Assembly Republicans Offer COVID-19 Proposal

By John Forester | December 1, 2020

From The Wheeler Report . . .

Assembly Speaker Vos and the Assembly Republicans announced a package to address the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the release, the package includes:

The proposal also includes statutory changes to affect the distribution of certain COVID-19 vaccines.

Vos said, “Wisconsin needs a comprehensive response and Assembly Republicans are ready to act before the end of the year.”

LFB Memo.

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Nygren Resigning From the Legislature

By John Forester | December 1, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

Joint Finance Co-chair John Nygren, R-Marinette, announced today he is resigning from the Legislature effective tomorrow to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.

See the release here.

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COVID-19 Precipitates Changes to GED Testing and Credentialing

By John Forester | December 1, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the Strang Patteson Law Firm focuses on how the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred changes in GED testing and credentialing.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the Strang Patteson Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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LeMahieu Rounds Out Senate GOP Finance Team

By John Forester | December 1, 2020

From WisPolitics.com . . .

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu today rounded out his Finance Committee team, appointing Sen. Duey Stroebel vice-chair and adding four new members.

LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, previously announced Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, will serve as chair for the 2021-22 session. He and Strobel will be the only holdovers from the current session.

The other members will be:

Ballweg and Felzkowski will both be new to the Senate after winning open seats in the November election. Felzkowski and Kooyenga previously served on the committee while in the Assembly.

The appointments end a more than two-decade run for Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, on the committee. She was first appointed to the budget committee in 1999 and served as co-chair a record-tying six times, including the 2019-20 session.

She ran earlier this month for Senate president as a team with Sen. Roger Roth, who ran for majority leader. But after LeMahieu was selected majority leader, she withdrew her name from consideration for the leadership post.

Her 11 terms on the committee tie her for most time served since Finance was created in 1911.

Sen. Walter Hollander, R-Rosendale, also co-chaired the committee for six terms starting in 1963. Meanwhile, Rep. George Molinaro, D-Kenosha, also served 11 terms over a period that began in 1951 and ended in 1976.

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State Superintendent Candidate Survey Responses

By John Forester | December 1, 2020

As you know on November 5, 2020, the SAA asked the candidates for State Superintendent to respond in writing to questions on current education issues impacting Wisconsin public schools and public school children.

We have received responses from five of the six announced candidates.  In follow-up efforts with the sixth candidate, we ascertained that our initial email request was picked off by his campaign’s spam filter.  We anticipate completion of his survey responses later this week.

The candidate responses are linked below:

Sheila Briggs

Troy Gunderson

Deborah Kerr

Steve Krull

Jill Underly

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School District Grievance Procedure Provisions to Immediately Review

By John Forester | November 30, 2020

From the Legal Side…

As a follow-up to its November 20th Legal Update on “workplace safety” grievances, the von Briesen & Roper Law Firm, in its most recent Legal Update, focuses on which district grievance procedure provisions deserve immediate attention to best prepare for a potential grievance.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the von Briesen & Roper Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Evers Announces New Public Health Emergency

By John Forester | November 20, 2020

From The Wheeler Report . . .

Governor Evers announced earlier this week his intention to extend the public health emergency in Wisconsin.  Today he signed Executive Order #95 declaring a new public health emergency. The current health emergency expires on Saturday, this new public health emergency takes effect immediately and will last for 60 days (January 19, 2021) unless the Governor ends it, the Legislature comes in and votes to end it, or a lawsuit currently pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court says Evers doesn’t have the authority.

 In addition to announcing a new public health emergency, Evers signed a statewide mask order. The order stays in place until January 19, 2021.

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DOA Projects $1.2 Billion Ending Balance for this Fiscal Year, Growing Revenues for Next Budget

By John Forester | November 20, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

The Evers administration today projected the state will finish the current budget with a gross balance of $1.2 billion.

It also projected the state will take in $1.35 billion in new revenue for the 2021-23 budget. But even with a healthy balance to finish this budget and that new revenue growth, the state faces a $1.2 billion deficit if every agency request is approved.

DOA Secretary Joel Brennan noted in a letter to Gov. Tony Evers and Legislature today that “as typically occurs, it is unlikely all budget requests from state agencies included in this report will be recommended by the Governor in his budget.”

See the report here.

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It’s Called a “Workplace Safety” Grievance, But What is This Really About?

By John Forester | November 20, 2020

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the von Briesen & Roper Law Firm  focuses on the recent rash of workplace safety grievances filed by district employees or union leadership in many Wisconsin school districts.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of the von Briesen & Roper Law Firm.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Evers to Extend Mask Mandate Into Mid-January

By John Forester | November 18, 2020

From WisPolitics.com …

Gov. Tony Evers announced today he will issue a new public health declaration and extend his mask mandate into mid-January.

The current order and requirement for face coverings are being challenged by a Waukesha businessman, and the state Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Monday.

Those orders expire Saturday.

“It’s clear based on where we’re headed, we can’t afford to stop or have a gap in some of the only mitigation efforts we have in place,” Evers said on a conference call today.

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