Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.
The Wisconsin legislature passed several significant pieces of legislation in an extraordinary session that lasted from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning. Read about specific items passed in the final session of 2018 below. Also in this edition:
Legislature Passes Extraordinary Session Bill Package
The Senate convened first and began by taking up a list of appointees from Gov. Scott Walker. The Senate confirmed the appointees en masse, 18-15 along party lines. Of note, Ellen Nowak was confirmed as Public Service Commissioner, and Georgia Maxwell was confirmed as Labor and Industry Review Commissioner.
The legislature also approved three bills. The Senate went first, making a number of changes to the bills (see below). The Assembly then convened early in the morning on Wednesday and finished debating and voting on the bills around 8:15 a.m on Wednesday. The Assembly voted to concur in the amended versions of the bills passed by the Senate earlier in the night.
The Senate and Assembly caucuses on both sides of the aisle have elected their leadership for the 2019-20 legislative sessions. Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of the legislature have elected largely the same leadership teams for their respective caucuses.
Governor-elect Tony Evers has begun setting up his transition team as he prepares to take office in January. The Joint Finance Committee approved Evers's $94,600 transition budget request, most of which will go to seven transition staff positions.
The Department of Administration (DOA) procurement team has announced it is suspending all pending Requests for Proposals (RFPs) until after the transition from Gov. Scott Walker to governor-elect Tony Evers is complete.
DOA Releases Revenue Estimates for the Upcoming Biennium
On Nov. 20, the Department of Administration (DOA) released a summary of the state agency budget requests and revenue estimate for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Typically, this revenue estimate has been used as the foundation for the development of the 2019-21 state budget. According to the report, the state ended FY 2017-18 with a healthy balance of $588.5 million and is projected to finish the current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2019) with a balance of $622.6 million.
As the 2019-20 session is approaching, the legislature's 2018 interim study committees have begun winding down. At least two committees have completed their work and recommendations, and several others are holding their final meetings in the coming weeks.
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