Gov. Walker: Signs child safety and other legislation

Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

Madison—Today Governor Walker signed seven pieces of legislation that passed the regular legislative session with strong bi-partisan support. The Governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 42 relating to mandatory reporting of child abuse or neglect by school employees, SB 86 relating to refusing to employ or to terminate from employment an unpardoned felon, SB 45 relating to administration of medication to pupils, Assembly Bill (AB) 102 relating to crimes against children committed by child care providers, SB 49 relating to revocation for immoral conduct of a license issues by the Department of Public Instruction, SB 204 relating to allowing certain pupils to possess and use an epinephrine auto injector and AB 30 relating to delegation of care and custody of a child.

SB 42 requires all school employees to report suspected child abuse or neglect, and protects the reporter from disciplinary action or threats of disciplinary action or discharge from employment. It also requires school district employees to receive training in identifying abuse or neglect in the first 6 months of employment, as well as once every 5 years after the initial training.

“This bill marks another important step in protecting children and providing safeguards to employees who report suspected child abuse or neglect,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank State Senator Van Wanggaard and Representative Robin Vos for authoring this bill.”

SB 86 exempts criminal history from the current statutory definition of employment discrimination when the place of employment is an educational agency. This bill will allow an educational agency to refuse to employ or to terminate from employment an individual who has been convicted of a felony, whether or not the circumstances of the crime substantially relate to the circumstances of the particular job.

“Schools and other educational agencies should be able to evaluate a potential employee on their criminal history,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank State Senator Alberta Darling and Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt for moving forward this legislation that ensures children attending educational facilities are protected from felons.”

SB 45 eliminates current state mandates on the administration of medication to pupils in the school setting. Under this bill authorized individuals can administer over the counter drugs as well as prescription drugs even if the drug was not supplied by the parent or guardian. This bill will address practical concerns as well as provide schools with greater flexibility with regard to medication administration.

“This legislation will make it easier to provide children with medicine in schools,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank State Senator Luther Olson and Representative Steve Kestell for making it easier to administer medicines, which will save staff time and valuable taxpayer resources.”

AB 102 allows a judge to increase the maximum period of imprisonment by up to five years if a person who is licensed or certified to provide child care, or is providing child care for compensation commits a sexual assault against, or intentionally or recklessly causes bodily harm to, a child for whom the person is providing child care.

“This bill authorizes stronger punishments for criminals who sexually assault our children,” said Governor Walker. “I want to thank Representative Dan LeMahieu and State Senator Joe Leibham for authoring this important piece of legislation.”

SB 49 provides that when the Department of Public Instruction revokes a license due to immoral conduct on the part of the licensee in order to complete a thorough investigation the school administrator making the complaint must include a complete copy of the individual’s personnel file and all records related to any investigation conducted by or on behalf of the educational agency. This bill further stipulates that the Department of Public Instruction is required to maintain a record of all investigations it conducts as well as post on its website the name of any licensee whose license was revoked due to immoral conduct.

“This bill helps ensure that children in Wisconsin are being educated by qualified individuals,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank State Senator Luther Olson and State Representative Steve Kestell for providing leadership on this important issue.”

SB 204 permits a pupil while in school, at a school event, or under the supervision of a school authority to possess and use an epinephrine auto injector if the pupil uses the injector to prevent the onset or alleviate the symptoms of an emergency situation. This legislation further stipulates that the pupil must first obtain and provide to the school principal the written approval of his or her physician and parent/guardian.

“This legislation makes it possible for any school authority, while at a school authorized event, to use epi-pens in an emergency situation,” said Governor Walker. “I would like to thank State Senator Pam Galloway and Representative Pat Strachota for authoring this legislation and for their leadership on this issue.”

AB 30 creates a procedure by which a parent may, without court involvement, delegate to another person, for a period not to exceed one year, most of his or her powers regarding the care and custody of their child. The individual who is responsible for the child may not consent to marriage, the performance of an abortion on or for the child, the termination of parental rights of the child or the enlistment of the child the U.S. Armed Forces. This bill will allow parents that suffer from personal problems or who serve in the military and are called to active duty to delegate their parental rights to another for a period of time without losing custody.

“This bill will help our brave young men and women who serve in our military, and others who need help caring for a child for a short period of time, make temporary alternative arrangements for that child,” said Governor Walker. “State Representative Dale Kooyenga authored this bill and did a great job moving it through the Legislature.”