisconsin, see the following articles: