Meet the New Senators-Elect

Senate Republicans have expanded their margin to 21-12 by picking up two Democrat seats and assuming Republicans will successfully defend Senator Fitzgerald’s seat after he vacates it. Overall, for the 2021-22 legislative session, there will be eight “freshman” Senators, including five Republicans and three Democrats. This incoming group includes several familiar faces of former Assembly […]

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Updated: COVID-19 Orders and Current Challenges

Wisconsin continues to shatter daily records for COVID-19 cases and deaths. Despite litigation challenging his ability to issue subsequent public health emergencies, this week, Gov. Evers announced he plans to extend the statewide mask mandate through mid-January. The Supreme Court will likely weigh in before then with a decision that could leave the governor will […]

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Legislators Chose New Leadership; Finance Co-Chairs Announced

On Thursday Nov. 5, Senate Republicans met to determine who will be the Senate leadership for the 2021-22 legislative session. With Sen. Scott Fitzgerald being elected to Congress, the Senate Majority Leader position was open with two Senators running – Sen. Roger Roth (R – Appleton) and Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg). Many political […]

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Gov. Evers Calls Special Session on Policing Accountability and Transparency; Legislature Responds

In response of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, on August 24, Gov. Evers called a special session of the legislature to address policing accountability and transparency to begin on August 31, 2020. The Senate and the Assembly gaveled in for the special session but met in “skeletal session,” meaning they did not actually […]

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COVID-19 Premises Liability Legislation Circulating in Wisconsin Legislature

Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam), and Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) are circulating legislation to shield Wisconsin businesses, schools, universities, and other entities from the threat of lawsuits alleging liability for COVID-19 exposures. Such protections would only apply to those who take adequate precautions to keep their premises safe. On September 9, […]

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Gov. Evers Issues Executive Order Declaring Public Health Emergency and Requiring Face Coverings Statewide

On July 30, Gov. Evers declared a public health emergency effective for the next 60 days (or until it is revoked by Gov. Evers or by action of the Legislature). Pursuant to the declaration, the governor issued a statewide requirement for all persons to wear masks. The statewide mask requirement goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August […]

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Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Unemployment Insurance Program

On May 27, the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform held an informational hearing on Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance (UI)  program. The hearing was held as Wisconsin unemployment numbers are at record highs, and many Republican legislators are criticizing Gov. Tony Evers’s administration for reports of major backlogs in UI requests. As noted in the […]

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Declares Safer at Home Order Unenforceable

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued a 4-3 decision in Legislature v. Palm, declaring the Department of Health Services’s (DHS) “Safer at Home” order unenforceable and immediately striking down the order. The court held that the Safer at Home order is a “rule” that was required to go through statutory rulemaking processes and that the […]

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Legislature Files Legal Challenge to DHS “Safer At Home” Order Extension

On April 16, Gov. Tony Evers directed Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to extend Wisconsin’s Safer at Home Order to May 26 under Emergency Order #28. Less than a week later, the Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature filed a lawsuit challenging DHS’s authority to issue such an order. DHS issued the order under Wis. Stat. §§ […]

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Wisconsin Civil Justice Council, Business Coalition Call for Additional Liability Protections to Help Reopen and Restart the Wisconsin Economy

Wisconsin Civil Justice Council (WCJC) and a coalition of 40 Wisconsin businesses and chambers of commerce are calling for the Legislature to enact civil liability protections to help Wisconsin businesses as the state begins to reopen the economy. The Wall Street Journal recently editorialized calling for quick action, noting plaintiff attorneys are already targeting reopening […]

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