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Rotunda Report
  • Rotunda Report
    April 26, 2018

    Wisconsin Legislative Council Announces 2018 Study Committees

    Lynne Davis


     Wisconsin Legislative Council Announces 2018 Study Committees

    The Wisconsin Legislative Council recently announced the 2018 study committees. The study committees provide a unique opportunity for legislators and members of the public to collaborate on complex issues and provide guidance and solutions to the Legislature. And they cover a wide range of topics, including several that are of interest to members of the State Bar, notably bail and pretrial release, child placement and support, and minor guardianship, among others

    The 2018 study committee topics and scopes include:

    Study Committee on Bail and Conditions of Pretrial Release – The Study Committee is directed to review Wisconsin’s pretrial release system, including considerations for courts in imposing monetary bail and for denying pretrial release. The committee shall review relevant Wisconsin constitutional and statutory provisions and best practices implemented by Wisconsin counties and other states, including use of risk assessment tools for informing pretrial detention decisions. The committee is directed to recommend legislation regarding bail and pretrial release that enhances public safety, respects constitutional rights of the accused, considers costs to local governments, and incorporates evidence–based strategies.

    Study Committee on Minor Guardianship – The Study Committee is directed to examine ch. 54, Stats., concerning guardianship of minors and adults, and recommend legislation that creates procedures specific to guardianship of a minor. The committee may consider whether any new provisions should apply to guardianship of a minor’s person, estate, or both.

    Study Committee on Child Placement and Support – The Study Committee is directed to review the standards under current law for determining periods of physical placement and child support obligations. The committee may consider alternatives to current law concerning physical placement, including a rebuttable presumption that equal placement is in the child’s best interest. The committee may also consider whether the current standard for determining child support adequately and equitably provides for the support of children and alternative models for determining child support obligations.

    Study Committee on Property Tax Assessment Practices – The Study Committee is directed to review current property tax assessment practices, including the review of statutory, administrative, and judicial directives on assessment practices and the consistency of assessment practices throughout the state. Following its review, the committee shall recommend legislation to revise and clarify property tax assessment practices, including recommendations regarding the role of comparable sales and market segments in assessments and the assessment of leased property.

    Study Committee on the use of Police Body Cameras – The Study Committee is directed to review law enforcement policies regarding the use of body cameras and recommend legislation to establish uniform procedures regarding the retention and release of body camera video for state and local law enforcement agencies.

    Study Committee on the Investment and Use of the School Trust Funds – The Study Committee is directed to review the statutes governing the investment of the trust funds administered by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), including the loan programs administered by BCPL. The committee shall assess whether current statutes adequately ensure the effective investment and appropriate use of the proceeds of the funds, and recommend legislation for necessary changes.

    Study Committee on Alcohol Beverages Enforcement – The Study Committee is directed to review the structure and staffing of the Department of Revenue’s efforts to enforce Wisconsin’s alcohol beverage laws found in ch. 125, Stats., and compare the regulatory and enforcement structure of alcohol law enforcement efforts in other states. The committee shall further examine whether establishments and venues that serve alcohol are properly licensed to do so. The committee may recommend legislation that ensures the proper enforcement of alcohol beverage laws, including increased clarity and education.

    Study Committee on Direct Primary Care – The Study Committee is directed to review the emergence of “direct primary care” as a healthcare delivery option and assess its potential impact on the healthcare delivery system and health outcomes in the state. The committee shall recommend legislation regarding requirements for direct primary care arrangements in the private market. In addition, the committee is directed to review options for incorporation of direct primary care arrangements into the fee–for–service and managed–care parts of the Medical Assistance (MA) program and assess its potential impact on the functionality, efficiency, and effectiveness of service delivery and health outcomes in both parts of the MA program. The committee shall recommend legislation regarding a direct primary care pilot in the MA program, including an evaluation of the impact of the pilot on service delivery and health outcomes for participating individuals and the MA program as a whole.

    Study Committee on Identification and Management of Dyslexia – The committee is directed to review current screening, identification, school intervention, and treatment protocols for dyslexia in K–12 schools; to examine the effects of current state statutes and regulations on literacy outcomes for students with dyslexia; and to evaluate the effects of dyslexia on literacy outcomes in the state. The committee shall study recent research on evidence–based instructional techniques for students with dyslexia; determine the components and costs of successful dyslexia education practices and laws in other states; and identify institutional obstacles to academic attainment for these students. The committee shall consider legislation to implement screening for characteristics of dyslexia in early grades; to ensure that reading instruction and intervention practices incorporate relevant research findings from the University of Wisconsin; to improve the partnership between parents, educators, counselors, and others on early identification and effective interventions for dyslexic learners; and to enhance statewide access to updated resources and training on dyslexic education.

    Special Committee on State–Tribal – The committee is directed to study issues relating to American Indians and the American Indian tribes and bands in this state and develop specific recommendations and legislative proposals relating to these issues.

    The study committees typically meet monthly at the State Capitol beginning in June, concluding in the late fall, and we encourage members who have an interest and expertise in any of the study committee topics to participate, sharing your valuable knowledge and experience. 

    If you wish to submit your name for consideration for membership on one of these committees, more information about the application process can be found here.  Study committee membership is expected to be finalized in early May. 

    For more information on the various committees, and to follow their work throughout the process, please visit the Legislature’s website.

    If you have questions about the study committees, contact the State Bar’s Government Relations team – Cale Battles, or Lynne Davis,

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