WEDA Legislative Tracker: End of Session Recap

The Wisconsin Legislature has adjourned for the 2021-21 session and does not plan to reconvene until next year. Although the legislative session is over, you can review the WEDA Legislative Bill Tracker to look back at what happened in the halls of the State Capitol. The Bill Tracker lists and allows members to follow and learn more about the bills WEDA lobbied on and monitored during the 2021-22 session. The WEDA Bill Tracker includes the bill number, a brief description of the bill, its final status and WEDA’s position on the proposal.


  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 1
  • Bill Description: Omnibus COVID-19 Relief Bill. The bill includes a provision that would create broad COVID-19 civil liability protections for businesses and and other entities.
    Bill Status: Assembly Bill was passed by the full Legislature and subsequently vetoed by the governor. The civil liability provision supported by WEDA has since been attached to Special Session Senate Bill 1 (a comprehensive unemployment insurance reform bill), passed by the full Legislature and signed into law by the governor as 2021 Wisconsin Act 4.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT (WEDA specifically supports the COVID-19 civil liability immunity provisions in AB 1)


  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 38 / Senate Bill 44
  • Bill Description: Creates an application fee exemption for veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces applying for admission to University of Wisconsin System schools or Wisconsin technical colleges.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 56 / Senate Bill 76
  • Bill Description: Current law exempts certain machinery NOT used in manufacturing from the personal property tax. To hold municipalities and other taxing jurisdictions harmless, current law also provides them with state aid payments to compensate for the loss of property tax revenue. However, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue interprets current law to mean state aid payments made to a TIF district terminate when the TIF district closes. This bill clarifies that after the termination of a TIF district, state aid payments are shifted to the other taxing jurisdictions.
  • Bill Status: AB 56 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor as 2021 Wisconsin Act 61.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 69 / Senate Bill 78
  • Bill Description: Provides comprehensive expungement reform to help strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce. The bill proposal would:
    • Eliminate the state mandate on judges to grant/deny expungement at the time of sentencing.
    • Eliminate the current requirement that expungement can only be granted for crimes committed before the age of 25.
    • Specify that an expunged crime cannot be considered a conviction for employment purposes.
    • Clarify that only low-level offenders are eligible for expungement.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 115 / Senate Bill 125
  • Bill Description: Creates an income tax deduction for tuition expenses paid by an individual to participate in an apprenticeship program approved by the Department of Workforce Development.
  • Bill Status: SB 125 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 152 / Senate Bill 167
  • Bill Description: Creates an exemption from the examination requirement for certain building plans and plumbing plans and modifies other aspects of the building plan review process.
  • Bill Status: AB 152 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor..
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 156 / Senate Bill 172
  • Bill Description: Creates a State of Wisconsin workforce housing income tax credit for multi-family housing projects for individuals and families that make at least 61% but not more than 100% of area median income. The tax credit would be administered by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 200 / Senate Bill 217
  • Bill Description: Requires the Department of Revenue to deposit into the transportation fund a percentage of the sales tax revenue from the sale of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, accessories, and services.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 235 / Senate Bill 280
  • Bill Description: Requires the governor to allocate $50 million in federal funds that Wisconsin received though the American Rescue Plan Act to spur economic development in rural counties. The funding is administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for the following purposes:
    • Support existing and new rural development programming through WEDC;
    • Provide grants to county and regional economic development organizations to create Revolving Loan Funds to support business development and expansion; and
    • Award one-time grants to county and regional economic development organizations to support economic recovery.
  • Bill Status: AB 235 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 239 / Senate Bill 278
  • Bill Description: Requires the governor to allocate $500 million in federal funds that Wisconsin received though the American Rescue Plan Act for broadband expansion grants.
  • Bill Status: AB 239 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 266 / Senate Bill 291
  • Bill Description: Authorizes Wisconsin Technical colleges to provide AA/AS degrees in general education without approval from the UW System Board of Regents. In addition, the bill authorizes UW System institutions to expand their two-year technical degrees without approval from the WTCS Board. The legislation aims to increase educational opportunities and ensure students have access to federal and state need-based financial education assistance.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 336 / Senate Bill 354
  • Bill Description: Ends Wisconsin’s participation in federal unemployment compensation enhancement programs: Pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) program; Pandemic Emergency Unemployment compensation (PEUC) program; Federal pandemic unemployment compensation (FPUC) program; Mixed earner unemployment compensation (MEUC) program. The legislation is aimed at addressing the state’s workforce shortage.
  • Bill Status: AB 336 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 371 / Senate Bill 365
  • Bill Description: Makes numerous modifications to the state’s Rural Broadband Expansion Grant Program to help ensure broadband expansion funding is directed to communities with the greatest need and to better align the program with the evolving technological landscape. Changes include: Eliminating the “underserved” category under the grant program to focus on truly unserved communities; giving priority to projects that offer speeds at 900 Mbps or greater; requiring project completion reports to ensure advertised speeds and access are met; providing state technical support to local projects; and improving broadband coverage mapping.
  • Bill Status: SB 365 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 517 / Senate Bill 518
  • Bill Description: Would modify current environmental remediation tax incremental district (ERDTID) law to redefine “environmental pollution” to include harmful substances found inside of existing structures. This would qualify the redevelopment of environmentally contaminated buildings as an eligible ERTID project cost. The bill aims to expand the economic toolbox by allowing local communities to more effectively utilize ERTIDs to revitalize contaminated properties and spur redevelopment projects.
  • Bill Status: SB 518 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law as 2021 WI Act 149.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 579 / Senate Bill 568
  • Bill Description: Exempts property owners that are not a corporate entity from responsibility relating to the discharge of a hazardous substance on their property if the owner is not at fault. The bill also exempts a county that takes a tax deed on property contaminated by a hazardous substance, as well as any person who subsequently acquires the property from the county, from responsibility relating to the contamination.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 603 / Senate Bill 629
  • Bill Description: Creates a certified workforce housing development site program administered by WEDC. The program would pre-qualify properties for residential development that have: 1) A clean title; 2) Proper zoning; 3) Adequate utilities and infrastructure; 4) Has no wetlands; 5) Would limit development fees; and 6) Will receive all development approvals within 60 days after forms are submitted.
  • Bill Status: SB 629 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 606 / Senate Bill 631
  • Bill Description: Creates a sales tax exemption for building materials, supplies, equipment, and services used in the construction of workforce housing projects.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 607 / Senate Bill 877
  • Bill Description: Creates a low interest loan program to rehabilitate certain single-family homes built before 1980.
  • Bill Status: AB 607 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law as 2021 WI Act 221.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 609
  • Bill Description: Creates a local housing investment fund program that would allow local units of government to use increased property tax revenue to create new working housing options.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 849 / Senate Bill 900
  • Bill Description: Addresses legal title issues on shoreline property that has been filled for over 40 years to allow Wisconsin municipalities to redevelop commercial and industrial waterway areas.
  • Bill Status: SB 900 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 858 / Senate Bill 842
  • Bill Description: Statutory changes related to consumer lawsuit lending.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 888 / Senate Bill 843
  • Bill Description: Provides $10 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) for the purpose of marketing Wisconsin as a great place to live and work for U.S. service members and their families who are transitioning to civilian life.
  • Bill Status: AB 888 was passed by the Legislature, but vetoed by the governor.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT

  • Bill Number: Assembly Bill 890 / Senate Bill 830
  • Bill Description: Modifies the Wisconsin Low Income Housing Tax Credit as follows: 1.) Increase the annual tax credit certification cap from $42 million to $70 million; 2.) Extend the credit period from six years to 10 years; and 3.) Ensure at least 35% of annual tax credits are for projects in rural areas of the state.
  • Bill Status: Failed to pass in the 2021-22 legislative session.
  • WEDA Position: SUPPORT