Hamilton Political Tidbits – March 2, 2018

Political Tidbits - March 2, 2018
Hamilton Consulting Group
 March 2, 2018
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

It's the final countdown in the Wisconsin legislature... The Assembly has (probably) wrapped up for the year, and the Senate plans to meet once more this month. In this Tidbits:
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Floor Report: Assembly Wraps Up Session, What's Left in the Senate

The Wisconsin legislature is nearing the finish line of the 2017-18 session. The Assembly met on Feb. 20, 21, and 22 in what is expected to be their final floor votes of the year. The Senate met on Feb. 20 and is scheduled to come in on March 20 to begin their final calendar.
With the Assembly Speaker saying his house is finished for the session, bills eligible for passage into law are dwindling. It's now up to the Senate to approve big-ticket items such as the child tax credit, juvenile corrections, the remainder of Gov. Scott Walker's health care plans, and civil litigation reform. Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) indicated this week that his caucus may not pass the juvenile corrections and child tax rebate as passed by the Assembly. Any changes in the Senate in these final weeks would either kill the bills or force the Assembly to come back for an additional floor period.  The reality of Senate changes to Assembly versions of Walker priorities and Walker's latest announcements of upcoming school safety legislation means the Assembly is increasingly likely to come back in with the Senate the week of March 20.

Assembly Passes Litigation Reform Bill

In their Feb. 22 session, the Assembly passed AB 773, which contains a number of important civil litigation reforms, including discovery and class action rules. The bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and has been messaged to the Senate.
Screnock, Dallet Move on To Wisconsin Supreme Court General Election

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, Wisconsin voters selected Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet to advance to the general election for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Signed by Governor: Leading on Lead Act, Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan, and Worker's Compensation Fix

In the last week, Gov. Scott Walker signed several major bills into law. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Milwaukee, the governor signed the Leading on Lead Act into law as Act 136. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, the governor signed his Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan into law as Act 138. Rounding out his week of major bill signings, on Feb. 28, the governor signed SB 781 into law as Act 139. Act 139 prohibits an injured employee from filing an action in tort against third parties regardless of whether the employee makes a claim for compensation under the Worker's Compensation Act against his or her employer.
Wisconsin, 19 Other States File ACA Lawsuit

Led by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a coalition of 20 states have filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The lawsuit urges the federal district court to rule the ACA unconstitutional and enjoin the operation of the entire law.
Health Care Workforce Briefing at the Capitol

On Feb. 21, the Evidence-Based Health Policy Project, based out of University of Wisconsin - Madison, held a briefing in the state Capitol on policies to support the health care workforce in Wisconsin. Attendees heard from Sen. Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac) and a series of experts on health care workforce trends and medical education in Wisconsin.

Governor's AV Committee Meets to Discuss Insurance Issues 

On Feb. 28, the Governor's Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment convened for their fifth meeting. The only presentation at this month's meeting was from Allie McGuire-Korte from American Family Insurance. The presentation focused on insurance issues related to connected and AV technology.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Hosts 2018 Business Day 

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce held the 17th annual Business Day in Madison on Feb. 28 at the Monona Terrace. Attendees heard from speakers around the state and nation on business and political affairs topics.
Xcel Energy Legislative Day 2018

Xcel Energy held their 18th annual Legislative Day in Madison on Feb. 27. Xcel Wisconsin-Michigan President Mark Stoering and Regional Government Affairs Director Matt Pagel welcomed attendees at Monona Terrace. Then, Gov. Scott Walker addressed the group, honoring Xcel for their commitment to hiring veterans. Following Walker, Public Service Commissioner Lon Roberts discussed workforce training and market challenges for the utility industry. Xcel President and CEO Ben Fowke then spoke to the group before attendees headed to the Capitol for meetings with their legislators.
Badger State Sheriffs' Association Legislative Day

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, the Badger State Sheriffs' Association held their legislative day. Sheriffs from across Wisconsin met with their legislators to discuss a variety of issues impacting law enforcement.

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