Hamilton Political Tidbits – April 9, 2021

Political Tidbits - April 9, 2021
April 9, 2021
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.
Wisconsin courts issued major decisions in cases related to COVID-19 while Governor Evers signed a number of bills into law, including bills to regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), modernize how Wisconsin regulates physician assistants (PAs), and provide a consistent funding source for the Citizens Utility Board.

In this edition of Hamilton Political Tidbits:

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Against Gov. Evers in Public Health Emergency Case, Ending Statewide Mask Mandate
On Wednesday, March 31, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a ruling in Jeré Fabick v. Tony Evers, holding 4-3 that the governor cannot issue successive emergency declarations on the same subject. Petitioner Jeré Fabick sought a declaratory judgement on Governor Tony Evers’ authority to issue multiple public health emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Justice Brian Hagedorn delivered the majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice Pat Roggensack and Justices Annette Ziegler and Rebecca Bradley. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley wrote a dissenting opinion joined by Justices Rebecca Dallet and Jill Karofsky.

Gov. Evers Signs PBM, PSC, and Several Other Bills
On Friday, March 26, Governor Tony Evers announced that he had signed 14 bills into law, including several key healthcare-related bills. One of these bills was Senate Bill 3, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 9. Gov. Evers also signed Assembly Bill 148 into law as 2021 Wisconsin Act 10. He also vetoed several bills.

Appeals Court Rules State Can Release Records on Businesses with COVID-19 Cases
On Monday, April 5, a three-judge panel from the District IV Court of Appeals ruled against Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) and in favor of Governor Tony Evers, his administration, and the media in a case involving information about businesses whose employees have contracted COVID-19. The lawsuit was filed in October 2020 in Waukesha County Circuit Court by WMC, the state’s largest business association, as well as two local chambers of commerce.

Vaccine Update: Over One Million Fully Vaccinated; Seven State and Federal Vaccine Clinics Now in Operation
As of Monday, April 5, all Wisconsin residents 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Evers and the Department of Health Services (DHS) announced the expanded eligibility in late March. According to Ballotpedia, as of April 8, all individuals 16 and older are eligible for a vaccine in at least some parts of 42 states.

PA Modernization Bill Signed Into Law
On Friday, March 26, Governor Tony Evers signed into law 2021 Wisconsin Act 23, a bipartisan piece of legislation to update how Wisconsin regulates physician assistants (PAs). The bill (Assembly Bill 125) passed the Assembly on March 16 and the Senate on March 23, both on voice votes. Most of the provisions will take effect on April 1, 2022, except for the creation of a PA Affiliated Credentialing Board, which took effect on March 28. Staff with the Department of Safety and Professional Services report that they are working with Gov. Evers’ office to begin making appointments to this new board.

News Clips
Associated Press, April 8, 2021
Leader-Telegram, April 8, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, April 8, 2021
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 7, 2021
Associated Press, April 6, 2021
Sheboygan Daily Press, April 7, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, April 7, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, April 7, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, April 7, 2021
The Capital Times, April 6, 2021
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 5, 2021
Roll Call, April 5, 2021
Associated Press, April 4, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, April 2, 2021
WKOW, March 31, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, March 31, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, March 31, 2021
Politico, March 30, 2021
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