Hamilton Political Tidbits – February 22, 2019

Political Tidbits - February 22, 2019
Hamilton Consulting Group
 February 22, 2019
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

With Gov. Evers's Feb. 28 budget address quickly approaching, both the governor and legislature have begun releasing funding proposals across various issue areas. This Tidbits also covers recent agency actions, which HCG tracks on our new Administrative Rules resource page. In this edition:
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Floor Report: Legislature Passes (And Evers Vetoes) Middle Class Tax Cut

The Assembly and Senate met on Feb. 12 and 13 to vote on very limited calendars. Most notably, both chambers passed AB 4, which provides a middle class income tax cut. Citing objections to the Republicans' competing funding proposal, Evers vetoed the bill in its entirety on Feb. 20.
Property Tax Increase Bill Re-Circulating

This week, legislators re-circulated a bill that opponents argue would increase property taxes for Wisconsin businesses. LRB 1665, authored by Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) along with 16 other Republicans, combines SB 291 and SB 292, both of which failed to pass last session.
Get to Know a Freshman: Reps. Sortwell, Stubbs, Vining & Wittke

Eighteen new members were officially inaugurated into the Wisconsin Legislature on Jan. 7, 2019. Over the past several weeks, HCG has highlighted each new member of the legislature. In the final week of Get to Know a Freshman, meet Reps. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers), Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison), Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) & Robert Wittke (R-Racine).
Gov. Tony Evers, Speaker Vos Announce Water Quality Initiatives

Both Gov. Tony Evers and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) have recently announced initiatives to address water quality in Wisconsin. Evers's plan is in the form of specific budget and policy items, whereas Vos has created a task force to gather input and make recommendations to improve water quality in Wisconsin.
Gov. Evers Joins Climate Alliance

Gov. Tony Evers has announced he will join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of governors committed to addressing climate change at the state level. The Alliance seeks to uphold the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, from which the U.S. withdrew in 2017.
Gov. Evers Releases $43 Million Dental Plan

Gov. Evers released a dental access initiative this week that would include $43 million in funding in 2019-21 for various dental programs. In addition to Evers's plan, Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) and Sen. David Craig (R-Big Bend) are recirculating legislation (LRB 1947) that would create a new license under the Dental Examining Board for "dental therapists," an intermediate level of dentistry practice between hygienists and dentists.
Agencies Continue to Announce Leadership Teams

Gov. Tony Evers is continuing to fill appointed positions in the administration. Recently announced appointments include the Department of Health Services's new Medicaid Director. 

HCG Launches Admin Rules Resource

Hamilton Consulting has launched a new resource on our website that includes briefings on administrative rules and regulatory reform. The page also tracks notable administrative rulemaking in policy areas including air, water, PFAS, and utilities. 

JCRAR Briefed on Act 369

At a public hearing this week, Legislative Council briefed the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) on relevant rulemaking changes in 2017 Act 369, which was enacted as part of the 2018 Extraordinary Session.
PSCW Approves Notice of Investigation of Electric Vehicles

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) unanimously voted on Feb. 21 to open a generic docket (PSCW Docket # 5-EI-156) for the investigation of electric vehicle (EV) policy and regulation. The Notice of Investigation lists eight considerations that the Commission's investigation will include, such as EV impacts on electric storage and transmission; policies and standards of electric utilities regarding EVs; and consumer expectations regarding EVs.
EPA Announces PFAS Plan

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its comprehensive PFAS action plan. The plan lists several short-term and long-term agency solutions to address PFAS in drinking water without implementing burdensome regulations on utilities and businesses.  

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News Clips
Utilities and Energy
Neubauer reveals role in 1970s lawsuit: Wisconsin Law Journal, February 21, 2019.

Economic Development
Wisconsin regulators to study electric vehicle future: Wisconsin State Journal, February 22, 2019.

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