One bill getting its final vote in the Senate tomorrow would prevent state health insurance programs from paying for abortions for state workers.
Sen. David Craig is an author of the bill, which would prohibit state health insurance programs from paying for abortions for the workers. They’re insured under the Group Insurance Board.
Craig says taxpayers who don’t believe in abortion shouldn’t have to pay for it.
“The bill protects the lives of the unborn, respects the conscious of state residents and protects taxpayers from future obligations to pay for abortions,” Craig says.
The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.
The Senate also plans to take up bills that would change eligibility for public benefits tomorrow.
Some of those proposals put forward in the slate of bills would restrict access to benefits for people who own expensive houses or cars and another that would require employment and drug screening in order to get public housing.
Jon Peacock is a researcher with Wisconsin group Kids Forward. He says not only will making fewer people eligible for benefits not help people get back to work, but it can trip people up who depend on them to survive.
“It’s both the direct effects of making fewer people eligible, but even worse than that oftentimes is just investing a whole lot of money in new hoops for people to jump through,” Peacock says.
The bills are moving through the Legislature as part of a special session called by the governor, which means they’re moving at a quicker pace than usual. They only got one joint public hearing with both the Assembly and Senate committees late last month.
The bills include one that would expand work requirements to participate in FoodShare — the state’s food assistance program. People would need to work 10 more hours a month to qualify, including parents of school aged children.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said at that public hearing that the bill will help put Wisconsinites to work.
Another bill set for a Senate vote tomorrow would let developers fill portions of urban and rural wetlands without a permit. Conservation groups in the state have strongly opposed the plan.
If the Senate passes these bills tomorrow, they’ll all go to the governor’s desk for his signature. After tomorrow, the Senate only plans to have one more floor session. The Assembly plans to be done after this week.