Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

Wisconsin | May 12, 2021

Tim Tebow to Headline Wisconsin Right to Life Education Dinner

Wisconsin | May 12, 2021

“We are thrilled to have Tim Tebow join us tonight for our Education Fund Dinner, live and in-person!” shared Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

Weininger continued, “While our work at Wisconsin Right to Life never stopped or was put on hold, we changed last year’s Education Fund Dinner to a virtual event. It’s clear to me, watching how quickly this year’s event sold out, that those who unify for life are ready to be together again for a great evening. In-person tickets have sold out for tonight’s event, but we do still have live-stream access available. ”

The Education Fund Dinner serves as Wisconsin Right to Life’s largest fundraiser of the year to help fund Teen Impact Live, Teen Impact Life Camp, Life on Campus, emergency grants to women, and education on legislation…

(Excerpts from Wisconsin Right to Life)

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Wisconsin | May 7, 2021

After the Riots: Kenosha police claim they’ve been unfairly villainized

Wisconsin | May 7, 2021

On Aug. 23, 2020, a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake as he scuffled with law enforcement officers in one of several incidents that rocked the nation last summer. Riots that occurred in the ensuing days brought violence, destruction, and the national spotlight to the small Wisconsin city. The Washington Examiner recently went back to Kenosha to find out what has happened in the aftermath.

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN  Reminders of the shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. and the riots that followed are all over Kenosha.

The Dinosaur Discovery Museum in the middle of town still has plywood on all of its windows. The brick wall next to Hidden Treasures on 60th Street still reads “F— you, Rusten Sheskey,” despite numerous attempts to cover it up. Graffiti on side streets and boarded-up storefronts call out “racist” police. Nine months after the small Wisconsin city of fewer than 100,000 residents was thrust into the national spotlight, it is clear that the wound is still raw.

While there have been tensions in the past between police and Kenosha’s minority residents, none has compared to the 2020 shooting of Blake.

Officer Sheskey, a white man, shot Blake, a black man, seven times in the back. No charges were filed against him…

(Excerpts from The Washington Examiner)

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Wisconsin | May 4, 2021

Wisconsin Elections Commission to purge 188,000 voters

Wisconsin | May 4, 2021

(The Center Square)  – Wisconsin is beginning the process to remove 188,000 people from the state’s voting rolls.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Wednesday voted to send postcards to people who haven’t voted in the past four years. Anyone who doesn’t return their postcard will eventually be removed from the voter registration list.

Assembly elections chief Janel Brandtjen told The Center Square that the move is largely perfunctory.

“This is the four-year purge,” Brandtjen said. “After every big election, WEC goes through the process.”

A request to purge Wisconsin’s voter rolls before the 2020 election led to lawsuits and a protracted legal battle. It eventually went all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

A 5-2 court ruled that local election clerks were ultimately responsible for the purge.

That ruling, and the years-long fight by Elections Commission members, has some people looking at the recent decision to purge as a political decision.

“You are right, you can say it looks suspicious,” Brandtjen said…

(Excerpts from The Center Square)

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Wisconsin | May 4, 2021

Wisconsin political map headed for appeals court

Wisconsin | May 4, 2021

 The legal fight over Wisconsin’s next political map is escalating, and lawmakers haven’t even begun to draw them yet.

A judge in Madison on Thursday canceled the contracts between Republican lawmakers and private lawyers they hired to help draw the maps.

Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke ruled lawmakers overstepped when they signed a deal worth nearly $1 million to attorney Adam Mortara and Consovoy McCarthy.

“Under the plain terms of the statute the defendants did not have authority to enter into the two contracts at issue in this case,” Ehlke wrote.

The top Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly, Speaker Robin Vos, R-Juneau, said he is not surprised by the decision…

(Excerpts from The Center Square)

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District of Columbia, Wisconsin | April 26, 2021

Fetal tissue research carries on at UW after Biden team reverses Trump limits

District of Columbia, Wisconsin | April 26, 2021

The Biden administration’s loosening of restrictions on the use of fetal tissue in research will allow UW-Madison scientists to continue such studies, which opponents have tried several times to ban in Wisconsin.

After the Trump administration suspended federal funding for most fetal tissue research in 2019, it set up a new advisory board that rejected all but one of 14 proposals in August, which included one from UW-Madison. The Biden administration has lifted the funding ban, with the National Institutes of Health saying last week it will not use the advisory board and instead oversee the studies within the agency as it had before.

“It allows us to move forward with the research in a timely way,” said Anita Bhattacharyya, an assistant professor of biology at UW-Madison’s Waisman Center who uses fetal tissue to study Down syndrome. “That additional level of review was not necessary because we were already following all the guidance, all the laws, all the compliance requirements.”

Bhattacharyya’s research involving fetal tissue has continued because she received a grant before new funding stopped nearly two years ago. She applied for another grant in November and expects to learn by June if she will get it, a process that may have taken longer if the previous advisory board was involved, she said.

Wisconsin Right to Life, which last year praised the advisory board’s scrutiny of proposals involving fetal tissue, is “troubled that the (Biden) administration would decide to revert back to an Obama era way of doing things at NIH,” said Heather Weininger, executive director. “As the research world continues to look for better results in caring for the sick, we should not be relying on unethical resources for testing and production of vaccines or treatments.”…

(Excerpts from The Journal Times)

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Wisconsin | April 23, 2021

Senator Ron Johnson asks why police wrongly claimed Sicknick died of injuries sustained at Capitol riot

Wisconsin | April 23, 2021

A top GOP senator is demanding to know why the U.S. Capitol Police claimed Officer Brian Sicknick suffered mortal injuries while on duty and after clashing with protesters during the Capitol riot in light of the District of Columbia’s chief medical examiner’s ruling that Sicknick died of natural causes.

The Capitol Police announced Sicknick, 42, died on Jan. 7, one day after rioters broke into the Capitol as lawmakers counted electoral votes to affirm President Joe Biden‘s victory over former President Donald Trump. In its statement, the department said Sicknick “was injured while physically engaging with protesters” and that he “was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.” While the department did not provide further details on the record, the New York Times would falsely report Jan. 8, citing “two law enforcement officials,” that the 13-year veteran was beaten with a fire extinguisher and died hours later at a hospital.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, on Thursday sent a letter to acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, contending the determination from Chief Medical Officer Francisco Diaz, who told the Washington Examiner last week that Sicknick’s cause of death was a stroke, “raises more questions about what USCP knew and what actions USCP took to confirm certain facts regarding Officer Sicknick’s death before it released its Jan. 7 statement.”

“The death of any police officer is a tragedy, and the use of any officer’s death for political purposes or to create a false narrative is reprehensible,” Johnson added….

(Excerpts from Washington Examiner)

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