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This Week in Legislative Affairs

March 13, 2012

The Legislative Affairs meeting this week started out announcements. Chair Hannah Somers announced that there is now going to be a Tenant Resource Center (TRC) advisory board. Either the Legislative Affair chair or an appointee must be on this board so Chair Somers will be soliciting an appointee from her committee. The TRC works with making sure student renters know their rights and helping them when an issue in their jurisdiction arises.

Reports given this week ranged from Mifflin, to vote to the intern projects.  There is a Mifflin Informational Meeting tonight at 7pm in 1211 Humanities where the changes to the block party will be discussed.  For vote, many students will be going to be home for spring break over the April 3rd election, and if they want to vote they need to request an absentee ballot. The temporary injunction on the Voter ID law was also discussed because there have been two challenges to this law saying it is unconstitutional. This means that if you are requesting an absentee ballot, you no longer need to send in a copy of your ID to receive one. However, this change is probably only for the April election, so if you are an out-of state student, you still should get a voter ID from the WiscCard office.

Interns gave a recap of their projects next.  Mohammad, who is working on vote discussed how he has meetings coming up to find groups who would get a good turnout at the event next year. To recap, he is planning an event or concert for next fall and at the concert, and register people to vote at the event.  Another intern, Meghan, is working on the testimonial about the budget cuts as well as focusing on lobby day.

The last intern, Morgan, sent out a survey yesterday about the alcohol policy on campus asking for student input. She announced that she gained another legislator to sponsor her bill, so now it is being sponsored by Senator Risser and Representative Hulsey.

The committee de-briefed about Lobby Day, which was last Thursday. The students who went gave feedback on the event and let the rest of the committee know how things went. The turn from UW Madison was lower than they had hoped for, but other than that, everything went fairly well. The students who went meet with legislators and/or staff. It was a session day, so some legislators could not personally meet with the students, because they were in caucus. Because of this, some students meet with staff and did not get solid responses to their questions. The people who meet with legislators generally got answers that they agree with. Over all, the event was a success.  Finally, the committee discussed a continued lobby project in which committee members would continue to lobby about various target groups, such as city, university or state with topics ranging from education and transportation to things as specific as downtown venues.

Overall, the legislative continues on its hard work on campus and its relentless efforts to project student rights here at UW Madison.

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