Hamilton Political Tidbits – 2018 Session Wrap Up

Political Tidbits - 2018 Session Wrap Up
Hamilton Consulting Group
 March 23, 2018
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

This week, the Wisconsin legislature wrapped up priority issues of the 2017-18 session. There is a possibility the Senate may return to take up the Assembly's gun safety legislation. However, absent special circumstances, the legislature will not reconvene until January 2019. In the meantime, legislators' focus will shift to preparing legislation and budget items for next session and the upcoming 2018 elections.
While the legislature is not in session, Tidbits will switch to a tri-weekly schedule. Meanwhile, visit our website for resources to stay up to date on elections, news clips, and other issues in Wisconsin politics.
In this edition:
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Floor Report: Senate and Assembly Wrap Up Priority Issues of 2017-18 Session

The Senate and Assembly met this week for what is likely the last floor votes of the 2017-18 session. Although the Assembly had said they were finished in February, Senate changes to priority issues led the Assembly to meet in extraordinary session on Thursday. In the extraordinary session, the Assembly passed gun safety legislation outside of what passed the Senate, and it is unclear whether the Senate will return to take up the controversial bill.
Legislature Passes Common Sense Civil Litigation Reforms

In their March 22 extraordinary session, the Wisconsin Assembly concurred in AB 773, which contains a number of important civil litigation reforms, including discovery and class action rules. The bill now heads to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

Court Orders Gov. Walker to Call Special Elections

A Dane County judge this week ordered Gov. Scott Walker to call special elections for the vacant Senate District 1 and Assembly District 42. Walker had previously declined to hold special elections because he argued the legislature would wrap up session before new legislators would be elected.
First Marquette Poll of 2018 Released

On March 5, Marquette University (MU) released its first poll of 2018 that compiled interviews with 800 registered voters in Wisconsin between Feb. 25-March 1, 2018. Generally, Wisconsin voters' opinions on politicians remain similar to numbers from the previous MU poll in June 2017.
Update on State Supreme Court Race

After several months of campaigning for the state Supreme Court primary 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.
Legislature & Governor Highlight Importance of Apprenticeships to Wisconsin Workforce

Earlier this month, Gov. Scott Walker congratulated the four winners of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin's skills competition. Walker highlighted ABC's apprenticeship programs that help train a new generation of workers to meet Wisconsin's skilled workforce needs. The legislature has also worked this session to promote apprenticeships in Wisconsin.
PSC, Governor's Office Staff Changes

Earlier this month, Gov. Scott Walker appointed his chief of staff, Rich Zipperer, as Public Service Commissioner. Zipperer fills a vacancy created when Walker appointed Ellen Nowak as Department of Administration secretary in February.
OCI Holding Public Comment Period on 1332 Reinsurance Waiver

On Feb. 27, 2018, Gov. Scott Walker signed the Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan, a $200 million state-based reinsurance program for health carriers. Implementation of the program requires the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to seek a 1332 waiver from the federal government. OCI released the draft 1332 waiver, which is available for public comment until April 14.

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News Clips
Utilities and Energy
Assembly GOP plan bolsters background checks for long gun sales: Wisconsin State Journal, March 22, 2018.
Federal appeals court rules against conservative group: Minnesota Star Tribune, March 21, 2018.
Home-county sex offender bill goes to Walker: Beloit Daily News, March 21, 2018.
Bill to hire 54 prosecutors stalls in Senate: Wisconsin Law Journal, March 21, 2018.

Economic Development
Duffy requests at least $5 billion to secure schools: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, March 22, 2018.

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