Government Relations

Government Relations Legislative Update

Government Relations Legislative Update

Updates on state and federal issues relating to the UW System.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Legislature Concludes 2011-2012 General Session.

Last week both houses adjourned their last scheduled general floor period of the 2011-2012 session. Several bills related to higher education were passed that week and then forwarded to Governor Walker for his review and signature. Those include:

AB 144 creating a commission on financial aid consolidation and modernization.
SB 461 relating to the "Read to Lead" initiative which contains provisions relating to teacher education and preparation
AB 322 relating to access to instructional materials for students with disabilities.

Senator Retirement Creates Even Split Senate, New Committee AssignmentsOn March 16, Senator Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) announced her resignation, citing family health concerns. Her resignation, effective March 16, resulted in the Senate being evenly divided between 16 Democrat and 16 Republican members. As a result, changes in committee makeup have been made to reflect equal representation on all standing committees. For the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), Senators Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) have been appointed, replacing Senators Glen Grothman (R-West Bend) and Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee).

A comprehensive list of committee assignments can be found here: Senate Committees March 2012

Also last week, Senator Jim Holperin (D-Conover) announced he would not seek re-election this fall.

Assembly Retirements
As of this week, ten members of the Assembly have announced they will not seek re-election to the Assembly. The retiring members are:

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison)*
Rep. Kelda Roys (D-Madison)*
Rep. Donna Seidel (D-Wausau)*
Rep. Barbara Toles (D-Milwaukee)
Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon)*
Rep. Michelle Litjens (R-Oshkosh)
Rep. Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River)
Rep. Dick Spanbauer (R-Algoma)
Rep. Karl Van Roy (R-Green Bay)
Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer (I-Manitowoc)

*indicates running for another office