Walker: “Appropriate” to Have Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons

By John Forester | June 1, 2017

Governor Scott Walker on Thursday indicated support for continuing to require Wisconsin residents to obtain licenses to carry hidden weapons.  Check out the Wisconsin State Journal news story by Molly Beck.

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DPI Announces Public Listening Sessions on ESSA Plan

By John Forester | June 1, 2017

Parents; teachers; other educators, school administrators, and board members; business and civic officials; and all citizens will have an opportunity to learn about and comment on Wisconsin’s draft plan to implement federal education law during a series of listening sessions in June.

Additional information (including hearing dates, locations and times) is available in the DPI news release here.

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SAA Testifies on SB 187

By John Forester | May 31, 2017

The SAA delivered testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 187, relating to providing information about school district referendum revenue, at a public hearing conducted yesterday by the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government.

Please note, the SAA testimony packet includes a memo from Allison Buchanan of Quarles & Brady as well as information provided by Brian Brewer of Robert W. Baird & Company on bond authorizations and debt levies from 1995-2017.  Many thanks to Allison and Brian for their assistance and support.

The bill’s author, Senator Kapenga, has already modified the bill significantly in the form of Senate Substitute Amendment 1.  The SAA is currently analyzing SSA1.

 

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SAA Submits Statement on Gun Bill

By John Forester | May 31, 2017

The SAA submitted a statement in opposition to Senate Bill 169 today at a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.  SB 169 would expand the ability to possess firearms on school grounds and school zones and would reduce the penalties for bringing firearms into school settings.

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Editorial: Conceal Carry Bill Fails To Make State Safer

By John Forester | May 31, 2017

Yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an editorial in opposition to SB 169.  See the editorial here.

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Transgender Student Wins Appeal in Final Week of School

By John Forester | May 31, 2017

A federal appeals court says a transgender student who identifies as a male should be able to use the boys’ bathroom at his Wisconsin high school.  Check out the AP news story here.

See also Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Coverage here.

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JFC Will Not Take Up K-12 This Week

By John Forester | May 30, 2017

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will meet in Executive Session on Wednesday (May 31st) this week.  The JFC will take up the budgets of the state agencies listed below.  Maybe next week for K-12.  Stay tuned.

Appropriation Obligation Bonds.

Corrections – Parole Commission

Supreme Court

District Attorneys

Investment Board

DOA – Information Technology

DOA – Procurement

DOA – Housing

DWD – Departmentwide

DWD – Employment and Training

DWD – Other Programs

Tourism

WHEDA

Fox River Navigational System Authority

DNR – Departmentwide

DNR – Forestry, Parks and Recreation

Board of Commissioners of Public Lands

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Gun Bill Draws Mixed Reviews

By John Forester | May 30, 2017

With the bill (SB 169) that would repeal the state’s gun-free school zone law up for hearing tomorrow, a news story in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel claims the bill has drawn mixed reviews from school districts.  The article features several Milwaukee suburban districts opposing the bill while the New Berlin school board supports the bill.

Check out the article here.

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Hearing Scheduled on Bill Repealing Gun-Free School Zone Law

By John Forester | May 25, 2017

The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety will hold a public hearing on the controversial Senate Bill 169, authored by Senator David Craig (R-Town of Vernon), at 9:30am on Wednesday May 31st in Room 411 South, State Capitol. Among other things the bill eliminates the prohibition against carrying a firearm on school grounds, but retains current law allowing schools and others to post buildings and grounds.

The SAA opposes SB 169.  The bill would broaden the ability to possess firearms on school grounds and school zones and would reduce the penalties for bringing firearms into school settings.

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First Referendum Bill Scheduled For Hearing

By John Forester | May 23, 2017

Just as I predicted to colleagues, the first of the six referendum bills has been scheduled for public hearing at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 30th – the same week that the Joint Finance Committee is likely to take up the K-12 education portion of the State Budget Bill.

SB 187 would affect an operational/revenue limit referendum resolution and ballot question if a district intends to use some of the operational referendum authority to issue debt.  It is my understanding that only a relative small number of districts have used operational referendum authority for debt issuance.  This bill would require the school board to include in the resolution and in the referendum question the total amount of debt to be issued, the total amount of interest and related debt service costs to be incurred, and the sum of the principal, interest, and related debt service costs.

If this bill were to pass, it would potentially be both difficult and confusing to have debt/financial information, interest and debt issuance cost information in the operational/revenue limit referendum resolution and on the ballot.

The SAA is currently preparing its testimony for the public hearing.

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