Update: the JFC passed the governor’s domestic partner benefits proposal on a 12-4 vote today (party lines). In addition, they passed a provision stating the legislature believes it’s in the best interest of the state to provide the benefits and recognize domestic partnerships.
At 11:00 a.m. today, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) is meeting for executive session on several provisions in the state budget (watch here). The language the JFC approves today is what goes to the floor when the Senate and Assembly debate/vote on the budget.
Because the Democrats hold the majority in both houses, whatever the JFC approves is what will most likely go to the governor’s desk for his signature.
On the agenda for today’s executive session (there’s one tomorrow as well), is the governor’s proposal to extend the state’s health insurance coverage to the domestic partners of state employees and provide at least 43 benefits to same-sex couples formerly reserved to legally married couples.
I just received a press release from Pro-Life Wisconsin indicating that tomorrow the JFC will vote on the budget proposal to expand Wisconsin’s Medicaid Family Planning Waiver Program to include 15, 16 and 17-year old boys. Thanks to the last budget, 15, 16 and 17-year old girls are already covered for “family planning services.”
Wisconsin’s age of consent is 16, meaning 15-year old boys and girls would fall under statutory rape laws. The state’s supposed to be in the business of deterring and punishing statutory rape, not encouraging rapists to take advantage of their under-age victims by providing free birth control!