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Wisconsin Legislative Tracker

Welcome!  This is your insider’s view on the Wisconsin Legislature. The chart below will tell you how your legislators are voting on conservation issues you care about, from clean energy to water protection, forestry, environmental toxins, recycling and more.

For the full list of bills Sierra Club has registered on, see our lobbying page on the Wisconsin State Ethics Board websiteYou can also consult our 2013-14 Legislative Scorecard to see how your legislators voted on key conservation issues, and visit our political page for information on elections and endorsements based on incumbent voting records and other factors.  For information on previous sessions, see our 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10, or 2011-12 scorecards.  Please contact Caryl Terrell, Legislative Chair, with

2013-14 Legislative Tracker


Name Bill Issue Status Sierra Club's Position

Removes Local Control for Frac Sand


SB 632 / AB 816 SB 632 prohibits local governments from changing or even enforcing rules for operating frac sand mines even if they're found to be "non-conforming" or violating the rules, and by prohibiting them from doing anything to stop a frac sand operation on lands registered as having a sand deposit. SB 632 also undermines the 2012 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision upholding the right of local governments to prohibit a frac sand mine proposal.
Sen. Tom Tiffany introduced SB 632 on Feb. 26. Urge your legislators to oppose SB 632 today.


Click here to read our press release on SB 632

Fox Valley Reginal Transit Authority SB 259 / AB 349 Authorized the Fox Valley to form a Regional Transit Authority to raise dedicated local funds for transit via sales tax or other means. The Senate passed SB 259 with a vote of 25-7 on 02/11/14.


Click here for Sierra Club's testimony

Phosphorus Discharge SB 574 / AB 680 This bill weakens current statewide phosphorus rules, by allowing for much more lenient variances. The Assembly passed AB 680 with a vote of 76-19 on 02/20/14.


Click here for Sierra Club's testimony

Renewable Portfolio Standard

SB 474/

AB 594

Exempts four small utilities from statewide Renewable Portfolio Standards. AB 594 was passed by the Committee on Energy and Utilities on 01/16/14 with a vote of 10-0. OPPOSE
Renewable Resource Credits

SB 473/

AB 596

Could allow historic renewable energy facilities to be used for meeting future renewable energy standards. AB 596 was passed by the Committee on Energy and Utilities on 01/16/14 with a vote of 10-0. OPPOSE
Shoreland Zoning SB 183 / AB 75 Under current law, cities, towns, and villages are to follow the shoreland zoning rules set by thier county. Under this bill, smaller minicipalities would be able to annex land to skirt existing environmental regulations. The Senate passed SB 183 with a vote of 20-23 on 11/12/13, and the Assembly passed the bill on the same day with a vote of 59-35. OPPOSE
Wind Turbine Lawsuits SB 167 This bill encourages those living near existing or future wind turbines who allege physical or emotional harm to sue wind companies, utilities and host landowners, strongly discouraging wind development A public hearing was held for SB 167 on 11/20/13.


Click here for Sierra Club's testimony

Removes Local Control for Mining Impacts


SB 349 / AB 476

SB 349 would bar any local government from regulating the use of explosives in frac sand and iron mining, and it undermines the recent WI Supreme Court decision upholding the right of local governments to regulate or prohibit a frac sand mine proposal.  Click here to take action! The Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue will hold a public hearing October 24, 2013. Click here for bill information. STRONGLY OPPOSE

Click here for Sierra Club's testimony

Reduces DNR's ability to protect Groundwater


SB 302 / AB 679

SB 302 would require DNR to remove existing conditions on high capacity well permits since the Lake Beulah case, limiting DNR’s ability to conduct an environmental impact review of high capacity well proposals, pressuring the DNR to make a high capacity well decision within 65 days, preventing the DNR to alter requirements for replacement wells, and preventing any permit changes in the event of property ownership changes.  A public hearing was held in the Senate Natural Resources Committee September 24, 2013. Click here for bill information. STRONGLY OPPOSE

Click here for Sierra Club's testimony

Closes Managed Forest Land for GTAC


SB 278 / AB 504

SB 278 would close public access to 3,500 acres of Managed Forest Land for GTAC near the proposed mine, without requiring back taxes to be repaid. Click here to take action! The Assembly passed SB 278 by a vote of 54-39 on 11/14/13, and the Senate passed SB 278 by a vote of 18-15 on 09/05/13. Gov. Walker signed 2013 Act 81 into law on 12/13/13. Click here for bill information. STRONGLY OPPOSE

Click here for Sierra Club's testimony

Bad River Watershed Destruction Act


AB 1 / SB 1

Requires decision on iron mining permits within 420 days; eliminates contested case hearings; allows mining waste to be deposited sensitive areas; allows groundwater contamination with minimal public health protections, allows drawdowns of lakes, rivers and streams, short-changes taxpayers and local communities by capping permit fees at $2 million and depositing 40% of tax revenues into the state's general fund.

SB 1 passed out of the Assembly and Senate Mining and Jobs Committees Feb. 6. The Senate passed SB 1 by a vote of 17-16 on 02/27/13, the Assembly passed it by a vote of 58-39 on 03/07/13.  Gov. Walker signed 2013 Act 1 on 03/11/13.



State Budget AB 40 The budget continues to expand highway funding, while failing to restore the 10% cut for transit from the last state budget. Gov. Walker proposed moving transit from the Transportation to the General fund, where it will compete with other basic services.

The Senate passed AB 40 by a vote of 17-16 on 06/21/13, the Assembly passed it by a vote of 55-42 on 06/18/13.

Nuclear towards renewable standards AB 34 This bill proposes that nuclear energy is considered among the renewable portfolio standards for the state and the time period is considered for using credits to comply with the standards. According to allies, this bill would not prevent the shutdown of the Kewaunee nuclear plant and it would not apply to Point Beach until their power purchase agreement expires. Introduced by Representatives Jacque, Tittl, Bies, Brooks, LeMahieu, Murphy, Ott, Schraa, Stone, and Marklein and cosponsored by Senators Lasee, Grothman, and Gudex on 02/18/13. It has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Utilities. OPPOSE
Freezes Renewable Energy Standards at 2010 levels SB 47 This bill does nothing to reduce climate change, clean up our air, create clean energy jobs, or reduce Wisconsin's dependency on fiossil fuels. The bill would freeze renewable energy standards at 2010 levels for Wisconsin, instead of creating new standards to strive towards. Introduced by Senator Grothman and cosponsored by Representatives LeMahieu, Kestell, Nass, Schraa, Brooks, and Larson on 02/28/13. It was referred to the committee on Energy, Consumer Protection, and Government Reform. OPPOSE
Increases fees charged for public record AB 26 This bill increases barriers to citizens who want to access information This bill was introduced by Representatives Bies, Ballweg, Brooks, Kapenga, T. Larson, Schraa, Tauchen, Tittl, and Zepnick on 02/15/13. It was referred to the Committee on Government Operations and State Licensing, which held a public hearing on 02/27/13. OPPOSE
Undermines Wind Siting SB 7/ AB 83 Allows exemption for statewide wind siting rules by allowing a unit of government to get an exemption based on public health. Passing the bill will create a barrier for wind tht doesn't exist for other resources such as coal or nuclear energy that pose health threats. This will encourage wind developers to leave our state for projects in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Introduced 03/08/13 by Senators Lasee, Ellis, Leibham, Grothman and Moulton;
cosponsored by Representatives Jacque, Murtha, Bies, Endsley, Kestell, Klenke, Knudson, LeMahieu, Spiros and Thiesfeldt and referred to Committee on Government Operations, Public Works, and Telecommunications.  Public hearing held 03/13/13.


Click here for Sierra Club's testimony

Transmission Line Bill SB 35 / AB 39

This bill clarifies the ability for American Transmission Company to invest in electric lines in other states, while also increasing public notification requirements for proposed transmission lines.

It requires that municipalities be informed at the time a transmission application is submitted, in addition to public notification after an application is completed.

SB 35 passed the Senate by a vote of 32-1 on 04/09/13 before passing the Assembly via concurrence on the same date. Gov. Walker signed 2013 Act 10 into law on 04/25/13. SUPPORT