The rules committee introduced a bill in January to block the rule from taking effect. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 20-12 to place the bill in committee, which effectively blocks the DSPS rule from going into effect because the bill won’t reach Evers’ desk, where he would be able to veto it. All of the chamber’s Democrats voted against the move. The Republican-controlled Assembly also moved to place the rule in committee.
Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, who is openly gay, denounced conversion therapy as brainwashing, and said allowing it would harm young people.
“It doesn’t work, it’s a sham, it’s a political talking point to make some people feel good, like Rush Limbaugh,” Carpenter said.
Mike Mikalsen, a spokesman for Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, said the committee’s objections to the conversion therapy and PFAS rules, among others, were not based on the merits of the rules, but rather upon the belief that the rules went beyond the scope of state law.
Mikalsen referred to previous bills to ban conversion therapy that the Legislature never passed as evidence that a ban would need to be done through law, not the rules process.
Republicans in the Senate and Assembly also placed in their respective committees a bill blocking a Department of Natural Resources rule aimed at combating PFAS contamination.