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Legislative Session 2021
Photo by AP News

State legislature tackles nearly 30 bills


Story By Cooper Henckel
Published 06/10/2021 4:44PM
Madison - While the budget battle dominates headlines, a slew of legislation mostly from the state senate looks to shift how Wisconsin conducts its elections along with a few other controversial policies.

Just under 30 pieces of legislation moved through the chambers down in Madison Wednesday. The senate took the lead, putting forward over 20 different bills addressing a whole litany of topics:

ABSENTEE VOTING
Senate Bills 204, 205, 206, 209, and 211 all address different aspects of absentee voting in Wisconsin. 204 and 205 passed with the other three referred to committee or coming back around for a later vote.

204 establishing new requirements for getting an absentee ballot and requiring the Wisconsin Elections Commission to keep additional records.

205 adds additional requirements for absentee voting in long-term care facilities -- like making it a Class 1 felony for any employee to encourage residents to vote absentee or even request a ballot.

The WEC found only 27 of the 3.3 million ballots cast to be invalid. That's less than 1% of 1% of votes in 2021 (0.000818%).

The bills passed along partisan lines.

REVENUE SHARING
The senate also took up Senate Bill 119 which would take state funding away from any county or city that reduced spending on police, giving it to other counties that keep their spending up. Republicans also backed the measure, passing it along party lines.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Both the Assembly and the Senate addressed Unemployment Insurance in Wisconsin, Senate Bill 354 and Assembly Bill 336. Legislators again voted along party lines, cutting the additional $300 federal dollars for people on unemployment.

FEDERAL FIREARM ENFORCEMENT
The assembly looked at Assembly Bill 293 which addresses the enforcement of federal ammunition and firearm laws. More specifically, ways to avoid doing it.

Stamping "Made in Wisconsin" and claiming federal laws won't apply so long as the weapon doesn't leave the state, Republicans voted to make following federal laws a crime and preventing any agency from investigating or confiscating firearms legal in Wisconsin but not legal under federal law.

Governor Evers is expected to veto all these bills. 
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