While the full legislature has not met since the end of June, that does not mean work in the Capitol has stopped. Three task forces are currently touring the state and taking testimony to eventually develop legislation to combat topics deemed important enough to warrant their own committee. The three task forces are covering adoption, suicide prevention, and water quality.

Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption

The Speaker's Task Force on Adoption has been created to gather information and make policy recommendations and will focus on addressing the barriers facing biological and adoptive parents in the adoption process. The task force is led by Representative Barb Dittrich (Chair) and Representative Lisa Subeck (Vice-Chair).

The Speaker has given the committee specific areas to focus on. These include termination of parental rights, a shortened timeline for adoptions, understanding costs associated with adoption/finding ways to reduce costs, and increasing awareness about adoption/providing resources relating to adoption.

You can get more information here: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/committees/assembly/adoption

Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Suicide Prevention

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Wisconsin. This bipartisan task force, led by Representative Joan Ballweg (Chair) and Representative Steve Doyle (Vice-Chair), will travel around the state to hear from survivors, experts, advocates and families who have been impacted.

As part of this task force, legislators are tasked with evaluating the current resources for suicide prevention in our state and identifying opportunities to target and assist at-risk individuals. Policy recommendations are expected to be released this fall with the goal of supporting those struggling, promoting trainings to recognize the signs and stopping the rising trend of suicide in Wisconsin

You can get more information here: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/committees/assembly/adoption/members/

Joint Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality

The Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality has been created to gather information and make policy recommendations to better assess and improve the quality of both surface water and groundwater in Wisconsin. The goal is to listen to a diverse group of stakeholders so that they can include all perspectives as they move forward. The task force is led by Representative Todd Novak (Chair) and Representative Katrina Shankland (Vice-Chair).

The committee has been tasked to look at a variety of issues to include: identifying the best practices for soil mapping and data collection, determining the sources of contaminants, assess runoff management, investigate remedies that will protect a healthy and stable supply of water, and best practices for designing and constructing wells and septic systems.

You can get more information here: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/committees/assembly/STF-WQ/