Hamilton Political Tidbits – January 3, 2024

Political Tidbits - January 3, 2024

January 3, 2024

Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

Articles in this edition of Political Tidbits:

Other updates in this edition:

  • Bits & Pieces (2024 Election Updates)
  • News Clips

If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting team.

Bits & Pieces

2024 Election Updates

  • Presidential Primary: The presidential primary in Wisconsin will take place on April 2. On the Democratic side, President Biden is the only listed candidate. The Republican ballot in Wisconsin will include Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, and Vivek Ramaswamy. Under state law, a committee including appointees from the participating parties selects the presidential primary ballot based on lists submitted by the state party chairs. Any other candidates would need to submit at least 8,000 signatures by January 30 to appear on the ballot. The Minocqua Brewing Super PAC reportedly plans to file a lawsuit seeking to exclude former President Trump from the primary and/or general election ballot in Wisconsin.

  • U.S. Senate: Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, plans to seek a third term. She won reelection to a second term in 2018 with an 11-point margin of victory. Madison businessman Eric Hovde reportedly plans to run as a Republican with the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Hovde has owned and managed several companies involved in financial services and property development and ran in the Republican primary for the same U.S. Senate seat in 2012. Scott Mayer, the founder of a Brookfield-based staffing firm, and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke are also potential Republican candidates.

  • Dane County Executive: Incumbent Joe Parisi plans to retire this spring, one year before his term ends in May 2025, setting up a special election that will appear on the regular November 2024 ballot. Madison Ald. Regina Vidaver was the first to announce a campaign for the seat, and several other local officials have expressed an interest in the position. Sen. Melissa Agard (D-Madison) announced late last year that she will run for the office and stepped down as Senate minority leader to focus on her campaign. Sen. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) was then elected minority leader by her colleagues. After Parisi retires, the county board chair will appoint an interim county executive.

  • 16th Senate District: With Sen. Agard seeking another office, all three Assembly Democrats within the district reportedly plan to run for the seat: Reps. Anderson, Baldeh, and Ratcliff.

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court (2025): Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, a judicial liberal and the court’s longest-serving active member, has said she will seek a fourth term in the 2025 spring election. Former Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel recently announced that he will challenge Walsh Bradley as a judicial conservative. Appellate Judge Maria Lazar is reportedly considering a run as well.

Other Tidbits

  • State of the State This Month: Gov. Evers has scheduled the 2024 State of the State Address for Tuesday, January 23, at 7 PM. The address will take place in the Wisconsin Assembly Chamber before a joint session of the Legislature and will be broadcast live online.

  • School Report Cards: The Department of Public Instruction released its school and district accountability report cards for the 2022-23 school year. According to DPI: “Statewide, achievement improved from 2021-22 to 2022-23, though for many schools and districts, 2022-23 achievement performance is lower than pre-pandemic levels; thus, report card achievement scores, overall scores, and ratings may have decreased despite upward trending achievement performance.”

  • Health Care Spending Continues to Rise: Per a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health care spending in the U.S. increased by 4 percent in 2022, reaching $4.5 trillion. According to a news report, “After skyrocketing in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and then tempering almost as dramatically a year later, … The annual growth in the nation’s health care spending appears to be returning to pre-pandemic trends, … In the four years before 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care spending rose 4.2% to 4.6% a year.”

Wisconsin Supreme Court Finds State Legislative Maps Unconstitutional, Orders New Maps for 2024

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that the state legislative maps adopted by the same court in April 2022 are unconstitutional. The court issued a decision in Clarke v. WEC on December 22, 2023. The justices of the court voted 4-3 along ideological lines to find that the current maps are unconstitutional and to order that new maps be put in place for the 2024 election.

Continue reading this article

Governor Signs Brewers Stadium Package and 45 Other Bills, Vetoes Six

Since his last bill-signing announcement in mid-November, Gov. Evers has acted on 53 bills, signing 47 into law and vetoing six others. In total, 86 new laws have been enacted so far this session. Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature are expected to adjourn the 2023-24 session within the first few months of 2024.

Continue reading this article

PFAS Update: DNR Pauses PFAS Groundwater Rulemaking

The Department of Natural Resources recently announced a pause of its rulemaking to establish groundwater standards for several PFAS compounds. This is due to the requirements of Wisconsin’s REINS Act, a 2017 law that requires legislative authorization of any administrative rule with a compliance and implementation cost totaling at least $10 million over a two-year period.

Continue reading this article

Republicans Introduce Revised EV Charging Legislation; Senate Hearing Held

A group of Republican legislators have introduced revised legislation to allow businesses to operate an electric vehicle charging facility without being regulated as a public utility and to create an electric vehicle infrastructure grant program to help pay for new charging stations. The Senate Committee on Utilities and Technology held a public hearing on both bills on December 19.

Continue reading this article

News Clips


Redistricting, RNC and congressional races: 9 Wisconsin political storylines for 2024

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 2, 2024

Buckle up: 2024 is sure to be a wild time in Wisconsin politics

The Capital Times, January 1, 2024

2023 at the Capitol: Shared revenue, Brewers stadium deal, elections

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 26, 2023

Speaker Robin Vos on the 2024 election cycle in Wisconsin

PBS Wisconsin, December 26, 2023

How did Evers, Vos other politicians and organizations respond to the Wisconsin Supreme Court redistricting decision?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 22, 2023

Wisconsin Supreme Court orders new state legislative maps

Politico, December 22, 2023

Assembly leaders on what to expect in 2024 legislative session

Wisconsin Examiner, December 22, 2023

Vos expects new maps, but impeachment is unlikely

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 21, 2023

A Republican proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin is coming soon

Associated Press, December 21, 2023

Vos wants election official out, but not through impeachment

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 21, 2023

Wisconsin Assembly’s top Republican wants to review diversity positions across state agencies

Associated Press, December 19, 2023

What Joe Biden’s negative poll numbers say about his re-election chances

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 19, 2023

Would ranked-choice voting work for Wisconsin? Legislators are split

The Capital Times, December 18, 2023

Vos says UW deal ‘first step’ toward eliminating ‘cancerous’ DEI practices

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 14, 2023

Wisconsin lawmakers weigh bipartisan ranked choice voting bill as opponents push to ban

Associated Press, December 12, 2023

Gov. Evers takes action on alcohol regulation, drivers ed and election bills

Wisconsin Examiner, December 7, 2023

Gov. Tony Evers signs Brewers stadium bill, ensuring team stays in city until 2050

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 5, 2023

Democrat Dianne Hesselbein elected new Senate minority leader

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 1, 2023

State Sen. Melissa Agard announces run for Dane County executive

The Capital Times, November 30, 2023

Republican former AG Brad Schimel to announce Wisconsin Supreme Court bid

Wisconsin State Journal, November 28, 2023

Utilities & Energy

Alliant Energy brings six new solar projects online

The Capital Times, December 30, 2023

Developers hope a balloon-like battery will aid Wisconsin renewable energy efforts

Wisconsin Watch, December 27, 2023

Bill would give regulators more authority over longer-term utility construction plans

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 27, 2023

Enbridge hopes to begin work this winter on project to slow erosion near Line 5

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 18, 2023

We Energies nears completion of $192 million liquified natural gas facility in Ixonia

Milwaukee Business News, December 15, 2023

Half of a controversial transmission line comes online in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 13, 2023

Solar can save renters big money, but Wisconsin law gets in the way

The Capital Times, December 13, 2023

As utilities close coal-burning plants, debate shifts to role of natural gas in energy future

Wisconsin Public Radio, November 30, 2023

Bill would open the door to more electric vehicle charging options in Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Journal, November 29, 2023

State regulators approve electric rate increases, reduce utility profits

Wisconsin Public Radio, November 22, 2023


PFAS lawsuits involve complex science and law, but settlements can be worth millions

Wisconsin Public Radio, January 1, 2024

Gov. Evers asks GOP lawmakers to release PFAS funds as they’ve reached a standstill on legislation to address the chemicals

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 28, 2023

Wisconsin PFAS groundwater standards halted—for now

Foley & Lardner LLP, December 27, 2023

GOP lawmakers press Evers’ appointees to DNR board on wolf management, PFAS

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 20, 2023

Excessive costs force Wisconsin regulators to halt work on groundwater standards for PFAS chemicals

Associated Press, December 19, 2023

Wisconsin GOP lawmaker says he’s open to legislation banning PFAS in certain products

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 14, 2023

PFAS testing at 3M plant in Wausau finds levels up to 7 times higher than state drinking water standard

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 5, 2023

Conservation group estimates PFAS cleanup in state drinking water would cost $208 million

Wisconsin Examiner, December 4, 2023

Wausau files lawsuit against ‘forever chemical’ makers and their insurers

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 4, 2023

World carbon dioxide emissions increase again, driven by China, India and aviation

Associated Press, December 4, 2023

3M, DuPont defeat massive class action over forever chemicals

Reuters, November 28, 2023


Who are the 2 referees the Wisconsin Supreme Court named to review new maps?

Wisconsin State Journal, December 28, 2023

Republicans likely to take Wisconsin gerrymandering case back to U.S. Supreme Court

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 26, 2023

Wisconsin Supreme Court rules GOP-drawn state legislative maps are unconstitutional

NBC News, December 22, 2023

AG Kaul announces $700 million settlement with Google over Play Store misconduct

Wisconsin Department of Justice, December 20, 2023

Lawsuit alleges State Bar of Wisconsin minority program is unconstitutional

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 20, 2023

Wisconsin prosecutor appeals ruling that cleared way for abortions to resume in state

Associated Press, December 20, 2023

Wisconsin Supreme Court hears arguments in case involving ‘gig workers,’ state unemployment fund

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 19, 2023

Supreme Court makes interim state court director permanent despite complaints

Associated Press, December 14, 2023

Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects hearing lawsuit seeking to end school voucher program

Wisconsin State Journal, December 14, 2023

New liquor law overhaul, wedding barn regulations, headed for lawsuit

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 7, 2023

Wisconsin judge reaffirms July ruling that state law permits consensual abortions

Associated Press, December 5, 2023

Unions file lawsuit challenging Wisconsin Act 10

Wisconsin Examiner, December 1, 2023

Employer & Consumer

Wage growth slowing in Wisconsin, but personal incomes expected to outpace 2022

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 28, 2023

Bipartisan bills aim to reform payday loans in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 27, 2023

Republicans eyeing tax cuts for Wisconsin retirees in 2024

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 21, 2023

Wisconsin unemployment system will get yearly checkups after overhaul

The Capital Times, December 20, 2023

Following death of a teen this summer, Northern Wisconsin sawmill fined $1.4M by OSHA

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 19, 2023

Amazon to Wisconsin Supreme Court: ‘Flex’ drivers are not employees

The Capital Times, December 19, 2023

Kwik Trip plans $151 million expansion of its Wisconsin operations

Milwaukee Business News, December 18, 2023

State’s highest court to weigh if Amazon delivery drivers are independent contractors or employees

Wisconsin Examiner, December 15, 2023

Property taxes see biggest jump since 2007 despite influx of cash for local governments

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 12, 2023

Foxconn qualifies for third round of state subsidies for scaled-down development

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 11, 2023

Wisconsin wedding barns face new regulations under liquor-law overhaul signed into law

Associated Press, December 6, 2023

Mount Pleasant approves Microsoft deal for data centers on Foxconn land

Wisconsin Public Radio, November 28, 2023

Transportation & Infrastructure

Tesla has the highest accident rate of any auto brand

Forbes, December 18, 2023

Wisconsin communities get $11M in federal funds for street safety projects

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 19, 2023

Madison hopes federal money will help end traffic deaths in city

The Capital Times, December 19, 2023

Wisconsin faces up to nearly $1B in costs to replace private lead lines

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 15, 2023

Evers, DNR announce $414M for wastewater and stormwater projects

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 14, 2023

With pipeline growth booming, the US agency in charge of safety struggles to keep up

Wisconsin Examiner, December 13, 2023

$7.5 billion for EV chargers, none built yet

Urban Milwaukee, December 10, 2023

Wisconsin to receive $2.5M to study feasibility of passenger rail expansion

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 8, 2023

‘A huge win’: Madison Amtrak plan gets big lift with federal money

The Capital Times, December 7, 2023

Wisconsin bills would enable retail EV charging, drop ‘cumbersome’ utility requirement

Utility Dive, November 30, 2023

Wisconsin could get more electric vehicle chargers if not for one law

The Capital Times, November 28, 2023


Wisconsin's biggest education stories of 2023

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 27, 2023

UW and Vos agreement is not quite a done deal

The Capital Times, December 21, 2023

Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects hearing lawsuit seeking to end school voucher program

Wisconsin State Journal, December 14, 2023

What to know about UW Regents Amy Bogost, Karen Walsh and Jennifer Staton, who changed their votes on diversity, pay raises

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 14, 2023

UW regents reverse position, accept GOP deal on funding and limits to DEI programs

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 13, 2023

Donors for new UW-Madison College of Engineering building ‘shocked’ by Board of Regents rejection of funding deal with Republicans that included DEI staff cuts

Milwaukee Business News, December 11, 2023

New law makes financial literacy a graduation requirement for Wisconsin high schoolers

Wisconsin Public Radio, December 8, 2023

Wisconsin teacher pay hasn’t kept up with inflation in more than a decade

Wisconsin Public Radio, November 30, 2023

Click here for more news clips

Political Tidbits is a free newsletter on Wisconsin political and policy developments, written and compiled by the Hamilton Consulting Group. Please forward it to others who may wish to receive this service.

If you require additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits for your organization's board meeting or trade publication, please do not hesitate to contact a Hamilton Consulting Group lobbyist.

To ensure that Political Tidbits never gets caught in your spam filter, please add publications@hamilton-consulting.com to your address book/contacts list. If you are receiving these emails via a workplace email account, please advise your IT service desk to do this for you.

Hamilton Consulting Group | (608) 258-9506 | www.hamilton-consulting.com

10 E. Doty Street, Suite 500, Madison, WI 53703

Twitter  Linkedin