The Wisconsin Legislature passed its version of the 2019-21 state budget on Wednesday, June 26, sending the budget to Gov. Tony Evers for review. The budget largely adopts provisions approved by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), along with an amendment that adjusts language to make it more difficult for Gov. Evers to use his line-item veto authority to change provisions.
DHS and DNR Release Strict PFAS Groundwater Standard
The Department of Health Services (DHS), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Department of Trade, Agriculture & Consumer Protection announced last week a recommended groundwater standard of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) combined for chemicals PFOA and PFOS. Out of 19 other states regulating PFAS, only Vermont has set a standard as strict as the one proposed in Wisconsin.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, which replaces the 2015 Clean Power Plan. The newly finalized ACE rule provides states guidelines to develop plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Whereas the Clean Power Plan forced states to comply with a single federal standard, the ACE rule gives states flexibility to set their own standards within the boundaries of the federal guideline.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules DPI and Superintendent Must Comply With Act 21 and REINS Act
In one of the more important cases of the 2018-19 term, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled on June 25 in Koschkee v. Taylor (2019 WI 76) that the Department of Public Instruction and Superintendent of Public Instruction must comply with rulemaking requirements in the 2017 Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act) and 2011 Act 21. The decision overturned the 2016 case Coyne v. Walker.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Extraordinary Session Laws Constitutional in League of Women Voters Decision
In a 4-3 decision on June 21, the Wisconsin Supreme Court affirmed that the Legislature's 2018 extraordinary session was constitutional in League of Women Voters v. Evers (2019 WI 75), thus upholding the three laws passed in the extraordinary session and the confirmation of 82 appointments.
Floor Report: Assembly and Senate Send Step Therapy, Electric Scooters, DOT Bills to Governor
The Assembly met on June 18 and 20 to approve short calendars before taking up the 2019-21 state budget this week. In their floorperiod to take up the budget on Wednesday, the Senate approved several additional bills from the Assembly, sending them to the governor's desk.
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