One-Hundred and First Regular Session
12:35 P.M. TUESDAY, November 5, 2013
The Senate met.
The Senate was called to order by Senate President Ellis.
Call of Roll
The roll was called, disclosing the presence of a quorum.
Pursuant to Senate Rule 15, the official attendance for session was:
Senators Carpenter, Cowles, T. Cullen, Darling, Ellis, Erpenbach, Farrow, S. Fitzgerald, Grothman, Gudex, Hansen, Harris, Harsdorf, Jauch, Kedzie, C. Larson, Lasee, Lassa, Lazich, Lehman, Leibham, Miller, Moulton, Olsen, Petrowski, Risser, Schultz, Shilling, L. Taylor, Tiffany, Vinehout, Vukmir and Wirch - 33.
Absent with leave - None.
The Senate stood for a moment of silent meditation.
The Senate remained standing and Senator Moulton led the Senate in the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
Leaves of Absence
Senator Fitzgerald, with unanimous consent, asked that Senator Vukmir be granted a leave of absence for part of today's session.
Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (6), the Chief Clerk makes the following entries under the above date.
Chief Clerk's Entries
hist12920Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 191 offered by Senator Lassa. hist12700Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 196 offered by Senator Petrowski. hist12713Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 249 offered by Senator Grothman. hist12716Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Substitute Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 278 offered by Senators T. Cullen, Jauch, Miller, Lehman, Shilling, L. Taylor, Carpenter, Erpenbach, Hansen, Lassa, C. Larson, Risser, Wirch, Vinehout and Harris. hist12717Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Substitute Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 278 offered by Senators Jauch, Erpenbach, Carpenter, L. Taylor, Vinehout, Harris, Lehman, Miller, T. Cullen, Wirch, Risser, C. Larson, Lassa and Hansen. hist12729Senate Amendment 3 to Senate Substitute Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 278 offered by Senators T. Cullen, L. Taylor, Jauch, Erpenbach, C. Larson, Hansen, Shilling, Vinehout and Miller. hist12931Senate Amendment 4 to Senate Substitute Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 278 offered by Senator Erpenbach. hist12714Senate Amendment 4 to Senate Bill 314 offered by Senator Lasee.
Petitions and Communications
hist12727Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Miller added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 249. hist12725Pursuant to Senate 17 (5), Senator Miller added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 274. hist12728Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Miller added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 325. hist12730Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Hansen added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 331. hist12767Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator L. Taylor added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 331. hist12731Pursuant to Senate 17 (5), Senator Hansen added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 332. hist12732Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Hansen added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 334. hist12726Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Miller added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 335. hist12733Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Hansen added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 335. hist12766Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator L. Taylor added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 335. hist12734Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Hansen added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 336. hist12768Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator L. Taylor added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 336. hist13252Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Senator Miller added as a coauthor of Senate Bill 336. hist12847Pursuant to Senate Rule 17 (5), Representative Hutton added as a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 392.
State of Wisconsin
Office of the Senate President
November 5, 2013
The Honorable, the Senate:
Pursuant to Senate Rule 46 (2)(c), I am writing to inform you that I have directed the following proposal to be withdrawn from committee and rereferred. I have obtained the consent of the appropriate standing committee chairperson and the chairperson of the committee on Senate Organization. hist12699Senate Bill 384, relating to: the laws of trusts, the Uniform Trust Code, the Uniform Principal and Income Act, powers of appointment, and changes to estate recovery and divestment provisions relating to public assistance programs., withdrawn from Committee on Judiciary and Labor and rereferred to Committee on Government Operations, Public Works, and Telecommunications.
MICHAEL G. ELLIS
State of Wisconsin
Office of Senator Tim Carpenter
November 5, 2013
The Honorable, the Senate,
During the floor session on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, I asked for a point of order as to the Senate President’s interpretation of when the Senate is in session, for purposes regarding immunity from civil process. I withdrew my point of order at your invitation to submit to you the question more specifically, in writing.
As you are aware, a member of the Senate, the Senator from the Fifth Senate District, is reported to be claiming legislative immunity from a 2013 lawsuit which has alleged that she failed to turn over records pursuant to an open records request. As you are also no doubt aware, it has been reported that in a motion filed by state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s office, the Senator from the Fifth claims she can’t be sued while the legislature is in session.
The Wisconsin State Constitution, Article IV Section 15 states as follows:
“SECTION 15. Members of the legislature shall in all cases, except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest; nor shall they be subject to any civil process, during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement and after the termination of each session.”
It is further reported that the senator in question contends in her motion before the court that the current legislative session lasts the entire term of a state senator. You can see that this can be interpreted to mean that legislators could be “in session” from the moment they are first sworn in until they leave office.
In contrast, it could also be argued that the Constitution confers immunity from civil proceedings only during floor sessions.
I would like to ask you to provide your opinion as to when the Senate of the State of Wisconsin is in session such that senators would be immune from civil process under Article IV Section 15 of the Wisconsin State Constitution.
This question is asked so that the senators may be guided by you in their actions to be compliant with the Constitution, Wisconsin State Statutes, and the Rules governing the Senate.
I am looking forward to hearing your response.
hist12720Senator S. Fitzgerald, with unanimous consent, asked that Senate Bill 317 be withdrawn from the delayed calendar of October 15, 2013 and be laid on the table.
Second reading and amendments of senate joint resolutions and
Senate Bill 274
Relating to: funding and position authority for vocational rehabilitation services and making an appropriation.
hist12722The question was: Adoption of Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 274?