Dave Considine represents the 81st District in the State Assembly. The 81st District includes Baraboo, Sauk City, Prairie du Sac, Portage, and many other communities. His office can be reached at (608) 266-7746 or via email at [email protected]
At the end of February, the leaders of the Wisconsin Assembly adjourned the 2021-2022 Legislative Session for the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, this meant that many great bills from both sides of the aisle did not get the opportunity to arrive at Governor Evers’ desk. Since the session began in January of 2021, I have introduced many bills along with my colleagues that would improve the state of Wisconsin. Yet only 52% of bills introduced in the Legislature received a public hearing. Additionally, only 1.9% of assembly bills authored by a Democrat received a public hearing, which is an essential step for the bill to become law.
I enjoyed learning about many pieces of quality legislation in committee this session. In both Transportation Committee and Agriculture Committee, a majority of the bills that went through committee received bipartisan support. We were able to discuss the bills together and find common ground for the people of Wisconsin. It is my hope that next session we will see bipartisan efforts in all committees.
One bill that became law and exemplified bipartisanship was Assembly Bill 727 (now 2021 Wisconsin Act 223), which was a collaboration between Rep. Joel Kitchens (R – Sturgeon Bay) and Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), among others. This bill established a nitrogen optimization pilot program, created a cover crop insurance rebate program, and set up a full time hydrologist project position at the UW-Madison Division of the Extension. I co-sponsored this legislation along with many of my colleagues, as it is a step towards cleaner water in Wisconsin.
While none of my proposals received a public hearing, despite the positive impact they could have in the state, I have hope that next session will be better. This session, the Wisconsin Legislature was able to find common ground at least 252 times. Last week, Governor Evers signed 35 bills into law, ending with 2021 Wisconsin Act 252. While I have not always agreed with every one of Governor Evers’ decisions, I am really glad to have his leadership. I look forward to Governor Evers’ action on the remainder of the bills passed this session, which I expect will be coming in the near future. During this off-season in the Assembly, I will continue to prepare proposals with input from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle so that we are able to hit the ground running when January arrives once again.