Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.
With the legislature and the governor focused on the state budget, the big news in Wisconsin politics over the past few weeks has been from the courts. This Tidbits covers the latest from the courts, legislature, governor, and agencies. In this edition:
Wisconsin Supreme Court Accepts Bypass Petition in Extraordinary Session Case
Several ongoing cases seeking to void the 2018 extraordinary session legislation are moving through Wisconsin and federal courts. This article provides background on each of the cases and updates on where each of the cases are in the legal process.
The latest: The Wisconsin Supreme Courtaccepted the League of Women Voters's petition to bypass the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court will hold oral arguments on May 15.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Accepts Clean Wisconsin v. DNR Appeal
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal in Clean Wisconsin v. DNR, which will decide whether 2011 Act 21 precludes DNR from considering cumulative environmental impacts in issuing high capacity well permits under Wis. Stat. § 281.34. The Court of Appeals District II had submitted in January a certification for the Supreme Court to take up the case.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments on April 10 in one of the more important cases of the term, Koschkee v. Evers. The case presents important state constitutional issues centered on whether the Department of Public Instruction and Superintendent of Public Instruction violated the 2017 Regulations from the Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act). The case also will be closely watched to see whether the Supreme Court revisits and overturns its previous decision, Coyne v. Walker.
Evers Signs EO Creating Task Force on Payroll Fraud & Worker Misclassification
On April 15, Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order creating a Joint Enforcement Task Force on Worker Misclassification. The executive order arises from what the Evers administration views as an issue with Wisconsin employers fraudulently misclassifying their employees as independent contractors.
Marquette University (MU) Law School has released its second poll of 2019, analyzing voter opinions on the governor, the legislature, national politicians, and policy issues. The April 10 poll surveyed 800 Wisconsin voters from April 3-7.
PSC Approves Wisconsin's First Large Scale Solar Projects
On April 11, the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Wisconsin's first utility scale solar projects. According to PSC, the two projects together will more than quadruple Wisconsin's solar capacity and produce enough energy to power 120,000 households annually.
DNR To Move Forward With Phosphorus Criteria Rulemaking
On April 10, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board gave its approval to move forward with a rule that would establish procedures for developing site-specific phosphorus criteria. DNR plans to submit the rule to Legislative Council and hold public hearings on the rule this summer. The proposed new process raises significant concerns with whether the rule complies with Chapter 227 rulemaking statutes. Business groups will likely raise concerns with this portion of the proposed rule.
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