May 21, 2019
About four dozen state laws enacted between 2009 and 2018 were the result of “model” bills often from outside of Wisconsin and frequently backed by powerful business and ideological interests, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.
The Democracy Campaign compiled a list of the bills (table below) with information supplied by USA Today, which reported last month on the use of model bills in all 50 states that were written by corporations, industry groups and so-called think tanks.
Several of the Wisconsin bills, which include some omnibus state budget bills that contained parts of model legislation, were from a corporate bill mill called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) , which is based in Arlington, VA.
ALEC was created in the 1970s to unite powerful business interests with mostly GOP and conservative state legislators around the country. They meet to develop “model legislation” that state policymakers can tweak and introduce in their home states. The legislation developed by ALEC hits a range of issues, like taxes, privatizing government services and programs, health care, environmental deregulation, tort reform, guns, and voter ID.
Several current and former Wisconsin legislators, including GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, have been members of ALEC or attended ALEC conferences over the past several years, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.
Some of the Wisconsin laws that resemble ALEC’s model legislation include Voter ID, the Castle Doctrine, restricting public employee union rights, eliminating the prevailing wage, deregulating professional licensing requirements, and making it harder for state agencies to write and implement administrative rules and regulations.
|Year||Bill #||Act #||Party Support||Description|
|2009||SB681||329||Bipartisan||Adopts the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.|
|2009||SB365||166||Dem||Adopts the Uniform Unsworn Foreign Declarations Act.|
|2009||SB31||33||Bipartisan||Adopts the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act.|
|2009||SB517||339||Dem||Creates a new Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children effective when 35 states enact the compact.|
|2009||SB617||210||Bipartisan||Creates a privilege to refuse to disclose a confidential communication to a veteran mentor.|
|2011||AB5||9||GOP||Requires a super majority legislative vote to raise taxes.|
|2011||AB11||10||GOP||Restricts public employee collective bargaining|
|2011||AB40||32||GOP||2011-13 state budget (provisions on auto title loans, capital gains tax elimination, lift cap on virtual school enrollment).|
|2011||SB1*||2||GOP||Relaxes product and service liability.|
|2011||SB2*||1||GOP||Health savings accounts.|
|2011||SB13*||22||GOP||Deregulates the telecommunications industry.|
|2011||AB8*||21||GOP||Restricts administrative rules by requiring economic impact statement.|
|2011||SB22*||93||GOP||Trespasser Responsibility Act.|
|2011||SB399*||285||GOP||Admissibility of hearsay evidence in court.|
|2013||SJR23*||Constitutional Amendment||GOP||Restricts gas tax and vehicle registration fees to transportation costs.|
|2013||SB576||212||Bipartisan||Creates new type of insurance license.|
|2013||SB384*||92||Bipartisan||Revises trust laws.|
|2013||AB446||200||Bipartisan||Training and use of drug Naloxone.|
|2013||SB223*||208||Bipartisan||Prohibitions on employer and school access to employee, student internet accounts.|
|2013||AB409||348||Bipartisan||Death investigations involving law enforcement.|
|2013||SB325*||352||Bipartisan||Revises description and schedules of controlled substances.|
|2013||SB534||360||Bipartisan||Regulation of mortgage brokers and bankers.|
|2013||AB350||52||Bipartisan||Exemptions from securities registration requirements.|
|2015||AB427||115||GOP||Prescription and delivery of Naxolone|
|2015||SB179||56||GOP||Prohibits abortion when fetus may feel pain.|
|2015||AB143||16||Bipartisan||Regulation of Uber and Lyft.|
|2015||AB253||116||Bipartisan||Ratification of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.|
|2015||AB129||94||Bipartisan||Regulates transfer of structured settlement payments.|
|2015||AB730*||302||GOP||Prohibits communities from regulating plastic bags and one-use containers.|
|2015||SB21*||55||GOP||2015-17 state budget (dropped prevailing wage for local governments).|
|2017||AB553*||248||GOP||Penalizes boycotts against Israel.|
|2017||SB417||135||Bipartisan||Ratification of the Enhance Nurse Licensure Compact.|
|2017||AB773*||235||GOP||Restricts class action lawsuit and statutes of limitations.|
|2017||AB655||345||Bipartisan||Regulates agreements between a person with disabilities and a supporter.|
|2017||SB274||192||Bipartisan||Regulates unclaimed life insurance and annuity benefits.|
|2017||SB61||211||GOP||Handling of property seized in a crime case.|
|2017||SB583||213||GOP||Modifies requirements for certain securities transactions to be exempt from registration.|
|2017||AB629||187||Bipartisan||Multi-state agreement on court procedures for adult guardianships.|
|2017||SB298||77||Bipartisan||Creates new business corporations called benefit corporations.|
|2017||SB15*||57||GOP||Restricts rule-making by state agencies.|
|2017||SB108*||81||GOP||Eliminates continuing education requirements, required working experience for barbers, cosmetologists.|
|2017||SB109*||82||GOP||Loosens licensing requirements for cosmetologist, manicurists, others.|
Compiled by USA Today and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (WDC). Bills marked with an asterisk were supplied by WDC. Bills without an asterisk were supplied by USA Today.