Hamilton Political Tidbits – June 26, 2015

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Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits
Compiled by
The Hamilton Consulting Group
 June 26, 2015


Those working on the Wisconsin budget sit in limbo, as the Joint Finance Committee has not met in nearly a month. In June, the legislature convened once and some of the passed bills relating to firearms have already been signed by Governor Walker, which you can read about below in "Bills of Note". However, most in Wisconsin politics continue to be preoccupied with the budget, or lack thereof.


This edition of Tidbits includes the details of the budget saga, an update on the primary for the 33rd Senate District and a Bills of Note on firearms laws, public notices on the internet and ignition interlock legislation.


Stay up to date on the state budget process! Check our State Budget Issue Update page and follow us on Twitter.


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As the Budget Turns...

No one knows for sure when legislators will finish work on the state budget, but as of today their public statements reveal that they are still at odds. The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has not met since late May and there has not been any official notice of future JFC meetings.

A few key sticking points, including transportation funding, the Milwaukee Bucks arena funding and prevailing wage reform, have held the spotlight as the issues of contention between both houses and the Governor. There are a number of other issues that are still pending that likely do not have agreement and will surface in the "999" wrap-up motion at the end of the process.

After pressure from Governor Walker to not include any revenue increases to the transportation budget, legislators have settled on reducing $1.3 bonding level and cutting projects. Thus, a backdrop has emerged to the budget debate between the two houses, which has reignited an old division that pits Milwaukee versus the rest of the state.




New Senator to Represent 33rd Senate District

Representative Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) has won the primary for the special election to fill the 33rd Senate seat. The Senate seat, which covers most of Waukesha County, is currently held by Senator Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee), whose last day is July 17th. In November, Sen. Farrow was elected as Waukesha County Executive.

Bills of Note: Drafted, Passed, and Signed

Air Pollution Rule Repeal
Senate Bill 144, introduced in May by Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), eliminates a rule promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), relating to construction permit requirements for stationary sources that emit greenhouses gases, which is no longer valid under the Supreme Court's decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the 2014 decision, the Supreme Court largely upheld the right of the EPA to regulate emission, but limited its authority in regulating smaller stationary sources.

Legal Notices on the Internet
In late April, Sen. Howard Markelin (R-Spring Green) introduced Senate Bill 137, which would change the way local municipalities are allowed to post public notices. Under current law, a municipality must post the notice in at least three public places likely to give notice to those affected.

Ignition Interlock
Last week, Rep. David Heaton (R- Wausau) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R- Racine) introduced AB 266, which would create an Ignition Interlock Restricted License (IIRL). The IIRL is an option, in addition to the occupational license, for a person who commits a first OWI offense while their alcohol level is below .15 and a person who either fails a chemical test or refuses a test. Under the bill, the ignition interlock device (IID) would not have time of day or route restrictions but is mandated to be in any vehicle operated by a person with an IIRL.

Signed into Law: Off-duty and Retired Law Enforcement Carry on School Grounds
On June 24, Governor Walker signed  SB 70 into law as  2015 Wisconsin Act 23. Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) introduced the bill with its companion  AB 46, which was laid on the table after the Senate's passage of SB 70.

Signed into Law: 48 hour waiting period

SB 35, which was signed into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 22 by Governor Walker on Tuesday removed a 48-hour waiting period required for those who purchase a firearm. The bill was originally introduced by Sen. Wanggaard and Rep. Quinn.


Read more about these bills...


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Supreme Court Set to Revisit Class Action Standards

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, a case which has the potential to shake up the class action bar.

The case revolves around a dispute raised by Tyson pork-processing workers from an Iowa plant who alleged they were underpaid for time spent putting on and taking off protective gear and walking to and from workstations. The scope of the class was created using statistical information about how much time the average Tyson worker took to put on the gear and get to their work station. No individualized analysis of class members was undergone.

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News Clips 


Ron Johnson, Russ Feingold trade barbs on PACUR payment, PAC spending: The Capital Times, June 23, 2015.

WSJ/NBC national poll shows Hillary Clinton crushing all rivals: Politico, June 22, 2015.

Inside Scott Walker's $20 million push to lay groundwork for presidential run: The Washington Post, June 22, 2015.

New trooper contract calls for 3 percent raises: WKOW, June 22, 2015.


Economic Development

As Democrats seek resignation of WEDC head, Scott Walker insists jobs agency 'didn't cut corners': Wisconsin State Journal, June 25, 2015.

Unemployment increases in most Wisconsin cities, counties last month: Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 24, 2015.

Mining jobs unsteady, but Caterpillar, Joy Global hope worst is over: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2015.

Plan calls for no across-the-board raises for state workers: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 23, 2015.

Senate advances fast-track trade bill for Obama: The Hill, June 23, 2015.

Local lawmakers skeptical of Bucks arena plan: Green Bay Press Gazette, June 23, 2015.

Internal review spurs Democrats' calls for investigation of Scott Walker's WEDC: The Capital Times, June 23, 2015.

State home sales rise nearly 8% in May: Wisconsin State Journal, June 22, 2015.



City may provide $9 million loan to school district with repayment through TIF district surplus: Wisconsin State Journal, June 24, 2015.

Proposal would increase MMSD school board stipend by nearly $4K: Channel 3000, June 23, 2015.

President Obama announces career, technical education scholars program: Augusta Free Press, June 23, 2015.

Scott Walker, going for conservative trifecta, takes on tenured professors: LA Times, June 23, 2015.

Proposals would add $1.8M to Madison School District budget: Wisconsin State Journal, June 23, 2015.

Lawmakers consider letting students opt out of more standardized tests: Superior Telegram, June 22, 2015.



Board approves streamlined pollution rules, sale of Vernon County park land: La Crosse Tribune, June 25, 2015.

Head of targeted DNR science bureau departing: Chippewa Herald, June 25, 2015.

Preliminary DNR blessing moves Waukesha Great Lakes water bid forward: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 25, 2015.

Groups raise concerns about proposed CAFO: Business North, June 24, 2015.

CWD-positive white-tailed deer found on Eau Claire County farm: Northland News Center, June 24, 2015.

DNR works to slow spread of jumping worm: Channel 3000, June 24, 2015.

Fight over farm expansion heads to state appeals court: Green Bay Press Gazette, June 23, 2015.

Lake association and DNR reach agreement: Pierce County Herald, June 23, 2015.

"Fish Sticks" Help Fish, Critters In Lakes: WXPR, June 23, 2015.

County opposes shoreland zoning proposal: Superior Telegram, June 22, 2015.



Supreme Court upholds key tool for fighting housing bias: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 25, 2015.


Utilities & Energy

Here's who will run Peoples Gas now: Chicago Business, June 25, 2015.

Energy companies unite to fight scams: La Crosse Tribune, June 24, 2015.

Wisconsin Energy clears final hurdle for $9.1 billion acquisition of Integrys Energy: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 24, 2015.

Xcel, developers reach agreement on Minnesota community solar program: Midwest Energy News, June 25, 2015.

City considers fiber optics plan: Sun Prairie Star, June 23, 2015.

Lake Mills seeking 10-percent hike in water rates to pay for capital projects: Jefferson County Union, June 23, 2015.

New frac sand mines opening in Wisconsin despite industry slowdown: Wisconsin Public Radio, June 22, 2015.



City cutting back on street repairs: Marshfield News Herald, June 25, 2015.

Wisconsin DMV follows new federal rules for truckers: La Crosse Tribune, June 24, 2015.

Traffic fatalities in Wisconsin are up significantly: DOT intensifying traffic safety efforts: Fox6, June 23, 2015.

Marsh rail more than half complete; attempt to halt work to take another month: La Crosse Tribune, June 23, 2015.

Majority of Assembly Republicans sign letter bucking Scott Walker on roads: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 22, 2015.

Republican lawmakers spar publicly as budget deadline nears: Wisconsin State Journal, June 22, 2015.



Having survived court ruling, insurance markets still face economic threats: Kaiser Health News, June 25, 2015.

Supreme Court allows nationwide health care subsidies: The New York Times, June 25, 2015.

Baldwin introduces bill to curb overmedication at VA: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 24, 2015.

State has taken little action on possibility of losing health care subsidies: Wisconsin Public Radio, June 23, 2015.

Aurora's business enterprise unit invests in digital health accelerator StartUp Health: Milwaukee Business Journal, June 23, 2015.

Audit says nearly $3 billion in Obamacare subsidies can't be verified: Northwoods River News, June 22, 2015.

DHS plans treatment help for northern Wisconsin drug addicts: Superior Telegram, June 22, 2015

State sets new standards for covering rape kit costs: Wisconsin Public Radio, June 22, 2015.


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