Hamilton Political Tidbits – December 15, 2017

Political Tidbits - December 15, 2017
Hamilton Consulting Group
 December 15, 2017
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

From the team here at the Hamilton Consulting Group, we wish you a blessed and happy holiday season. We hope you and your family enjoy peace and goodwill during this season.
We had a great year at Hamilton. We welcomed Paige Scobee to our team as our communications and government relations manager and she's been doing a great job ensuring we have an up-to-date website and managing our client communications. And we are all eagerly anticipating the arrival of Caty McDermott and her husband's second child in the spring.
Also importantly, we treasure our clients and friends. We value our relationships with you and we owe our continued success to you. Thank you!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
In this final edition of Tidbits for 2017: 
If you wish to receive additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits, please do not hesitate to

2017 Year in Review
The 103rd legislature kicked off in January of 2017. Our Year in Review timeline covers highlights from the Wisconsin capitol this year.

Three Special Elections Set for Dec. 19th Across Wisconsin

While none of the Wisconsin special elections are garnering a fraction of the attention as the recent U.S. Senate race in Alabama, there are a couple interesting primaries taking place on Tuesday. 

The most interesting is the Republican primary to replace outgoing Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) in the northwest Wisconsin 10th Senate District.  In addition to the Senate primary there are two Assembly primaries in the 58th and 66th districts.

Senate Committee to Vote to Introduce Worker's Compensation Bill

The Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform will vote by paper ballot Tuesday on whether to introduce, as a committee, LRB 4563, legislation proposed by the Wisconsin Worker's Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC). The bill is the biennial agreement between management and labor for reform in the worker's compensation system.

Signed by Governor: Criminal Justice, Mining

Gov. Scott Walker signed several bills into law over the past two weeks, traveling across the state to highlight bills that reform the criminal justice system and open the state to nonferrous mining.
As 2017 ends, Walker has signed 135 bills into law this session. See our Year in Review for more highlights of bills signed since January.
Gov. Walker Writes Letters to Congress on CHIP, HIT

Last week, Gov. Scott Walker sent letters to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) regarding the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Gov. Walker Announces Staff Changes

Gov. Scott Walker announced several staff changes in his administration last week, including Medicaid director, deputy chief of staff, communications, and press secretary positions.

State Medicaid Director Resigns

State Medicaid Director Michael Heifetz resigned on Wednesday after just over a year in the role. Gov. Scott Walker has moved Heather Smith, his former deputy chief of staff for budget, legislative, and intergovernmental affairs, to the position, effective Jan. 8.
Sen. Stroebel Appointed to JFC

Last week, Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) named Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC). Stroebel replaces former Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls), who recently resigned after Gov. Scott Walker appointed her Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary.
DOR Releases FY2018 First Quarter Tax Collections

On Dec. 1, the Department of Revenue released the FY 2018 first quarter tax collections. Overall, collections from the first quarter of FY 2018 were up 2.1 percent over the first quarter last year.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) projected that revenue will grow 3.6 percent in FY 2018. But with only the first quarter completed, LFB Director Bob Lang stated to the press that it is "too early" to closely analyze the numbers. 


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News Clips
Wisconsin Democrats hope Alabama upset signals bigger shift: Wisconsin State Journal, December 14, 2017.
State GOP lawmakers seek to limit municipal powers: Wisconsin State Journal, December 13, 2017.

Utilities and Energy
Economic Development
Kind offers bill to help small businesses offer retirement savings plans: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, December 14, 2017.
Village approves payments related to Foxconn: Racine Journal Times, December 14, 2017.

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