Wisconsin Receives $227 Million Federal Transportation Grant
Wisconsin has received $227.4 million in federal road funding grants for Fiscal Year 2018. Gov. Scott Walker said the funds will be used for nearly 50 local bridge projects and to complete by 2021 the I-94 North-South project (a Foxconn-related project stretching from near Milwaukee to the Wisconsin/Illinois state line). The Joint Finance Committee approved use of the funds this week.
Each interim summer, the Wisconsin Legislative Council staff provides legal and policy support to several study committees established by the Joint Legislative Council, a joint committee of the two houses whose primary responsibility is the creation and oversight of these study committees. This year there are nine study committees, and the Joint Legislative Council finalized the appointment of members this week.
The U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) announced this week it will not defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Texas v. United States. In a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, U.S. DOJ said it will side with plaintiffs Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with 18 other states.
Wisconsin Democrats met earlier this month for their annual state convention. Almost 1400 attendees met in Oshkosh to hear from the state's Democratic leaders. Democrats at the convention were optimistic about their chances in November, especially following the "blue wave" of special election wins in Senate District 10 and on the state Supreme Court. Governor candidate Kelda Roys was the biggest news coming out of the convention, as she won the Wispolitics straw poll by a margin of almost 100 votes.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson has announced she will not run for re-election when her fourth term is up in 2019. Abrahamson was appointed by Democratic Gov. Patrick Lucey in 1976 as the state's first woman Supreme Court Justice.
Gov. Scott Walker has announced the state's Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund reached $1.65 billion in May. The Trust Fund has been increasing since its lowest level (negative $1.68 billion) in 2011.
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has released its annual economic impact research for 2017. The report shows the state's tourism industry has grown 40 percent in the last seven years to a $20.6 billion impact on the Wisconsin economy. In addition, The Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (WACVB) and several of its members have kicked off a 2018 Value of Wisconsin Tourism Awareness Campaign.
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