Bill Tracking 2020-01-17T16:37:35+00:00

WEDA Legislative Tracker

The 2019-20 WEDA Legislative Bill Tracker lists and allows members to follow and learn more about the bills WEDA is lobbying on and monitoring as they work through the legislative process. The WEDA Bill Tracker includes the bill number, a brief description of the bill, its status and WEDA’s position on the proposal.


  • Bill Number:  Assembly Bill 4 / Senate Bill 18
  • Bill Description:  Expands the sliding scale standard deduction to reduce state income taxes for middle-class taxpayers. Individuals making up to $100,000 and families earing up to $150,000 would be eligible for the tax cut. The bill’s proposed tax reduction is paid for using the state’s current revenue surplus, and not by reducing or eliminating the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit.
    Bill Status: Assembly Bill 4 passed both the Assembly the Senate. Gov. Evers vetoed the legislationThe tax cut proposed by the legislation was included and passed as part of the 2019-21 state budget bill (AB 56/Act9).
  • WEDA Position:  SUPPORT

  • Bill Number:  Assembly Bill 23 / Senate Bill 16
  • Bill Description:  Increases funding for the Career and Technical Education Incentive Grant program by $3.5 million per year over the 2019-21 biennium. The bill essentially doubles funding for the program over the next two years. The CTE grant program provides financial support to school districts that provide educational opportunities for student to earn industry recognized certifications in high-demand professions
  • Bill Status:  AB 23 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Workforce Development Committee and received a public hearing on 03/06/19. The Senate Economic Development, Commerce and Trade Committee held a public hearing on SB 16 02/13/19 and passed the legislation through committee on a 5-0 vote on 03/27/19.
    The funding proposed by the legislation was included and passed as part of the 2019-21 state budget bill (AB 56/Act9).
  • WEDA Position:  SUPPORT

  • Bill Number:  Assembly Bill 33 / Senate Bill 39
  • Bill Description:  Provides comprehensive expungement reform to help strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce. The bill proposal would:
    • Eliminate the state mandate on judges to grant/deny expungement at the time of sentencing.
    • Eliminate the current requirement that expungement can only be granted for crimes committed before the age of 25.
    • Specify that an expunged crime cannot be considered a conviction for employment purposes.
    • Clarify that only low-level offenders are eligible for expungement.
  • Bill Status: AB 33 was passed by the Assembly on 05/15/19 and was sent to the Senate for further consideration. The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee held a public hearing on SB 39 on 03/19/19 and passed the bill through committee on a 4-1 vote on 04/02/19.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 38 / Senate Bill 42
  • Bill Description: Eliminates current law barriers the UW System faces when entrepreneurs and faculty attempt to create businesses with patents and spin-off opportunities produced by the university’s research. The bill modifies the UW System’s conflict of interest regulation, putting the System on an even playing field with other universities across the country.
  • Bill Status: AB 38 was passed by the full Assembly and Senate and signed into law by the Governor as 2019 WI Act 36.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 45 / Senate Bill 45
  • Bill Description: Creates an income tax deduction for tuition expenses paid – by an individual or corporation – for an individual to participate in an apprenticeship program approved by the Department of Workforce Development.
  • Bill Status: The Assembly Workforce Development Committee held a public hearing on AB 45 on 11/16/19 and passed the bill through committee on 01/14/20. SB 45 was referred to the Senate Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions Committee and received a public hearing on 10/10/19.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 57 / Senate Bill 88
  • Bill Description: Provides additional funding for the Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program and implements changes to strengthen the bridge between the Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program and the Registered Apprenticeship program, including:
    • Increases funding for YA programs by $2.76 million in the current fiscal year.
    • Increases the individual YA grant award from $900 to $1,000 per student.
    • Provides $100,000 over the 2019-2021 biennium for YA curricula development.
    • Requires DWD to set standards for the transfer of YA credits to the Registered Apprenticeship program.
  • Bill Status: AB 57 was referred to the Assembly Workforce Development Committee and received a public hearing on 03/06/19. The Senate Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Committee held a public hearing on SB 88 on 03/20/19 and passed the legislation on a 5-0 vote on 05/06/19. The additional YA funding proposed by the legislation was included and passed as part of the 2019-21 state budget bill (AB 56/Act9).
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 66 / Senate Bill 82
  • Bill Description: Creates a grant program administered by the Wisconsin Arts Board to provide grant funding to businesses and other organizations to grow creative industries in Wisconsin.
  • Bill Status: The Assembly Community Development Committee held a public hearing on AB 66 on 03/12/19 and passed the legislation on a 7-2 vote on 04/16/19. SB 82 was introduced and referred to the Senate Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Committee.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 72 / Senate Bill 72
  • Bill Description: Under current law, DWD must approve a list of occupational areas related to youth apprenticeships, but the Department is not required to provide youth apprenticeship programming in each area. DWD currently sanctions 11 of 16 identified occupational areas for youth apprenticeship programs. AB 72 / SB 72 would require DWD to approve and maintain youth apprenticeship programs in all 16 specific occupational areas.
  • Bill Status: The Assembly Workforce Development Committee held a public hearing on AB 72 on 09/24/19 and passed the bill through committee on 01/14/20. SB 72 was passed by the full Senate on a 19-14 vote on 11/05/19.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 113 / Senate Bill 91
  • Bill Description: Would streamline Wisconsin’s water pollution credit-trading system by creating a third-party clearinghouse to create a marketplace for water pollution credit trades between point sources and non-point sources. Credits would be produced by non-point polluters that have taken steps to reduce their non-toxic pollutants. The production and purchase of credits must result in an improvement in water quality of a minimum ratio of 1.2:1. Also, trades must exchange the same pollutant or the same water quality standard and would have to occur within the same hydrologic area.
  • Bill Status: The Assembly Local Government Development Committee held a public hearing on 06/19/19 and passed the bill on 10/16/19. SB 91 was passed by the full Senate on a 32-0 vote on 05/15/19 and was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 146 / Senate Bill 130
  • Bill Description: Would close Wisconsin’s dark store loophole by requiring assessors to consider certain factors when comparing properties to determine the value of a property for tax purposes. The bill provides that an active property being assessed cannot be compared to a property that is vacant, or if restrictions have been placed on the highest and best use of the comparable property. In addition, the bill clarifies that assessors may consider actual lease amounts when valuing property.
  • Bill Status: AB 146 was introduced and referred to the Assembly State Affairs Committee. SB 130 was introduced and referred to the Senate Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions Committee.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 174 / Senate Bill 181
  • Bill Description: Provides financial incentives to out-of-state students that attend Wisconsin public universities and colleges if they stay and work in Wisconsin after graduation. Eligible individuals would receive 50% of the difference between in-state tuition and what they paid in out-of-state tuition.
  • Bill Status: AB 174 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Jobs and the Economy Committee. SB 181 was introduced and referred to the Senate Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families Committee.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 189 / Senate Bill 165
  • Bill Description: Provides Wisconsin Technical College System and UW-System students with more courses that are guaranteed to transfer between schools. Currently, there are 600 articulation agreements between UW institutions and the WTCS. The legislation streamlines the current “transfer agreement” system that exists between colleges. More specifically, it requires the total number of course credits that are transferable from 30 credits under current law to 75 credits.  The bill would require the UW System and WTCS to ensure the transferability of additional credits as follows: Total number of transferable credits may not be fewer than 75 credits in the 2020-21 academic year. Number of transferable credits must increase by nine in each subsequent academic year. Policies to periodically identify courses with transferable credits must be established. Procedures for future revisions must be implemented.
  • Bill Status: AB 189 was passed by the full Assembly and Senate and signed into law by the Governor as 2019 WI Act 46.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 343 / Senate Bill 319
  • Bill Description: Restores the Department of Transportation’s authority under the Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grant program to award grant funding for transportation improvement projects that help retain jobs in Wisconisn (and not just for newly created jobs).
  • Bill Status: SB 319 was passed by the full Assembly and Senate and signed into law by the Governor as 2019 WI Act 63.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 344 / Senate Bill 321
  • Bill Description: Repeals the telephone company tax (i.e., personal property tax) on infrastructure used to provide internet service in rural and underserved areas to help lower the cost of the physical infrastructure for service providers and incentivize rural broadband expansion. To qualify for the exemption, installed property must be used to provide Internet access at a speed of at 25Mbps/3Mbps or as designated by the FCC. Under the bill:
    • “Underserved area” is any area served by fewer than two wired service providers.
    • “Rural area” is any area located outside a federal metropolitan statistical area or is in a city, village, or town with a population of less than 14,000.
  • Bill Status: AB 344 was passed by the full Assembly on 11/12/19 and sent to the Senate for further consideration. The Senate Utilities and Housing Committee held a public hearing on SB 321 on 12/11/19 and passed the bill through committee on a 5-0 vote on 12/19/20.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 517 / Senate Bill 470
  • Bill Description: Provides a total of $15 million to cover Wisconsin’s share of the Soo Locks improvement project. The Federal government plans to funs and construct a new Soo Lock chamber to prevent possible failures of the existing chambers and to improve the existing chambers. Other Great Lakes states have provided matching funds, and this bill would provide Wisconsin’s share of the match. Under the legislation, state funds will be released only if the Federal government funds the project.
  • Bill Status: AB 517 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee. SB 470 was referred to the Senate Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations Committee and received a public hearing on 10/24/19.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 532 / Senate Bill 440
  • Bill Description: Doubles the Opportunity Zones capital gains tax reduction at the state level for investors who invest in Wisconsin Qualified Opportunity Funds – which are required to hold at least 90% of their assets in Wisconsin Opportunity Zone projects. Under the bill, investors would receive a 20% state capital gains tax reduction if they hold an investment in a Wisconsin Qualified Opportunity Fund for at least five years, and a 30% reduction after seven years.
  • Bill Status: AB 532 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. SB 440 was introduced and referred to the Senate Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions Committee.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 536 / Senate Bill 481
  • Bill Description: Creates an annual $1.25 million scholarship program for adult, non-traditional students to attain a higher education or obtain a new skill. Individual grants under the bill are limited to 50% of the total tuition and fees charged by an academic institution.  The bill defines a non-traditional student as an individual who: 1.) Is at least 25 years old; 2.) Does not hold a post-secondary credential; and 3.) Intends to enroll in a technical college, UW-System school, or a tribal college or private nonprofit institution of higher education. To be eligible for the grant, the individual must also: 1.) Be Pell Grant eligible; 2.) Have completed the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid; 3.) Be considered an independent student for purposes of federal financial aid; and 4.) Be a resident of Wisconsin.
  • Bill Status: AB 536 was referred to the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee and received a public hearing on 12/12/19. SB 481 was introduced and referred to the Senate Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families Committee.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 538 / Senate Bill 483
  • Bill Description: Permits two or more municipalities to create a single Multijurisdictional Business Improvement District (MJBID), if the following conditions are met:
    • The district’s borders contain contiguous territory in all the municipalities that are party to the agreement creating the MJBID.
    • The MJBID is governed by a single board whose members are appointed by the chief executive officers of each of the municipalities that are part of a MJBID.
    • Actions taken by the board that require local legislative body approval must be approved by all the relevant local legislative bodies.  
    • Every municipality part of the MJBID must impose, collect, and deposit all special assessments that relate to properties that are located within its own jurisdiction.
    • Every municipality part of the MJBID must provide required notices to all property owners whose property is located within its own jurisdiction.
  • Bill Status: AB 538 was referred to the Assembly Jobs and the Economy Committee and received a public hearing on 01/15/20. SB 483 was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Development, Commerce and Trade Committee.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT
  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 544 / Senate Bill 484
  • Bill Description: The bill as amended would create a two-year, $10       million workforce housing pilot program administered by WHEDA to encourage the creation of single-family and multi-family workforce housing in rural Wisconsin counties. Under the program, WHEDA will  award grants, loans, loan guarantees, or other forms of financial        assistance to up to three communities in rural counties.
  • Bill Status: The Assembly Housing and Real Estate Committee held a public hearing on 10/24/19 and passed the bill (as amended by ASA 1) through committee on a 9-0 vote on 01/07/20. SB 484 was introduced and referred to the Senate Utilities and Housing Committee.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT (as amended by ASA 1 and SSA 1)

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 620 / Senate Bill 561
  • Bill Description: Current law exempts certain machinery NOT used in manufacturing from the personal property tax. To hold municipalities and other taxing jurisdictions harmless, current law also provides them with state aid payments to compensate for the loss of property tax revenue. However, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue interprets current law to mean state aid payments made to a TIF district terminate when the TIF district closes. This bill clarifies that after the termination of a TIF district, state aid payments are shifted to the other taxing jurisdictions.
  • Bill Status: AB 620 was referred to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and received a public hearing on 12/19/19. SB 561 was referred to the Senate Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection Committee and received a public hearing on 01/14/20.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 623 / Senate Bill 560
  • Bill Description: Limits the amount of cash grants to 20% of a Tax Incremental District’s total project costs. The cap would not apply if the development agreement specifies that the developer will finance the cost of public infrastructure improvements in the TID and will be reimbursed through cash grants. The bill also requires TIF project plans adopted by the governing Joint Review Board (JRB) to include alternative economic projections to highlight the potential financial scenarios in the event of more modest economic growth. It also clarifies that a majority vote of the 5 member JRB is 3 affirmative votes and requires a unanimous JRB vote for the following:
    • Project plan amendments to expand the territory of the TID.
    • Project plan amendments to keep the TID open longer than authorized under the current approved project plan.
  • Bill Status: AB 620 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. SB 561 was introduced and referred to the Senate Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection Committee.
  • WEDA Position: OPPOSE

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 674 / Senate Bill 585
  • Bill Description: Under current law, veterans are eligible for a fee waiver for professional licenses and certifications provided by the state.  This legislation expands eligibility to include the spouse of any veteran included in the current program.
  • Bill Status: AB 674 was referred to the Assembly Regulatory Licensing Reform Committee and received a public hearing on 01/08/20. SB 585 was referred to the Senate Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations Committee and received a public hearing on 01/15/20.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT
  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 731 / Senate Bill 654
  • Bill Description: Enables service members, veterans, and the spouses of service members/veterans who move to Wisconsin to obtain reciprocal credentials to practice a profession that is licensed by the state.  To obtain a reciprocal credential under the bill, a person must hold an equivalent credential in another state.
  • Bill Status: AB 731 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Regulatory Licensing Reform Committee. SB 654 was referred to the Senate Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations Committee and received a public hearing on 01/15/20.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT
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