Rep. Hebl: Lays out plans for 2019-20 session

Rep. Gary Hebl, (608) 266-7678

With less than a month to go before the 2019-2020 session begins, it is time to lay forward my plan for the next two years. As ever, my main focus will be on education and the environment, with additional focus on health care issues, elections, and court reform.

There are several bills from last session that I plan to reintroduce, as well as some new bills and ideas that I will be looking at. Some highlights include:

  • Court Reform:
    • I will reintroduce a Fair Courts package aimed at restoring faith in the court system. It sets forth an objective standard for judicial recusal as well as mandates notice and/or recusal when a judge receives campaign contributions from a party to an action.
  • Criminal Justice:
    • Once again I will be introducing a bill that requires destruction of DNA evidence in cases where a defendant is found not guilty. We should not be keeping a database of DNA for people that have not been convicted of anything. I will also be looking at our woeful compensation levels for those wrongfully convicted of a crime as well as evaluating how Wisconsin utilizes cash bail.
  • Gun Safety:
    • To keep firearms out of the hands of violent criminals, I will be re-introducing legislation that prevents purchase or possession of firearms by those that have a misdemeanor conviction of domestic abuse. It is already against the law in Wisconsin for those convicted of felony domestic abuse to possess or purchase a firearm.
  • Elections:
    • Last session I introduced two bills that I am very excited about. The first creates veto referendums and ballot initiatives, meaning that citizens of Wisconsin get the last say in whether or not a bill will become law, and even can introduce legislation themselves. The second is a bill that uses advanced data to audit elections to ensure accurate results. Because the software is licensed out free by Colorado and the data requires a small number of ballots to be counted, it is an inexpensive way to ensure trust in our election outcomes.
    • I will also be looking at several exciting ideas to strengthen voting, including a vote-by-mail option, a national presidential popular vote plan, and proportional representation.
  • Environment:
    • We need to make sure that if mining is done in Wisconsin, it does not pollute our environment. Last session, the majority party passed a bill that rescinded Wisconsin’s long-standing anti-pollution guarantee. I will introduce legislation that strengthens environmental protections for mining operations, including a caveat that says a company can mine in Wisconsin as long as they can prove their operations will not harm Wisconsin’s air, soil, or water.
    • I will be introducing new legislation that will restrict the sale of certain neonicotinoid pesticides that have been shown to be harmful to pollinators.
    • I will also introduce new legislation that restricts the sale and manufacturing of certain flame retardants in upholstery and children’s products that have been shown to be toxic.

These are just some of the proposals that I will be introducing this legislation. There is more to come, and I invite you to follow my Facebookand Twitter accounts to stay up to date on legislative proposals. If you have an idea for a legislative proposal or would like to discuss ones that I have introduced, please call my office at 608.266.7678.

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