Hamilton Political Tidbits- December 19, 2014

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Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits
Compiled by
The Hamilton Consulting Group
 December 19, 2014  



Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season and a prosperous New Year. As we prepare to open another legislative session, we are closing an important chapter for the Hamilton Consulting Group.


In 1997, Pat Osborne and I joined Jim Hough to form this firm. Jim is comfortably retired in Naples, where every day is Saturday except when the big paper comes; that's Sunday.


This week, we're saying our goodbyes to Pat, who is retiring to Texas and Montana, as the season fits. We expect he will be teaching his grandchildren the finer nuances of government budgeting. With so much time, those traditional hour-long briefings could last days. We will greatly miss Pat, my business partner and friend these past 18 years.


Going in a different direction after six years at Hamilton is Andy Cook. We are honored to have worked with him and proud of his pending appointment as Deputy Attorney General. He also will be sorely missed, but unlike Pat, who is riding off into the sunset, we merely need to cross the street to consult with Andy.


Finally, and not least, Saralee Fassbender is retiring after 15 years as our do-everything employee. In addition to chief editor of everything written, or spoken, she's been the glue that kept our business family together through the highs and lows - many more highs than low, however.


With new talent on board, or soon arriving, we expect the next chapter for Hamilton Consulting will be truly our best. But that is a story for our next edition of Tidbits.


Wishing you Peace and Happiness,


Bob Fassbender


If you wish to receive additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting Team.

Assembly Chairs & Full Senate Committees Announced

Recently, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) released the list of committee chairs and vice-chairs for the Assembly, and the Senate Democrats released their full list of committee assignments. With these announcements, all that is left is for the Assembly Democrats to announce their committee assignments, and Assembly Republicans to announce their committee member assignments.

LFB Releases Summary of State Agency Requests

Last week the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released an overview of the state agency 2015-17 budget requests. The summaries include major changes - including items over $250,000 or represent a major policy change. In 2015-2016 all funds requests total $37.1 billion and $38.4 billion in 2016-2017. The all funds request is a $5.5 billion increase over the base year double or 7.8 percent.


2015 - 2017 State Budget Preview

The first six months of every two-year legislative cycle is largely devoted to debate and passage of the biennial budget bill. This coming session is expected to be no exception, and the Governor and Republican-controlled Legislature will have some challenging budget issues to work out between now and June of 2015. That work is already underway and the Governor's proposal will be officially introduced around late January of 2015.



WEDC Hires International Business Development Professional

Katy Sinnott has been named vice president of international business development at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Prior to her appointment, Katy was the CEO of ERIC Paris Salons based in China. Katy also served as a consultant in Hong Kong for a global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.

DWD Fast Forward Grants $4 Million

In Round 3 of Wisconsin's Fast Forward initiative, just under $4 million in worker training grants was distributed to 57 employers to develop in-demand skills for 3,600 employees. Secretary Newson announced the availability of $8 million in grants this past July to support nine industries, of which DWD awarded $4 million to manufacturing, transportation, and construction industries.


Energy Office Awards $1 Million to Wisconsin Trucking Companies

The Wisconsin State Energy Office awarded nearly $1 million to 53 trucking companies to fund diesel truck idling reduction technologies.


Truck idling reduction technology provides power to heat, cool, or provide electricity to the truck as an alternative to the main engine, thereby saving fuel and reducing diesel fuel pollutants.




Get to Know a Freshman: Week 3

As we continue our series of "Get to Know a Freshman," we again bring you information on four incoming legislators. With one of the largest freshman classes ever in the Wisconsin Legislature, it may be harder to get to know the newly elected senators and representatives.


This week, Political Tidbits highlights the following new legislators - state senators-elect Howard Marklein and Roger Roth and state representatives-elect Janel Brandtjen and Mark Spreitzer. For the 2015-2016 Wisconsin Legislature, the State Senate has seven new senators (five Republican, two Democrat), and the State Assembly has 25 new representatives (18 Republican, seven Democrat).



Hamilton Staff Picks of 2014

This year's gift from Hamilton Consulting to you is a list of our favorite resources we use for work and pleasure as political junkies.




Cromnibus, Cuba, and Bush 45?

This week, President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion bi-partisan spending bill to keep the government running through September of 2015 and avoid another government shutdown. 


The bill, known around Washington circles as the "Cromnibus," has taken heat from both sides of the aisle but ultimately garnered the votes to pass.




Hamilton Consulting: Your Government Relations Easy Button


The Hamilton team is working to make sure our clients have the tools necessary to accomplish their government relations goals. We encourage our clients to remember to make use of all the many services we provide:

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  • Political Fundraising Calendar - Hamilton's political fundraising calendar allows you to see all of the upcoming fundraising events and import them to your own calendar.
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News Clips 


Gov. Scott Walker says agency, cabinet changes are on the way: Wisconsin State Journal, Dec. 18, 2014

Walker's top 2015 priority: Cut property taxes: Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Dec. 17, 2014

Coalition of unions, workers forms to fight right-to-work bill: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 17, 2014.

Governor Scott Walker Announces Special Election for 20th Senate District: Office of Gov. Walker, Dec. 16, 2014.

Assembly Speaker Says He's 'Open' To Replacing GAB With Partisan Elections Board: Wisconsin Public Radio, Dec. 16, 2014.

Wisconsin Supreme Court agrees to hear 'John Doe' challenges: Wisconsin State Journal, Dec. 17, 2014.

State audit finds problems with Government Accountability Board: WTAQ, Dec. 13, 2014.

House Ethics Committee says it would be 'inequitable' to punish Petri, closes case: WisPolitics, Dec. 11, 2014.

Wisconsin lawmaker, right-to-work champion leads push on U.S. Constitution: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 10, 2014.

Wisconsin faces taxing choices: Poynette Press (Sun Prairie), Dec. 10, 2014.

Wisconsin prison system revamps disciplinary rules: The Oshkosh Northwestern, Dec. 10, 2014.

Gov. Scott Walker considering merging state agencies in next budget: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 10, 2014.


Economic Development

State's GAAP deficit drops to lowest level since 2001: Chippewa Herald, Dec. 17, 2014.

Cambridge Major's $20M HQ expansion to add 75 jobs in Germantown: Milwaukee Business Journal, Dec. 17, 2014.

Report finds Wisconsin is 12th highest-taxed state: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 17, 2014.

Airline stocks, profits soar thanks to oil plunge: Channel3000, Dec. 16, 2014.

Oil price plunge creates economic winners, losers: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 15, 2014.

Right-to-work would trim union clout, but broader economic impact unclear: Wisconsin State Journal, Dec. 14, 2014.

Genetically modified food labels get cool reception: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 13, 2014.


Utilities & Energy

Midwest collaborative seeks flexibility on Clean Power Plan: Midwest Energy News, Dec. 18, 2014.

Alliant Energy director David Perdue quits to become a U.S. Senator: Wisconsin State Journal, Dec. 17, 2014.

Business, consumer groups press for more time to assess utility merger: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 15, 2014.

Xcel Energy launching program to boost solar electricity: TwinCities.com, Dec. 12, 2014.

Battery researcher named to lead UWM energy storage effort: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 11, 2014.

Proposal for the state's most expensive transmission line in history strikes discord with environmental groups: Badger Herald, Dec. 11, 2014.



EPA Prevents Harmful Chemicals from Entering the Marketplace: EPA News Release, Dec. 17, 2014.

DNR approves new frac sand mines despite expired regulations: WSAU, Dec. 17, 2014.

Use of Clean, Cost-Effective Transportation Fuel in Wisconsin: Wisconsin Department of Administration, Dec. 16, 2014.

Fish virus detected in coho salmon: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 16, 2014.

Road salt leading to rising chloride levels in streams, study finds: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 15, 2014.



Wisconsin on pace for fewest road deaths since 1943: Fond du Lac Reporter, Dec. 17, 2014.

Senate approves new auto safety chief: WXOW, Dec. 16, 2014.

U.S. taxpayers help fund oil-train boom: WHBL, Dec. 16, 2014.

Diversify transportation funding, local government groups urge: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 10, 2014.

Gas prices take another tumble: Fox 11, Dec. 10, 2014.

Higher taxes floated to address road woes: Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Dec. 10, 2014.

Transportation study begins in January: La Crosse Tribune, Dec. 8, 2014.



Wisconsin health officials release report on raw milk case: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 18, 2014.

Report: Madison will have lowest costs for health insurance in 2015: WKOW, Dec. 17, 2014.

Area health insurance costs quadruple: Appleton Post-Crescent, Dec. 17, 2014.

Cops fighting smoker surcharge: Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Dec. 17, 2014.

Wisconsin college gets $5.5M for concussion study: Columbus Ledger Enquirer, Dec. 17, 2014.

Wisconsin gets up to $2.5 million to improve health care system: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 16, 2014.

Health insurance enrollment deadline coming: Fox11online.com, Dec. 12, 2014.

Appeals court rules on state doctors' obligations: Chippewa Herald, Dec. 11, 2014.

AIDS Resource Center, AIDS Network plan to merge: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 11, 2014.

U.S. House unanimously approves newborn screening bill: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 10, 2014. 


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