2020 State of the State: Republican Response

Senate President Roger Roth gave the Republican response to Gov. Tony Evers’s second State of the State address on Jan. 22. Roth highlighted the Legislature’s success in the 2019-21 state budget, which he praised as funding priorities like transportation, health care, and education without increasing taxes. Roth criticized the governor for his vetoes of several […]

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Water Quality Task Force Releases Recommendations

This month, the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality released their bipartisan report and recommendations after holding public hearings throughout the state over the summer. The report proposes 13 new bills related to water quality and endorses several others already introduced in the Legislature. The Task Force is currently circulating drafts of the following bills: […]

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2019 Legislative Wrap-Up

As 2019 comes to a close, Hamilton Consulting analyzes where we are in the 2019-20 legislative session and highlights what we might expect, according to legislative leadership, for the remainder of the session in 2020.   So far this session… With divided government this session, the pace of bills passed and signed into law has […]

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Legislators Circulate Bill to Protect Sports Officials

Reps. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville), Don Vruwink (D-Milton) & Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) and Sens. Andre Jacque (R-DePere) and Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire) are circulating a bill that would protect sports officials. Assault of sports officials is a rising problem across the country and in Wisconsin. The bill (LRB 4781) seeks to address this problem by strengthening […]

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PFAS Update: WI Agency Advisory Council Meets, EPA Action

In addition to last month’s comment period on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) initial scope statements seeking to regulate PFAS, Wisconsin and federal agencies are continuing to progress toward regulation of these substances. At the state level, Gov. Tony Evers has convened a multi-agency advisory council to address PFAS. At the federal level, […]

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Floor Report: November Senate & Assembly Floor Periods

The Wisconsin Senate and Assembly met this month for what is expected to be the last floor sessions of 2019. The Senate met on Nov. 5, and the Assembly met on Nov. 7 and 12. Both chambers also met very briefly in accordance with Gov. Tony Evers’s call for a special session on gun reform […]

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Hands-Free Driving Bill Introduced

Wisconsin legislators have introduced a bill (SB 522/AB 582) that would ban use of wireless communication devices while driving, except for hands-free use. The bill would put Wisconsin in line with nearly 20 states that ban handheld cell phone use while driving, including neighboring state Minnesota, which recently passed a similar law. The bill provides […]

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Legislators Reintroduce Family Medical Leave Bill

Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) and Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Mt. Horeb) are reintroducing a bill that would expand Wisconsin’s Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The legislators circulated for cosponsorship the new FMLA proposal (LRB 0323) on Oct. 22. The bill would expand the application of the FMLA to small businesses with at least 25 permanent […]

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Gov. Evers Calls Special Session on Gun Reform

On Oct. 21, Gov. Tony Evers issued Executive Order #54, calling for a special session of the Legislature on Nov. 7 to address gun violence. The executive order directs the legislature to consider two bills: a “red-flag” law and universal background check requirements. LRB 4383/LRB 4700, authored by Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) and Sen. Lena […]

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Assembly Rule Changes

In their Oct. 10 floor session, the Wisconsin Assembly voted largely along party lines to approve several Assembly rule changes in two Assembly Resolutions. Assembly Resolution 12, which passed 61-35, included provisions to allow members with permanent disabilities to participate in committee meetings remotely. Other changes included in AR 12 were: Establishes time limits for […]

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