Urgent Action Alerts
Tomorrow (Tuesday, October 13), the legislature will hold hearings on a number of pieces of legislation that the League strongly opposes. We ask that you contact your state legislators NOW and urge them to vote NO on these bills.
For contact information for your legislators, go to http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ and enter your address near the map of Wisconsin under the heading Find My Legislators.
Civil service bill SB 285/AB 373 – It has already had a hearing. In 1905 Wisconsin rejected patronage as the basis on which hiring and firing should be determined for state employees. The Wisconsin LWV has strong positions in favor of merit recruitment and selection for state employees who implement programs, investigate complaints, and/or manage employees. This bill would gut the essential structure of Wisconsin’s civil service.
CALL TO ACTION: Contact your state senator and assembly representative and tell them to oppose SB 285/AB 373, which would return Wisconsin to the discredited system of patronage hiring and firing for state employees.
GAB bill SB 294/AB 388 – This bill would undo everything League supported in the creation of the Government Accountability Board. The bill would make the structure of the GAB similar to that of the Federal Elections Commission, with three members appointed by each of the two major political parties. That is a recipe for deadlock and dysfunction. The bill would take Wisconsin back to the type of partisan appointee system that resulted in the Legislative Caucus Scandal of 2002 which sent legislative leaders of both parties to prison on felony counts.
CALL TO ACTION: Contact your state senator and assembly representative and tell them to oppose SB 294/AB 388, which would dismantle Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board.
Campaign finance bill SB 292/AB 387 – According to Common Cause in Wisconsin, the bill would open up Wisconsin elections to permit campaign coordination between candidates and outside special interest spending groups, something which was prohibited for decades in Wisconsin, until the State Supreme Court in July said such coordination was permissible. That court decision, which is likely to be successfully appealed, is an outlier in the nation. The bill would make contribution limits meaningless because supporters of candidates could contribute or spend unlimited money on a phony issue ad communication and even remain anonymous!
CALL TO ACTION: Contact your state senator and assembly representative and tell them to oppose SB 292/AB 387, which would increase the influence of dark money in politics.
Electronic voter registration bill – SB 295/AB 389 This bill, originally cosponsored and supported by many Dane County legislators, introduces electronic voter registration, which the League supports. However, only those with a WI driver’s license or ID card with a current address would be able to register online. Furthermore, the bill ELIMINATES Special Registration Deputies. All voters unable to register online would have to do so at the Municipal Clerk’s office or at the polls. Other provisions further restrict absentee ballots and allow the GAB to use voting machines not approved by the federal Election Assistance Commission. Without significant amendments, this bill cannot be supported by the League. Most Dane County legislators have now withdrawn their cosponsorship of these bills.
CALL TO ACTION: Contact your state senator and assembly representative and tell them to oppose SB 295/AB 389, which would further impede the ability of those without a WI DL or ID card (disproportionately impacting blacks, the elderly, and the disabled) to register to vote.
LRB 2643/1 - A bill prohibiting transgender students from using the restrooms and changing rooms that correspond with their gender identity. This mean-spirited bill also requires school boards to designate facilities exclusively for one physical sex or the other. According to Fair Wisconsin: “This bill is an unnecessary solution in search of a problem. It singles out, isolates and stigmatizes transgender students, who often already face harassment and exclusion at school. It also undermines the advances many school districts across Wisconsin, and the nation, have made allowing students to use facilities and participate in sports and activities consistent with their gender identity.”
CALL TO ACTION: Contact your state senator and assembly representative and tell them to oppose any bill that isolates and stigmatizes students.
From Andrea Kaminski, Executive Director of LWVWI: "The worst thing would be for partisan politicians to be able to say they did not hear any opposition to these horrifically bad measures. Thank you, League members, for letting your representatives know you oppose these bills."