Legislative Update

winter capitolUW System Tenure Policy Task Force

PROFS actively followed the work of UW System’s Tenure Policy Task Force, which concluded its work in December and released updated layoff and post-tenure review language in January. The Regent Education Committee will review the proposed language on February 5 and full board action is expected in March.

PROFS Forum on Self-insurance for State Employees

PROFS will host a public forum on the possibility of self-insurance for state employees later this month (details to come).  The Wisconsin Group Insurance Board has received conflicting reports on if self-insurance would save or cost the state millions of dollars and will vote February 17 vote on whether or not to issue a request for proposals on such a move.

Wisconsin Legislature

The Assembly and Senate are currently meeting in their last scheduled floor period of 2016, but could reconvene in special or extraordinary sessions. PROFS is monitoring and lobbying on several items, including:

  • Assembly Bill 305/Senate Bill 260, Limits on Scientific Research  PROFS officially registered and delivered testimony against AB 305 and SB 260, proposals that would make it illegal to provide or use for experimentation fetal body parts. If passed, the bills would criminalize the research and use of scientific material previously derived from fetal tissue. Both bills have passed out of committee but have not been scheduled for a vote. PROFS will continue to strongly oppose the proposals, which have far-reaching negative consequences on campus.
  • Assembly Bill 480/Senate Bill 363, Campus Concealed Carry  PROFS is registered against AB SB 363, legislation that would require UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System campuses to allow concealed carry of weapons in campus buildings. Current law permits concealed carry on campus grounds, but allows individual campuses to forbid weapons in buildings. PROFS is vigorously opposed to this legislation telling legislators in a statement that “we believe that making it easier for people to carry firearms and bring them onto university property would make it more dangerous for the faculty, staff and student of the University of Wisconsin.”
  • Assembly Bill 814, Shared Governance  PROFS is registered in favor of this bill, recently introduced by Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton), which would return university shared governance to state statutes. PROFS worked with Hesselbein on the bill, and PROFS president Judith Burstyn spoke in favor of the proposal at a press conference announcing the legislation in December.
  • Tenure  Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) will introduce legislation restoring strong tenure language to state statutes. PROFS will register in favor of this proposal once the bill is introduced.
  • College Affordability Package  The Governor announced a package of six bills that address college affordability last month. All six bills passed the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities last week.