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Wisconsin Senate Leader Expects Several Bills to Dead End in early 2014

Justin W. Kern

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald doubts his colleagues will pass several pieces of high-profile legislation, in early 2014.

Among the proposals he expects to go nowhere:

-- Bills banning sex-selection abortions, allowing religious employers to refuse to cover abortions and prohibiting public worker insurance plans from covering abortions (Assembly approve the bills)

-- Bills to toughen Wisconsin's drunken driving laws. Fitzgerald says he would prefer setting up drunken driving treatment courts, before considering the bills. They would make second offenses misdemeanors, require first-time offenders to appear in court and require prompt installation of court-ordered ignition locking devices (Assembly approved the bills)

-- Bill to raise the speed limit on Wisconsin's interstates from 65 MPH to 70 MPH (Assembly approved)

-- Bill doubling the amount of money people could donate to political campaigns. Fitzgerald says the bill would need major changes before the Senate would consider it.  (Assembly approved)

-- Proposed changes to the Common Core Academic Standards the DPI adopted years ago and schools have been implementing. Fitzgerald says the only idea senators may vote on, is increasing legislative oversight of academic standards. (Assembly expected to vote in February)