07-08 Legislative Session

The history behind this bill and it's journey during the 2007-2008 legislative session is both interesting and quite the roller-coaster ride. This bill would not exist without the initiative of Franz Backus, who approached Representative Marlin Schneider asking him to introduce a bill that would require hearing aids and cochlear implants for children. Representative Schneider recognized the importance of the bill and worked to write and sponsor a bill with the input from Mr. Backus.
On March 7, 2007 Assembly Bill 133 was introduced by Represenative Marlin Schneider. Representatives Sheridan, Boyle, Pope-Roberts, Berceau, Sinicki, Hraychuck, Turner and Smith and Senator Julie Lassa also co-sponsored the bill The bill as introduced in March of 2007 is as follows http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2007/data/AB-133.pdf . The bill was later amended.
On March 12, 2008 Senate Bill 88 was introduced by both Julie Lassa and Fred Risser. The bill as introduced in March of 2007 is as follows http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2007/data/SB-88.pdf. The bill was later amended.
Many legislators passionately fought for this bill. Their advocacy is highlighted throughout this website. But there were two legislators who spearheaded the cause -- Representative Marlin Schneider and Senator Julie Lassa. The families, friends and other supporters of this bill can't thank you and your legislative staff, particularly Jessica from Representative Lassas office and Max from Representative Hilgenbergs office, enough for your passion and committment to the children of this state who are born deaf and hard of hearing.
The story would not be complete without a special thanks to John Mercure from TMJ4 who followed this story. Without his leadership in telling this story, the bill would not have gotten as far as it did during the last session. You don't realize how much it means to have someone on your side until you are fighting for your family. John not only fought for this bill to be passed, but became a part of the families.