Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Senator Lazich's Weekly Insight

Bills Approved

Town of Waukesha Bill
Senate Bill 207 requires that an incorporation of portions of two towns must include a resolution by each town board approving the incorporation.  The Town of Brookfield attempted to incorporate three times during the last fifteen years.  Because there is insufficient land in the Town of Brookfield to meet the statutory requirements, their petition to incorporate includes portions of the Town of Waukesha.  The Town of Waukesha opposes the incorporation.  The incorporation attempts cost considerable time and money.  The Wisconsin Towns Association registered in favor of the bill.

Sonya’s Law
Sonya’s Law, Senate Bill 206 (SB 206), requires an ultrasound prior to an abortion and requires a physician performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion.  The various transducers and techniques available for ultrasound will be explained to the woman and she will select the method of ultrasound.  The National Abortion Federation’s manual provides “proper use of ultrasound can inform clinical decision-making and enhance the safety and efficiency of abortion care.”

Women testified at the SB206 public hearing about regretting their abortion and living with years of trauma.  Women’s testimony was presented about contemplating abortion and the value of an ultrasound in their decision to birth the child.

An ultrasound and admitting privileges provide Wisconsin women with a minimum level of health care.  A facility not providing an ultrasound and description of the baby, and a physician performing an abortion without hospital admitting privileges sends up a red flag.   

Sonya’s law ensures women receive at least a minimum level of healthcare.

Changes to Unemployment Insurance Law
Tuesday the Senate approved Senate Bill 200 about changes to unemployment insurance law.  Facing an Unemployment Trust Fund $1.6 billion in debt, Wisconsin was forced to borrow money from the federal government to pay unemployment claims.  The debt cost businesses throughout the state $60,000 a day in interest.  SB 200, approved with a 17-15 vote, will help the Unemployment Trust Fund pay back its loan to the federal government. 

The bill is expected to save the Trust Fund an estimated $11.5 million annually, while still increasing benefit payments.  Importantly, the bill will preserve the 26-week standard for unemployment insurance at a time other states decreased their benefits or cut weeks of eligibility.  

The bill also prohibits inmates in work-release programs from receiving unemployment benefits, prohibits claimants from simultaneously receiving both state jobless benefits and federal payments to disabled workers, and requires random audits of claimants receiving state-funded benefits.  All of the provisions in the bill were approved by the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, an advisory committee composed of five labor and five management representatives. 

Budget Update

Tuesday the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a comparative summary of the Joint Finance Committee’s (JFC) budget compared to Governor Walker’s 2013-2015 State budget. 

Currently the budget is awaiting action by the Wisconsin State Assembly.  The Assembly is likely to schedule the JFC budget for Assembly floor action June 18 and June 19, and message their actions to the Senate.  Governor Walker would like the budget on his desk by Friday, June 21, 2013.  The 2013-2015 budget becomes effective July 1, 2013, the first day of the next budget cycle.

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