Hamilton Political Tidbits – December 1, 2017

Political Tidbits - December 1, 2017
Hamilton Consulting Group
 December 1, 2017
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

The race to pass legislation before the end of session continues as the holidays approach. Read about bills signed and introduced this week, plus upcoming 2018 elections in this week's Tidbits:
If you wish to receive additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits, please do not hesitate to

Litigation Reform Legislation Circulated

This week, Reps. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sens. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and David Craig (R-Big Bend) circulated litigation reform legislation (LRB 4700) aimed at lowering costs for Wisconsin businesses and government. The bill would modernize Wisconsin's civil procedures for discovery and class actions to align with corresponding federal rules.
The bill is supported by the Wisconsin Attorney General Brad SchimelWisconsin Civil Justice Council, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, American Tort Reform Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform, among other organizations. Cosponsorship for the bill is due Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Gov. Walker Signs Bills Addressing Homelessness in Wisconsin 

For the past year, Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) have spearheaded an effort to help address the issue of homelessness in Wisconsin. On Monday, the governor signed two bills that arose from those efforts.

Signed By Governor: Contaminated Well Remediation, Homelessness Bills, Constitutional Convention, Wetland Mitigation

Gov. Scott Walker signed 55 bills into law this week at the Wisconsin state capitol. The bills will be some of the last signed in 2017, as the legislature held its final floor sessions of the year in early November. The bills addressed topics including contaminated well remediation, homelessness, constitutional convention, and wetland mitigation.
Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care Releases "Foster Forward" Package

This week, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's (R-Rochester) Task Force on Foster Care released a package of 13 bills to improve Wisconsin's foster care system. The "Foster Forward" package is the result of six public hearings across the state and addresses four policy goals: Prevention Efforts, Improving the Child Welfare System, Support for Foster Care Providers, and Support for Foster Care Youth.

Meet the January 2018 Special Election Candidates

Nomination papers were due last week for the January special elections to fill the vacant 10th Senate District and 58th and 66th Assembly Districts. The candidates are now finalized and set for the Dec. 19 primaries. The primaries later this month will be essential in deciding the Assembly races in the heavily Republican 58th and heavily Democratic 66th. The 10th Senate District is expected to stay in Republican hands, but some will consider it a Wisconsin test case post the Virginia November 2017 elections that saw heavy republican districts go to the Democrats.  Keep an eye on Hamilton's 2018 Election Issue Update for primary results and analysis as the elections approach.
Oral Arguments Held in Tetra Tech Case

The Supreme Court is holding oral arguments today in Tetra Tech Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR). The case provides an opportunity for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to address the deference Wisconsin courts afford regulatory agencies when interpreting statutory provisions that ultimately define agencies' own power and reach.
Governor's Autonomous Vehicle Committee November Meeting

The Governor's Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment met at the Capitol on Nov. 15. The committee heard from presenters who discussed connected vehicle test pilots, among other possibilities for introducing autonomous and connected vehicles in Wisconsin.
Prescription Drug Take Back Day Numbers Released

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week the official collection numbers for the biannual Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Wisconsinites returned a record-setting 63,941 lbs. of unused medications on the fall date, Oct. 28.

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News Clips
UW-Health to cut $80 million from budget: Wisconsin State Journal, November 30, 2017.
Impact of childhood trauma reaches rural Wisconsin: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 30, 2017.

Utilities and Energy
Outside attorney with conservative political background joins DNR: Wisconsin State Journal, November 30, 2017.
EPA finds Wisconsin barrel plants violating environmental laws: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 29, 2017.

Economic Development
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