- Associated Press - Thursday, March 13, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - As the Legislature nears the end of its work for the year, numerous bills remain in limbo or unlikely to pass. Proposals to rewrite Common Core academic standards, increase reporting of private schools in the voucher program and limit regulations on sand mining in Wisconsin are in jeopardy, along with bills on the following issues:

- Abortions: Bills to prohibit abortions because of the gender of the fetus and to ban abortions from being covered under public-employee health care plans passed the Assembly but stalled in the Senate.

- Cancer drugs: Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said there are enough votes in the Senate to pass a bill designed to make oral chemotherapy drugs more affordable, but he won’t schedule a vote because a majority of Republicans are opposed. Fitzgerald said discussions are continuing on finding a version that would pass.

- Speed limit: Raising the speed limit on Wisconsin’s interstates to 70 mph passed the Assembly, but Fitzgerald has said it doesn’t have the votes to clear the Senate.

- DNA: When DNA is collected upon arrest for people suspected of a felony, it would immediately be sent to the state crime lab instead of kept by local law enforcement, under a bill passed by the Senate. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said that change from current law, which takes effect next year, “could be problematic.”

- High capacity wells: A proposal to limit the state Department of Natural Resources’ ability to regulate high-capacity wells used by large farms and food processors appears to be dead as legislative leaders have said they may not have the votes to pass it. Republicans introduced the bill to restrict the DNR’s scope in the wake of a 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that broadened its authority. Environmental groups and lake property owners want tighter rules, arguing that high-capacity wells are sucking small central Wisconsin streams and lakes dry.

- Early voting limitations: A bill blocking in-person absentee voting on weekends or past 7 p.m. in the two weeks leading up to an election passed the Senate, but Vos said he hadn’t reviewed changes the Senate made. If the Assembly takes it up, it would be on the last day of the session.

- Campaign donations: Doubling allowable campaign donations passed the Assembly but doesn’t appear to have enough support in the Senate. Meanwhile, the Senate passed a bill allowing lobbyists to start making campaign donations seven weeks earlier in election years than is allowed now, but it’s unclear whether it has the votes in the Assembly.

- Police custody deaths: Police departments would have to enlist outside investigators to look into officer-involved deaths under a bill passed by the Assembly, but that has yet to clear the Senate.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide