Hamilton Political Tidbits – April 5, 2019

Political Tidbits - April 5, 2019
Hamilton Consulting Group
 April 5, 2019
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

The Senate and Assembly are meeting next week for limited floor sessions. Meanwhile, the budget process is in full swing as the Joint Finance Committee holds agency briefings. In this edition of Political Tidbits:
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JFC Holds Agency Briefings on 2019-21 Budget

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has kicked off the budget process in the legislature by holding agency briefings this week. Inviting fewer agencies than usual, JFC heard testimony from six agencies over two days. Next, the committee will travel the state for four public hearings in April, then likely begin votes in May. Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes are also holding public listening sessions on their proposed budget, so far in Stevens Point and Kenosha.
Positive Medicaid Budget Projected by End of Current Biennium

On March 29, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted an updated projection for the state's Medicaid budget to the Joint Finance Committee. DHS estimates the Medicaid budget will end the current 2017-19 biennium with a surplus of $233.9 million GPR.
Water Quality Task Force Discusses Agriculture & Groundwater

The Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality met for the second time in Madison on April 3 to hear testimony from both farmers and conservation advocates on solutions to improve water quality in Wisconsin. The committee hopes to put forth bipartisan legislative recommendations on clean drinking water by this fall.
Spring Elections: Brian Hagedorn Wins Supreme Court Race

In the only statewide race in the Wisconsin 2019 spring elections, Court of Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn beat Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Also on the ballot in the April election was the Democratic primary in the special election to replace former Assembly District 64 Rep. Peter Barca.

Extraordinary Session Litigation Update

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.
Wisconsin Withdraws From ACA Lawsuit

Attorney General Josh Kaul has withdrawn Wisconsin from a multistate lawsuit seeking to declare the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. Wisconsin and Texas had originally led the litigation under former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel. The federal district court approved Kaul's motion to withdraw on April 2.

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News Clips
Utilities and Energy
Should nuclear power plants have a place at the table? Wisconsin Public Radio, April 4, 2019.

Economic Development
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