Hamilton Political Tidbits – January 25, 2019

Political Tidbits - January 25, 2019
Hamilton Consulting Group
 January 25, 2019
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

In this edition of Tidbits:
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Gov. Evers Delivers First State of the State Address

Gov. Tony Evers delivered his first State of the State address to the legislature on Jan. 22. In his speech, the governor said the state of the state is that "we've got work to do, and we're ready for bipartisan solutions."
Republican Response to Evers's State of the State Address 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) delivered the Republican response to Gov. Tony Evers's first State of the State address. Vos said the state of the state is strong, highlighting successes including Wisconsin's strong economy and business climate, low taxes, and investments in education.
Floor Report: Assembly Passes Pre-existing Conditions Legislation

In their first floor session of the year on Jan. 22, the Assembly passed a bill placing a state-level prohibition on pre-existing conditions exclusions, if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed or is otherwise unenforceable. 

The Senate declined to take up the pre-existing conditions legislation in their first floor session. Instead, the Senate voted to approve its rules for the 2019-20 session.

Both chambers of the legislature also passed a resolution extending the deadline for Gov. Evers to introduce his 2019-21 state budget.
First Marquette Poll of 2019 

The first Marquette University Law School (MU) poll of 2019 was released on Jan. 24. This is the first MU poll since October (before the 2018 election). The poll surveyed 800 registered voters in Wisconsin on where the state is headed, Wisconsin politicians, policy proposals, and potential 2020 candidates.
Continue reading about the poll.

Agencies Continue to Announce Leadership Teams

Newly inaugurated Gov. Tony Evers is continuing to fill appointed positions in the administration. Recently announced appointments include Tourism, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Natural Resources staff.
Get to Know a Freshman: Reps. Emerson, Gruszynski, Haywood & James

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. Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire), Staush Gruszynski (D-Green Bay), Kalan Haywood (D-Milwaukee), and Jesse James (R-Altoona).
2019-21 Budget Process Beginning

The start of a new legislative session means Wisconsin's biennial budget process is beginning. This week, the legislature gave Gov. Tony Evers a one-month extension from the typical late January deadline. Gov. Evers will give his budget address on Feb. 28.
Once the budget bill is introduced, the Joint Finance Committee will begin its public hearings and votes on the budget before it goes to the full legislature.
For the latest information and analysis on the budget process, stay tuned to our 2019-21 State Budget Issue Update.
Complaint Filed Seeking to Declare Extraordinary Session Legislation Unconstitutional

A coalition has filed a complaint seeking to deem the legislature's 2018 extraordinary session legislation unconstitutional and unenforceable. The complaint argues that the extraordinary session was not convened in accordance with the Wisconsin Constitution, which authorizes the legislature to meet only as provided by law or when convened by the governor (Wis. Const. Art. IV, ยง 11). However, a recent memo from Wisconsin Legislative Council to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) plainly states that convening an extraordinary session does not violate the Wisconsin Constitution.

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