These weekly updates are to inform those interested in public education in Mineral Point what is happening that may impact school stakeholders. These updates are designed to be informative, factual, and non-partisan.
Additional information can be found from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards at: https://wasblegupdate.wordpress.com/
Legislative Update 1/17/16
1/15: Senate Bill 197, authored by state Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), would make a false threat to use a firearm to injure or kill another person in a school zone a class I felony. The bill was heard by the Senate Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, chaired by state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) on Thursday (Jan. 7).
The bill was requested by law enforcement in reaction to a growing number of firearm threats targeting schools and school children. It would mirror current law in regard to bomb threats.
1/15: A group of rural Republican legislators led by Reps. Ed Brooks (Reedsburg), Romaine Quinn (Rice Lake), and Travis Tranel (Cuba City) announced the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, an initial package of seven pieces of legislation that they hope will jump-start a conversation on opportunities in out-state Wisconsin.
The plan includes bills that will boost funding for broadband expansion grants, increase available resources for youth apprenticeship grants, expand a student loan repayment program for rural teachers, and encourage expanded STEM education programs among others.
To view the full plan or offer suggestions, visit www.RuralWisconsinInitiative.com
1/15: A pair of lawmakers have proposed a bill to allow concealed carry (CCW) permit holders to carry guns on school grounds–and, in some cases, in school buildings.
The authors of the proposal, Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville), say their proposal is intended to make sure weapons permit holders aren’t inadvertently committing crimes when they drop their kids off at school.
The current Gun Free Schools Zones law prohibits a person , including a CCW permit holder, from possessing a firearm on the grounds of a school. Under the proposed bill, a person who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon could possess a firearm on the grounds of a school but would be prohibited from possessing a firearm in a building on the grounds of a school if instruction is provided to students in the building and if the building has signs posted at all entrances that notify the licensee not to enter or remain in the building while possessing a firearm.
Essentially, the bill would open school grounds to concealed weapons carried by permit holders but would allow a school board to continue to post certain school buildings to prohibit CCW permit holders from carrying weapons into those buildings where instruction is conducted much as they do under current law.
If passed, the proposal would likely mean that school boards could not prevent permit holders from carrying guns at events such as high school football games or at basketball games played in field houses in which student instruction is not provided.
The proposal, currently being circulated for co-signers, has not been introduced yet so it doesn’t have a bill number.
Under the proposal, a CCW permit holder who violates the prohibition would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor unless the permit holder has a malicious intent, in which case they would be guilty of a Class I felony. (Currently, it is a Class I felony under current law to violate the prohibition on possessing a firearm on school grounds or school buildings.)
1/14: The Senate Elections & Local Government Committee held a public hearing on a proposal placing restrictions on referenda and other funding mechanisms Thursday (Jan. 14) at the state Capitol.
Senate Bill 355 – Restrictions on referenda and other school funding mechanisms
Most of the attention went to this bill with most in attendance testifying in opposition to the bill including a strong presence from school board members and administrators.