March Legislative Update

2021-22 Legislative Session Concludes

The Wisconsin Legislature stands adjourned following the Senate’s final planned floor day on March 8. The Assembly adjourned two weeks earlier after its final votes on February 23 and 24. Also on March 8, Republican leaders in the Senate and Assembly gaveled in and then immediately adjourned a special session called by Gov. Tony Evers (D) earlier in February during his State of the State address. Gov. Evers called on the Legislature to consider his proposal to spend some of the $3.8 billion surplus the state is projected to have at the end of the 2021-23 fiscal biennium. 

Barring any unusual circumstances, the Legislature will not convene again until the next legislative session begins in January 2023.

WPRA Session Recap

Overall, WPRA had a successful legislative session. In addition to successfully advocating for the reauthorization and additional funding for the LUG program under Stewardship, WPRA raised its profile among legislators and other stakeholders.

Outside of the budget work from spring/summer 2021, WPRA engaged in several bills impacting park and recreation departments. The first of which was a political charged bill requiring the singing or playing of the National Anthem (AB 226/SB 244) before any event on land funded by public dollars. While WPRA publicly asked for an amendment to narrow the scope of the legislation, we also raised awareness of the impractical requirements of the bill, ultimately killing the bill in the Senate.

WPRA also worked to amend legislation providing free boat permits to veterans (SB 324/AB 285). While the bill did not advance, engagement of WPRA members was key in the advocacy effort. Several other bills of note are also dead for the session: Every Kid Outdoors (SB 376), Camping on Public Property (AB 604), Stewardship Sale (SB 802), Trail Condemnation Authority (SB 805), Sports Officials Harassment (SB 175). 

While the legislature is done for the session, WPRA continues to work on the update to the state’s regulations regarding swimming pools. This rulemaking will continue despite the legislative session concluding. Also, the legislature will begin to form study committees that may include topics of interest to WPRA.

Tracking Report