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Assembly To Consider Walker’s School Safety, Juvenile Justice, Tax Proposals

Assembly GOP Met Wednesday To Discuss Senate Changes To Bills

Wisconsin State Capitol
Scutter (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The state Legislature appears poised to approve major pieces of Gov. Scott Walker’s election-year agenda Thursday, including a package of school safety bills and a major overhaul of the state’s juvenile justice system.

The state Assembly will meet Thursday in a so-called “extraordinary session,” after weeks of conflict between GOP leaders in the Capitol.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, had said the Assembly would not return to Madison this year to consider any more legislation. The Assembly met last month for what was thought to be its last voting day of 2018.

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Meanwhile, the leader of the state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said the Senate planned to make changes to some high-profile bills, which would necessitate additional action by the Assembly to send them to Walker’s desk.

Until Wednesday afternoon, it was unclear whether the Assembly would agree to changes made Tuesday by the state Senate to Walker’s school safety package, juvenile justice reform, and tax proposals.

The school safety plan approved by the Senate includes a $100 million grant program for schools to do safety-related facility upgrades, as well as new requirements for school safety plans and reporting by school staff who hear students make threats of violence.

The juvenile justice bill would close the embattled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons and create a mix of smaller state- and county-run institutions to replace them.

The tax bill would create a one-time, $100 child tax credit for Wisconsin parents and authorize a sales tax holiday for the first weekend in August.

If the Assembly passes the measures Thursday, they all move to Walker’s desk for his signature.