Hamilton Political Tidbits – Jan. 24, 2014

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Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits
Compiled by
The Hamilton Consulting Group
 January 24, 2014  

As was outlined in Wednesday night's State of the State Address, Governor Walker formally called the state legislature into special session to deal with the $1 billion surplus.


While there might be some slight controversy surrounding the proposal relating to structural deficit concerns in the Senate, most of the elements are expected to pass and the Senate and Assembly will work the bill into their busy winter agenda. 


A number of legislative priorities will meet their fate in the coming weeks as the number of session days is dwindling quickly. Urgency has heightened around the Capitol but is not quite at fever pitch. That will come in February and March as the session winds down and the election season gears up. The crossing of the two can make for some interesting events (and Tidbits will be watching!)


If you require additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting Team.
Gov. Walker's 2014 State of the State Address

On the evening of Jan. 23, Gov. Walker delivered his 4th State of the State address. He used the opportunity to highlight his view of an ever improving economic situation in Wisconsin pointing to a number of statistics that show job creation, an increase in personal wealth, decreasing unemployment, more homes being built, and the newly announced $1 billion surplus.


Read more... 

Legislators React to Walker's State of the State

Reactions to the State of the State are always mixed, with people typically splitting along party lines. WisconsinEye once again provided exceptional video coverage of both prepared and off-the-cuff reactions following the governor's speech.


Read more... 

This Week in the Legislature

Senate passes tax credit transfer, mental health, and renewable energy bills

A tax credit transfer bill, authored by Sen. Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) passed the Senate unanimously this week which allows the transfer of certain tax credits between businesses. The bill requires the businesses applying for the tax credit transfers to meet one of four requirements relating to the businesses relationship to Wisconsin.

Assembly passes bills on
drug use and state employee contracts

Legislation in the State Assembly was unanimously passed last week to protect heroin users who call 911 when they report an overdose. Supporters say the bill will help first responders administer the correct treatment and reduce heroin-related deaths in Wisconsin.


Read more... 

2014 Election Update

Vinehout exits gubernatorial race, Burke stands unopposed in Democratic primary

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, who announced earlier this fall a run for Wisconsin governor, is leaving the race after sustaining injuries in a December car accident. In a press release Vinehout stated the rehabilitation time required to recover from the injuries would not allow for the "intense, grass roots campaign" she hoped to run.  

Two state representatives will not seek re-election

Rep. Dan LeMahieu (R-Cascade) announced his retirement last week after serving 12 years in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) has announced he will not be seeking re-election to the Wisconsin State Assembly.


Bradley announces 2014 bid for secretary of state

Julian Bradley of La Crosse has announced his candidacy for Wisconsin Secretary of State. 


Third Democrat enters attorney general race

Susan Happ of Jefferson, filed candidacy papers on Wednesday, officially entering the race for state attorney general.


Read more... 


New UW System President Takes Office

The UW System Board of Regents announced in a press release that Raymond Cross will be the next president of the UW System. He was the third internal candidate to be promoted to his position, taking the job after being the Chancellor of the UW Colleges and UW Extension since 2011.

Previously he served as the president of Morrisville State College and president of the Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, Minnesota. He is also a decorated U.S. army veteran having served in the Vietnam War, and he worked as a design engineer, small business owner, and government employee prior to entering the field of higher education.


Read more... 


DOA launches OpenBook Wisconsin

The Department of Administration has launched OpenBook Wisconsin, a website which plans to provide transparency to Wisconsin citizens.

The website will include financial data for many branches and agencies of the state government. According to a press release there are more than 25 million documents on the website, offering taxpayers easier access to the information detailing how their taxes are being spent.


Read more... 


Applications Available - Broadband Expansion Grants for FY 2014

A new grant program adopted for the first time in the recent state budget, 2013 Wis. Act 20, provides that the Public Service Commission may award up to $500,000 in grants during Fiscal Year 2014 to improve broadband communications services in Wisconsin.


Read more... 


Business Day in Madison

Don't Forget: Thursday, February 6, 2014 is Business Day in Madison at Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center.


At this year's event you can expect four featured speakers, including Gov. Scott Walker, and discussions on the global business climate, the year ahead, and what you can do for your business to innovate, strategize, and act on opportunities.  


Click here for additional information and registration.


A welcome reception will be held Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. the Madison Club, 5 W. Wilson Street, Madison, Wis., and is included with registration to Business Day in Madison.

Don't Forget! We're Headed to the Capitol

Legislative Days are happening in Madison, and people involved in everything from the arts to manufacturing travel to the State Capitol to network with peers and visit their legislators to speak with them about issues and legislation of interest. Upcoming legislative days:  


Ag Day at the Capitol

Wednesday, January 29th

Xcel Legislative Day

Wednesday, February 5th

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Legislative Day

Thursday, February 6th

Wisconsin Economic Development Association Legislative Day

Tuesday, February 11th

Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Wednesday, February 12th
Walmart Legislative Day
Wednesday, March 5th


Hamilton Consulting: Your Government Relations Easy Button


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News Clips 


Claims, some old and some revised, in Scott Walker's State of the State speech: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 23, 2014.

One assessment of where Scott Walker stands for possible 2016 run: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 23, 2014.

Gov. Scott Walker delivers 2014 State of the State Address: Fox6now.com, Jan. 22, 2014.  

Walker lays out blueprint in State of the State: Wisconsin Radio Network, Jan. 22, 2014.

Gov. Scott Walker's 2014 State of the State: Who clapped for what? Madison Cap Times, Jan. 22, 2014.

Scott Walker tax cut plan would see average homeowner save $150: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 22, 2014.

The 'state of the state' speech Gov. Scott Walker would rather give (opinion): Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 22, 2014.

Assembly Approves Ban On Employers Asking Job Applicants For Facebook Password: Wisconsin Public Radio, Jan. 21, 2014.

Milwaukee Assembly race already cooking: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 21, 2014.

Democrats say surplus should fill budget holes before tax cuts: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 21, 2014.

Julian Bradley Announces Run for Wisconsin Secretary of State: Wisconsin Election Watch, Jan. 21, 2014.

Rep. Garey Bies considering a secretary of state run: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 21, 2014.

Wis. Assembly approves tougher pot sanctions: WMTV.com, Jan. 21, 2014.


Economic Development and Finance

US manufacturing growth slows in January: Markit: WTAQ, Jan. 23, 2014

State's unemployment rate dips to 6.2% in December: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 23, 2014

Michigan governor urges 50,000 visas for skilled Detroit immigrants: WTAQ, Jan. 23, 2014

Area hotels on upswing: The Journal Times, Jan. 23rd, 2014

Wis. Medicaid decision could hike business taxes: Chippewa Herald, Jan. 22, 2014

State companies see steep drop in venture capital investment: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 21, 2014.

Democrats make push for raising minimum wage: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 21, 2014.

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For further information on these or other initiatives, contact a  Hamilton Consulting Group lobbyist.



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