2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
November 14, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Bernier, Novak, Meyers,
Kolste, Petryk, Edming, Doyle, Berceau, Steffen, Fields, Anderson,
Mursau, Horlacher, Summerfield, Thiesfeldt, Krug, E. Brooks, Considine,
Subeck, Tittl, Loudenbeck, Sargent, Macco, Felzkowski, Spiros, Ripp,
Crowley, Sinicki, Brostoff, Kulp, Goyke, Kooyenga, Bowen and Spreitzer,
cosponsored by Senators Harsdorf, Olsen, Johnson, Marklein, Miller,
Ringhand, Bewley and Hansen. Referred to Committee on Family Law.
1An Act to amend
54.10 (3) (a) 4. and 54.10 (3) (b); and to create
chapter 53, 54.10 2
(2) (b) 9m. and 115.807 (4) of the statutes; relating to: supported
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill allows an adult with a functional impairment to create a supported
decision-making agreement to allow another person, referred to as a “supporter,” to
assist the adult with certain decision-making by providing assistance with one or
more of the following: 1) understanding the options, responsibilities, and
consequences of the adult's life decisions, without making the decision for the adult;
2) accessing, collecting, and obtaining information that is relevant to a given life
decision, including medical, psychological, financial, educational, or treatment
records; 3) understanding that information once it is obtained; or 4) communicating
the adult's life decisions to the appropriate people. Under the bill, a designated
supporter is not a surrogate decision maker for the adult and is not authorized to sign
legal documents for the adult or bind the adult to a legal agreement. The supporter
has only the authority granted by the adult under the terms of the supported
decision-making agreement. Execution of a supported decision-making agreement
does not preclude an adult with a functional impairment from acting independently
of the agreement, nor may the agreement be used as evidence of incapacity or
The bill requires the Department of Health Services to prepare and provide
access to a supported decision-making form and information regarding supported
decision-making. Under the bill, a supported decision-making agreement must be
in writing, in substantially the form provided under the bill, entered into voluntarily,
and signed and dated either before at least two adult witnesses or a notary public in
order to be valid.
The bill provides immunity for persons under certain circumstances, including
a person whose act or failure to act is done in good faith and in reliance on a supported
decision-making agreement. The bill provides, however, that there is no immunity
from actions alleging that a health care provider caused personal injury as a result
of a negligent, reckless, or intentional act, acted inconsistently with the expressed
wishes of an adult with a functional impairment, failed to provide information to
either an adult with a functional impairment or his or her supporter that would be
necessary for informed consent, or otherwise acted inconsistently with applicable
law. In addition, under the bill, the existence or availability of a supported
decision-making agreement does not relieve a health care provider of any legal
obligation to provide services to individuals with disabilities.
Finally, under the bill, if a person who receives a copy of a supported
decision-making agreement or who is aware of the existence of a supported
decision-making agreement has reason to believe that the adult with a functional
impairment is being abused, neglected, or exploited by the supporter, that person
may report the issue to an appropriate elder-at-risk agency, adult-at-risk agency,
state or local law enforcement, or DHS. This bill does not eliminate or limit a person's
existing obligation to report such circumstances under any other statute or
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Chapter 53 of the statutes is created to read:
In this chapter:
“Abuse” has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (a).
“Functional impairment” means any of the following:
(a) A physical, developmental, or mental condition that substantially limits one 4
or more of an individual's major life activities, including any of the following:
1. Capacity for independent living.
2. Self direction.
(b) Impairment as defined under s. 54.01 (14).
(c) Other like incapacities as defined under s. 54.01 (22).
“Financial exploitation” has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (ed).
“Health care provider” has the meaning given in s. 155.01 (7).
“Neglect” has the meaning given in s. 46.90 (1) (f).
“Supported decision-making” means a process of supporting and 17
accommodating an adult with a functional impairment to enable the adult to make 18
life decisions, including decisions related to where the adult wants to live, the 19
services, supports, and medical care the adult wants to receive, whom the adult 20
wants to live with, and where the adult wants to work, without impeding the 21
self-determination of the adult.
“Supported decision-making agreement" is an agreement between an adult 23
with a functional impairment and a supporter entered into under this chapter.
“Supporter" means an adult who is willing to enter into an agreement with 25
an adult with a functional impairment to provide supported decision-making.
153.03 Agreement not evidence of incapacity or incompetency. 2
Execution of a supported decision-making agreement may not be used as evidence 3
of incapacity or incompetency and does not preclude an adult with a functional 4
impairment who has entered into such an agreement from acting independently of 5
scope of agreement8
and agreement requirements
953.10 Scope. (1)
If an adult with a functional impairment decides voluntarily, 10
without coercion, to enter into a supported decision-making agreement with a 11
supporter, that adult may, in the agreement, authorize the supporter to do any of the 12
(a) Provide supported decision-making to the adult with a functional 14
impairment, including assistance in understanding the options, responsibilities, 15
and consequences of that person's life decisions, without making those decisions on 16
behalf of that person.
(b) Assist the adult with a functional impairment in accessing, collecting, and 18
obtaining information that is relevant to a given life decision, including medical, 19
psychological, financial, educational, or treatment records, from any person.
(c) Assist the adult with a functional impairment in understanding the 21
information described in par. (b).
(d) Assist the adult with a functional impairment in communicating the adult's 23
decisions to appropriate persons.
A supporter is not a surrogate decision maker for the adult with a functional 25
impairment and does not have the authority to sign legal documents on behalf of the
adult with a functional impairment or bind the adult with a functional impairment 2
to a legal agreement.
353.12 Authority of supporter.
A supporter may exercise the authority 4
granted to the supporter in the supported decision-making agreement.
553.14 Term of agreement; revocation. (1)
Except as otherwise provided 6
in this section, a supported decision-making agreement extends until terminated by 7
either party or by the terms of the agreement.
A supported decision-making agreement is terminated if any of the 9
following are true:
(a) County adult protective services substantiated an allegation of neglect or 11
abuse by the supporter.
(b) The supporter is found criminally liable for conduct described under par. (a).