Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Wisconsin Redistricting Case

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, the legal challenge to Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting map brought by Democratic voters against officials of the Wisconsin Elections Commission. In their questioning, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch suggested the challengers may not have legal standing […]

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Dane County Judge Vacates DNR-Approved Agricultural Well Permits

On October 11, Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn, Dane County Circuit Court, vacated seven high-capacity well permits issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and remanded another. Clean Wisconsin convinced the court DNR had a public trust duty to deny the permits despite no statutory language that requires such action. Clean Wisconsin filed the suit […]

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Bills of Note: Unemployment Insurance

In September, Sen. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater) and Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford) introduced a bill (SB 399/AB 516) that would make various changes to unemployment insurance law in Wisconsin, which is administered by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The bill is the agreed bill between labor and management members of the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council […]

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Family Medical Leave Reform To Be Introduced

Sen. Alberta Darling (R – River Hills) and Reps. Joan Ballweg (R – Markesan) and Mike Rohrkaste (R – Neenah) sent out a cosponsorship memo last week asking for support of their federalization of Wisconsin’s Family Medical Leave Law (FMLA). Wisconsin passed their FMLA law in 1988 under Gov. Thompson prior to President Clinton signing […]

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Worker’s Comp Advisory Council Meets on Proposed Bill

On Oct. 4, the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council met to discuss a draft bill of their agreed upon proposals to the legislature. The draft bill includes a variety of rate increases and other small items, but the most significant component is the inclusion of a medical fee schedule. At the meeting, the Council approved the […]

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Hire Heroes Program Receives Hearings

WPS employee and veteran Timothy LaSage testified in favor of the Hire Heroes bills moving through the legislature.  LaSage, a retired 1st Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and two-time Purple Heart recipient, spoke in favor of the bill that requires the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to establish a program to provide transitional jobs […]

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Bills of Note: Apprenticeships

In mid-September, Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) and Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) introduced a bill (AB 508/SB 411) that would prohibit the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) from requiring apprenticeship programs to have more than one journeyworker per apprentice. The bill also provides a clarification that eliminates minimum apprenticeship length requirements for carpentry and plumbing. Instead, […]

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State Rep. Bob Gannon Passes Away at 58

Rep. Bob Gannon (R-West Bend), the representative of the 58th Assembly district, passed away on Oct. 3 of natural causes. Elected officials expressed sorrow at the news, and Gov. Scott Walker released a statement writing, “Bob’s energy and passion will be deeply missed.” A memorial service for the representative will be held on Sunday, Oct. […]

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Medicaid Deficit Projected for End of the Biennium

On Oct. 2, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted a report on the Medicaid benefit budget to the Joint Committee on Finance. DHS projects that costs will exceed the budget by $7.9 million GPR by the end of the 2017-19 biennium, which began on July 1, 2017. The $7.9 million shortfall is due to […]

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Supreme Court and Governor Eliminate Funding for Judicial Council

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court sent an order to the Department of Administration (DOA) that it will no longer transfer funds to DOA in support of the Judicial Council. Separately, Gov. Scott Walker defunded the Council through a veto in the state budget. The Supreme Court cited concerns about an “extraordinary” 38 percent salary […]

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