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Evers signs school bus driver, crime laws, and veto nine bills » Urban Milwaukee


Governor Tony Evers signs the 2023-25 ​​budget.  Evers signed 18 bills and vetoed 10 more on Friday, including measures he said violated local control and mishandled climate and workforce challenges.  Photo by Baylor Spears/Wisconsin Examiner.

Governor Tony Evers signs the 2023-25 ​​budget. Evers signed 18 bills and vetoed 10 more on Friday, including measures he said violated local control and mishandled climate and workforce challenges. Photo by Baylor Spears/Wisconsin Examiner.

governor. Tony Evers A bill signed into law at New Glarus Elementary School on Friday Adds the school bus driver List of volunteer positions a school board member may hold. Board members who hold an unpaid position will need to obtain school bus approval from Wisconsin Department of TransportationHold a valid commercial driver’s license and abstain from voting on issues that directly concern school bus drivers.

“Unfortunately, we know that districts of all sizes across our state are struggling to find drivers to take our children to school and to their games and extracurricular activities,” Governor Evers said at the signing ceremony, surrounded by school officials and community members. . “This legislation is critical to lowering barriers and helping expand the pool of available people who can fill these important roles.”

In addition to the school bus driver bill, Evers signed seven other bills and vetoed 10 other measures on Friday.

Bills Evers signed into law include: SP 7This increases access to epinephrine for people with severe allergic reactions. SP 66which sets the number of days a Seasonal Farm Service employee may hold a restricted commercial driver’s license, SB 157which increases funding for ambulance service providers; AB 131, which allows a wide range of people involved in agriculture to serve on a county land conservation commission; And AB 203which changes some requirements for renewing business and health credentials.

Controversial criminal justice process

Evers signed two criminal justice actions that drew heated testimony and protests from the public during the most recent legislative session. was one SB101which increases the penalty for reckless first-degree murder involving drugs from a Class C felony to a Class B felony.

The new law makes drug dealers and drug users alike eligible for prison sentences of up to 60 years if they are involved in a fatal overdose. While it was framed as a way to punish drug suppliers, the The Examiner reported earlier this year That measure has drawn criticism for its lack of protection for people who use drugs with others — including friends who seek help when someone overdoses.

Evers signed another criminal justice bill, AB 47 It expands the definition of a crime victim to include any family member of the victim under the age of 18 and adds notification requirements for parole or release of offenders. The new law also makes changes to the parole system. The subject of recent political controversyby requesting specific information about the actions of the state parole board to be published in Wisconsin Corrections section The website, including the guidance documents the commission uses when making parole decisions and the monthly and yearly totals for the number of people who have been on parole, who have been denied parole, and who are retiring in prison.

“Ensuring transparency, accountability, and appropriate support and notification to victims, survivors, and their families is absolutely vital to the success of the parole board and our criminal justice system as a whole,” Evers wrote in the signature letter.

‘Continuing efforts to preempt local control and undermine confidence in local governments’

With a series of vetoes on Friday, Evers rejected bills aimed at blocking restrictions on fossil fuel use as well as changes to Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance program and demands lawmakers sought to place on the agency responsible for occupational licensing.

energy resources

Evers has vetoed three bills passed by Republican lawmakers to protect the use of fossil fuels in automobiles, power generation, machinery and appliances. SP-49 It would have prevented state agencies and local governments from restricting or discriminating against utilities on the basis of energy source, and it would have similarly protected LNG retailers from government action on the basis of the “nature or source” of the service they provide.

ab-141 It would prevent state or local restrictions against the use or sale of appliances “based on the power source” they use, while AB-142 He would forbid restrictions on cars for the same reason. Supporters were killed Actions in other states place future restrictions on cars and devices that run on fossil fuels.

In all three of his veto letters, Evers criticized the legislation for impeding local and government initiatives to “transition away from fossil fuels or to constructively combat climate change.” He also criticized the legislature’s “continued efforts to preempt local control and undermine confidence in local governments throughout our state.”

Environmentalists applauded the veto. “As our state and nation faced a summer of record heat, flooding and dangerous air quality from wildfire smoke, it is impossible to ignore the reality of climate change,” he said. Eric KanterDirector of Government Relations Clean Wisconsin. “If Wisconsin communities want to do everything they can to reduce carbon emissions and lower air pollution, they must be allowed to do so without interference from the state legislature.”

Unemployment insurance

Evers vetoed four bills directed at Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance system:

  • AB-147adding new grounds for denying the unemployed from collecting unemployment, requiring the state to review at least half of all required job searches for UI recipients, and giving the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee veto power over future federal UI bonuses such as those made available In the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • ab-149penalizing UI recipients who decline a job offer or refuse or fail to show up for a job interview;
  • AB-150and rebranding and revamping the User Interface Program, including directing recipients to apply for job listings and requesting drug tests for people receiving User Interface benefits.
  • AB-152Wisconsin Orientation Department of Workforce Development How to deal with future increases in UI prompts as happened in the first year of the pandemic.

Evers also objected ab-151which will require all job training and placement programs and related programs to be evaluated across state agencies based on employment statistics and earnings of the programs’ alumni as well as other metrics.

In each of the five veto letters, Evers wrote, “I remain bewildered by the legislature’s misplaced focus on changing and restricting economic assistance programs while offering no other comprehensive solutions or plans to meaningfully address our state’s workforce challenges.” and support proposals he made that were stripped from his budget proposals.

Professional Licensing

Evers signed a bill related to the state’s professional licensing system while vetoing two other bills. All three bills have been directed to the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), which operates Wisconsin’s professional licensing program.

the bill he signed, ab-203Explains when credentials are considered to be renewed, what is required for a renewal application to be considered complete, and ensures that the license of a renewal applicant who has submitted a completed renewal application remains valid while the application is being processed.

Evers objected AB-200 And ab-201. AB-200 will require the DSPS to report statistics on license applications and renewals, and AB-201 will require the agency to publish application data on its website.

Both bills were introduced after more than a year of criticism, public hearings, and a Republican-led special study committee in the legislature criticizing DSPS for Backlog of license applications.

The agency, as well as Democrats in the legislature and some professional groups affected by the backlog, said the problem was due to a DSPS understaffing and the failure of Republican lawmakers to authorize more staff.

In both letters of rebuttal, Evers wrote, “I object to the Legislature imposing additional reporting requirements without providing the necessary resources for implementation, especially given that the Legislature is fully aware of the department’s immediate resource needs but has nonetheless refused to grant my request for additional information.” . Staffing and resources required to meet the current workload of the department.

Evers signs the School Bus Drivers Act, and vetoes bills related to energy, unemployment, and professional licensing Originally published by Wisconsin Examiner.


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