QUORUM CALL

Wisconsin prison guards would get a raise paid for with federal funds under legislation that cleared the Senate Tuesday.

Dems have knocked the bill for not putting state money into the raises, which would be temporary. And Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed past efforts by GOP lawmakers to dictate how the state spends American Rescue Plan Act funds; he has sole authority over how the money is spent.

The bill passed 20-12 after Republicans shot down a Dem amendment to rework the raises and use state money to cover them.

AB 828 would provide an extra $2 an hour to guards and youth counselors in calendar year 2022. They would get another $3 starting in calendar year 2023 with the raises remaining until the federal funds were no longer available.

Governments are supposed to obligate the funds by Dec. 31, 2024, and spend them by Dec. 31, 2026.

The Senate also approved AB 824, which would up the penalties for a prisoner assaulting a guard, and AB 825, which would require the Corrections Department to keep records on assaults of correctional officers and teachers. An alleged battery that occurs off the grounds of a prison would also be reportable.

All three bills now go to Evers.

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