Bills to Watch: Drug Prices & UW Tuition


Protected status for county jailers

This bill would place all county jailers in a protected status under the Wisconsin Retirement System. In 2011, Act 10 overhauled the protections and benefits for state workers, exempting public-safety employees. County jailers were not considered public-safety employees, and as of August 2018, only 10 Wisconsin counties had kept the protected status of their jailers (Door County is one of those). The bill had a public hearing on March 19 and is in the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.


Expungement of criminal records

This bill would make changes to Wisconsin’s expungement process: the way in which individuals can get a criminal charge removed from their record. The bill would eliminate the requirement that expungement be offered only at the time of sentencing, clarify criminal-background disclosures on employment applications, grant expungement only for misdemeanors and Class H and I felonies, define completion of a sentence and eliminate the 25-year-old age limit. The bill had a public hearing on March 19 and is in the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.


Drug-price transparency

This bill would make a number of changes to the regulation of pharmacies and pharmacists. Notably, the bill would allow pharmacists to disclose prescription-drug costs; less expensive, therapeutically equivalent drugs or devices; and less expensive methods of purchasing a drug or device. Currently, health-insurance policies may ban pharmacists from disclosing these costs. The bill is in the Senate Committee of Health and Human Services.


In-state tuition grants

This bill would create a $15 million grant program to refund students who paid out-of-state tuition at University of Wisconsin System or Wisconsin Technical College System schools if those students live and work in Wisconsin for two years following graduation. The program seeks to increase the retention and recruitment of students graduating from these schools to develop a stronger workforce in the state. The bill is circulating for co-sponsorship until March 28.