Happy Holidays from the Hamilton Consulting Group! In this edition of Tidbits we wrap up the year with a review of all of 2015's biggest political and policy headlines. Click through the timeline on our website to watch as the budget unfolds, the governor joins the presidential race, and big reforms come to Wisconsin through right to work, prevailing wage, GAB, and campaign finance legislation.
Also find an update on legislation signed into law last week, the redistricting lawsuit that is moving forward, and some new plans for economic development policy that will come in the new year.
The next edition of Hamilton's Political Tidbits will be released January 8, 2016.
|Wisconsin Politics 2015: A Year in Review
Check out Hamilton's
|Bills of Note: Big Legislation Signed Into Law & Potential Residency Requirements for Contractors
Governor Walker Signs GAB Overhaul and Campaign Finance Changes
Governor Walker has signed two bills making changes to campaign finance laws and splitting the Government Accountability Board (GAB) into an Elections Commission and an Ethics Commission.
Read more about the legislation.
Building Materials Tax Exemption Signed Into Law
Gov. Walker also signed SB 227, which provides a sales and use tax exemption for contractors buying materials which will be used in a project for a nonprofit organization or local government municipality.
Read more about the legislation.
Residency Requirements for Contracting Bill Gets Hearing
AB 493, authored by Rep. Joel Kitchens (R - Sturgeon Bay), requires out-of-state contractors to follow their residency requirements when bidding on Wisconsin state and local construction projects. Under the bill, the Department of Administration and local government units must give preference to a contractor that can ensure the project will employ the same number of Wisconsin residents at least at the percentage of resident employees required by the other state.
|Economic Development Legislation Coming in 2016
Senators Gudex and Darling announce Economic Development plan
Sen. Rick Gudex (R - Fond du Lac) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R - River Hills) announced last week their plans to introduce a series of bills designed to increase economic development across the state. According to their press release, the bill package will reduce red tape, encourage innovation and invest in successful ideas.
Review cites areas of improvement for WEDC
The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness released their
last week recommending specific areas of improvement and changes to the Wisconsin Economic Development Council.
Read about the report's recommendations.
|Redistricting Lawsuit Moves Forward
Last week, a panel of three federal judges ruled that a case filed by twelve Wisconsin Democrats against the state's legislative redistricting plan can move forward. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), representing Government Accountability Board (GAB), had argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to file suit, as they did not have a challenger from each of the 99 Assembly districts. The panel disagreed and declined to dismiss the lawsuit, however the court left open the possibility that the DOJ could re-raise the issue in a later motion.
The panel set the trial date for May, 2016. If a decision in the case is appealed, it would go directly to the United States Supreme Court.
Read more about the lawsuit and ruling.
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