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Advocacy

The WEMTA Legislative Committee is charged to maintain a communications network through which membership can respond to legislative and governmental issues of importance to the Association.

Current Co-Chairs are Annette Smith and Sandra Heiden

Committee Members are Robert Smiley, Mike Slowinski, Jen Zurawaski


 

WEMTA Legislative Agenda

2012-2014 WEMTA Legislative Agenda
For each biennium, WEMTA develops a list of important legislative issues on which to focus. Here is our 2012-2014 slate.

Wisconsin Legislative Timeline

State Updates

2013-15 State Budget

 
Governor Walker will unveil his 2013-15 state budget on February 20 at 7 p.m. during a
joint session of the legislature.
 
State agencies submitted budget requests to the State Budget Office on September
17. The Governor can choose whether or not to include state agency proposals in his
budget.
 
After its introduction on February 20, the budget bill will be referred to the Joint
Committee on Finance, which will hear testimony from state agency heads on the
budget proposals and then hold public hearings around the state. The Joint Committee
on Finance will then vote on the proposals within the budget, making any changes they
find necessary, and send the bill to both houses of the legislature for their approval.
 
The budget bill should be signed into law by June 30, the last day of the state fiscal
year.
 
Governor Walker’s 2013-14 Priorities
 
Governor Walker, who faces re-election in 2014, says his top priorities are: creating
jobs, transforming education, developing our workforce, creating infrastructure and
reforming government.
 
Educational initiatives that Governor Walker would like to see during the 2013-14
session include: freezing or capping UW tuition, tying education funding to performance,
ending the Milwaukee Public School residency requirement and expanding the school
voucher system.
 
Infinite Campus Awarded SSIS Contract
 
The Department of Administration announced it will be issuing a Notice of Intent to
Award letter for the Statewide Student Information System (SSIS) the Minnesota-based
company Infinite Campus, Inc. With a notice of intent completed DOA can now enter
into negotiations with Infinite Campus for the company to establish and maintain DPI’s
student information system.
 
However, a Wisconsin company, Skyward, plans to appeal the decision due to flaws in
the evaluation process, which the company claims favored Infinite Campus.
 
 
Special Committee on Improving Educational Opportunities in High School
 
The Joint Legislative Council voted unanimously to introduce the four bills drafted
by the Special Committee on Improving Educational Opportunities in High School in
December.
 
Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) summarized the committee’s findings and proposed
legislation to Joint Legislative Council.
 
The Special Committee previously sent a letter to Joint Legislative Council asking that
they form a committee to study the 20 education standards during the 2014 interim.
 
Group Asks Governor to Audit USF-funded Programs
 
The Wisconsin CALLS coalition is asking Governor Walker to include in his 2013-15
state budget a requirement that all programs funded by the Universal Service Fund
receive audits. Wisconsin CALLS says it’s concerned that so many USF dollars are
redirected to non-Public Service Commission programs.
 
In a letter to the Governor, Wisconsin CALLS identifies BadgerLink, BadgerNet and aid
to public libraries as non-PSC programs that should be audited.
 
“These programs should be evaluated to determine if their funding would be better
used to ensure that broadband services are deployed throughout Wisconsin, whether
they are run efficiently, and whether these programs should be funded through fees on
phone bills,” states the group in their letter.
 
Spring Elections
 
Current State Superintendent Tony Evers faces a challenge from State Representative
Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) in this year’s spring election.
 
A primary will be held February 19 in the State Supreme Court Race after two
candidates, Marquette Law Professor Edward Fallone and lawyer Vince Megna,
submitted enough signatures to challenge incumbent Justice Patience Roggensack.
 
The general election will be held April 2.
 
2013-14 Legislative Committees of Interest
 
Assembly Colleges and Universities
Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), Chair
Rep. Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Vice-Chair
Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson)
Rep. Tom Weatherston (R-Racine)
Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville)
Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan)
Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa)
Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh)
Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland)
Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse)
Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton)
Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire)
Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison)
 
Senate Education
Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), Chair
Sen. Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee), Vice-Chair
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)
Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa)
Sen. Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac)
Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine)
Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville)
Sen. Nikiya Harris (D-Milwaukee)
Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma)
 
 
Michael Blumenfeld
WEMTA Public Policy Advisor

 

Helpful Websites
Legislature
 
Legislative Fiscal Bureau: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/
 
Legislative Reference Bureau: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/LRB/
 
Legislative Council: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lc/
 
 
OTHER GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
 
 
State of Wisconsin: http://www.wisconsin.gov/
 
Department of Public Instruction: http://www.dpi.wi.gov/
 
Governor Walker: http://walker.wi.gov/
 
Federal Government: http://www.usa.gov/
 
 
U.S. House of Representatives:  http://www.house.gov/
 
Library of Congress:  http://thomas.loc.gov/
 
Educational Communications Board: http://www.ecb.org/
 
University of Wisconsin System: http://www.wisconsin.edu/
 
NEWS SOURCES THAT FOCUS ON WISCONSIN GOVERNMENT
 
 
Wisconsin Eye: http://www.wiseye.org/
 
 
 

 

 

A great way to connect with your Congressperson is  attend listening sessions in your communities.

Rep Sensenbrenner will hold town hall meetings

Wisconsin Take Action

 

Contact your Legislator

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx

Take Action

http://capwiz.com/nea/wi/state/main/?state=WI#0

Take Action for School Libraries and Student Learning

http://act4sl.wikispaces.com/

Fair Funding for Wisconsin Students

http://fairfundingforourfuture.org/

Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools

http://www.excellentschools.org/

Penny For Kids

http://www.apennyforkids.org/

Advocacy: Be Informed - Be Heard

As educators, we believe in the importance of free and equitable access to information in a democratic society and in the importance of information literacy as a national bedrock principle. In today's schools, technology has greatly impacted instruction.  It is essential to have a highly qualified professional to have an effective information and technology programs to prepare students for work and college.  

In an increasingly complex world, with strong competition for state and national funding, the library community must speak - and be heard.

Our 2009-2011 Advocacy Plan (see below) lists the various positions we have taken as a professoinal organization. 

At the national level we are keeping watch on important issues such as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and funding issues such as the continuing funding of Enhancing Education Through Technology(EETT). Members are encouraged to contact federal legislators through CapWiz and to join EdTech Action Network (ETAN) to stay apprised of national legislative issues.

As an organization, WEMTA is active politically. We lobby locally, statewide, and nationally for policies and funding in support of

Public School Libraries
Public Education
Public Libraries
Educational Technology

 

WEMTA Public Governmental Policy Specialist
Michael H Blumenfeld
Phone: (608) 257-1888

Latest News on Government Issues

The Wheeler Report

Being an advocate

(reference building bridges and using the "Common Agenda")

 

The responsibilities of the Legislative Advocacy Committee are to:

  • Maintain a communications network through which members can respond to legislative and other governmental issues of importance to the Association.
  • Develop a working relationship with the Legislative Consultant and work together on legislative strategies for the Association and articles and reports for the Dispatch and listserv.
  • In collaboration with the Legislative Consultant, develop annual goals, a legislative advocacy agenda and a plan of action for accomplishing such and submit it to the Board for approval at its fall meeting.
  • Make recommendations to the Board of Directors for initiating legislative action of importance to the profession and work to implement such action.
  • Recommend specific action regarding legislative issues to the members on approval of the Board and/or the President.
  • Work cooperatively with ALA/AASL, ISTE, DPI, ECB, WLA and other organizations with mutual interests in sharing information, publicizing issues, and action in support or opposition of the same.
  • Mobilize members regarding critical issues via the most appropriate and effective communications tool.
  • Promote legislative awareness and education efforts through conference programs and coalition building efforts, e.g. Legislative Retreat.
  • Know and communicate with legislators and Department of Public Instruction officials and keep aware of current issues through the ALA Washington Newsletter, DPI newsletters, professional publications, etc.
  • Plan, promote and participate with WLA in the annual Library Legislative Day. • Promote and participate in the national legislative activities of our affiliated Associations.

Revision approved by Board of Directors on 09/12/2009

The co-chairs of the committee are Allison G. Kaplan and Kathy Sanders

WEMTA Legislative Committee Reports

February 2013 Board Report

February 2011 Board Report