Hamilton Political Tidbits – February 8, 2019

Political Tidbits - February 8, 2019
Hamilton Consulting Group
 February 8, 2019
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

In this edition of Tidbits:
If you wish to receive additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits, please do not hesitate to 

Transportation Task Force Meets

Department of Transportation (DOT) secretary-designee Craig Thompson, at the direction of Gov. Evers, has assembled a bipartisan transportation budget task force. The task force has met twice to discuss the current DOT budget and transportation funding alternatives.

LFB Issues Updated Revenue Estimates

On Nov. 20, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) issued updated revenue and expenditure projections for the current 2018-19 fiscal year and the upcoming 2019-21 biennium. These estimates set the stage for the state's fiscal position as Gov. Tony Evers prepares the 2019-21 state budget.
Agencies Continue to Announce Leadership Teams

Gov. Tony Evers is continuing to fill appointed positions in the administration. Recently announced appointments include Insurance, Natural Resources, and Revenue. 

Get to Know a Freshman: Reps. Kurtz, Myers, Oldenburg & Ramthun

Eighteen new members were officially inaugurated into the Wisconsin Legislature on Jan. 7, 2019. Over the next several weeks, HCG will highlight each new member of the legislature. This week, meet Reps. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc), LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee), Loren Oldenburg (R-Viroqua) and Timothy Ramthun (R-Campbellsport).
Minimum Markup Repeal Legislation Circulating

Wisconsin's "Unfair Sales Act" (Wis. Stat. ยง100.30) prohibits the sale of merchandise at less than cost and requires a specified minimum markup above the wholesale cost for alcohol, tobacco, and motor vehicle fuel. Several legislators are currently circulating bills that would amend or repeal the Unfair Sales Act to lower costs for consumers on prescription drugs and other general merchandise.
DNR, Citing PFAS, Scales Back Voluntary Party Liability Exemption Program

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued an interim decision expanding voluntary parties' future liability for PFAS and other hazardous materials. While the interim decision does not affect properties that have already received a Certificate of Completion, the new enforcement decision exposes those properties pursuing certificates to broad liability in the future.
Continue reading about the DNR decision.
EPA Won't Regulate PFAS

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not regulate PFAS chemicals, according to a recent report from Politico. While EPA's PFAS (specifically, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) plan has not yet been released, it is reported to leave PFAS off the federal water quality testing requirements for utilities under the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, the plan would include the chemicals as hazardous substances under the Superfund toxic cleanup program. The plan is currently undergoing interagency review.
PSC Begins Rulemaking on Renewable Resource Credits, Declines to Promulgate Large-Scale Solar Rules

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has begun rulemaking related to renewable resource credits. PSC also recently took up a request from two groups of petitioners asking the agency to promulgate rules for siting large-scale solar projects.

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News Clips
Utilities and Energy
Lawmaker sees quick decision on Line 3 appeal: Daily Reporter, February 7, 2019.
4 charged in oil pipeline shutdown attempt: Associated Press, February 7, 2019.

Hagedorn outraises Neubauer in January in Supreme Court race: Wisconsin Law Journal, February 7, 2019.
Republicans hint they won't let Kaul drop ACA suit: Wisconsin Public Radio, February 7, 2019.

Economic Development
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