Legislative Bulletin, April 14, 2010
Action needed on Dues Deduction Bill
Assembly Bill 916, which would allow retirees in the Wisconsin Retirement System to choose to have their union dues voluntarily deducted from their pensions, was passed by the Assembly Labor Committee this week. That makes AB 916 available for scheduling for a vote by the full Assembly. Identical legislation, Senate Bill 390, was recommended for passage by the Senate Labor Committee last month, and awaits scheduling for the floor by the Senate Organization Committee, Chaired by Senator Majority Leader Russ Decker.
Please call both your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to contact their Assembly and Senate leadership and ask that AB 916 and SB 390 be scheduled for a full vote by the Assembly and Senate for passage. With the legislative session coming to a close we need you to act now.
Presumption Bill Passes Senate – Assembly Up Next
Sen. Jim Sullivan (D-West Allis) and Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) are the primary authors of Senate Bill 429 and Assembly Bill 644. Under current law, firefighters, public emergency medical services providers and law enforcement officers who die or become disabled due to heart or lung disease are eligible for benefits like worker’s compensation because it is “presumed” that they contracted the disease on the job. SB 429 and AB 644 would add infectious diseases to the list of illnesses for which a worker can get benefits. Also, for the first time, state and local corrections staff would be covered under presumption, but only for exposure to infectious diseases. SB 429 passed the State Senate on an 18 – 15 party line vote, with the Democrats voting in favor on Tuesday. The Assembly has scheduled both bills for a vote on Thursday, with AFSCME believing the bill has enough votes to gain passage and get sent to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
Session Wrapping Up
The Assembly and Senate will end their regular sessions the week of April 19. This will be the last regular floor period for 2010. A more comprehensive summary of bills that have passed the legislature in the 2009 – 10 legislative sessions will follow.
For more information, contact the AFSCME lobbyists at 608-836-6666.