Hamilton Political Tidbits – June 6, 2014

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Hamilton Consulting Group Political Tidbits
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The Hamilton Consulting Group
 June 6, 2014  

Legislative leaders and Senate and Assembly caucus members were in town this week as each of the four Republican and Democratic Campaign Committees held candidate roll-out events to introduce their slate of 2014 election challengers.


Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Board was busy checking nomination papers and preparing recommendations on nomination challenges and appeals. The Board is scheduled to meet next Tuesday to consider challenges, appeals, and finalize the ballots. Unofficial results show that 38 Senate and Assembly incumbents are unopposed with another six races with no major party opposition in the general election. To date, there are 21 Democratic primaries and 27 Republican primaries on tap to determine the party candidate in November for various congressional and state offices.     


See details and related information in election update articles below. Wisconsin industry, U.S. EPA regulations and transportation news are also featured in this edition of Political Tidbits.


If you wish to receive additional information about a topic addressed in Tidbits, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting Team.

Election News

  • Stay up-to-date with Hamilton Consulting
  • Nomination Papers Due to GAB
  • Folk Leaves Secretary of State Race
  • Vinehout Renews Bid for State Senate

EPA Announces Landmark Rule on Carbon Emissions

With this week's announcement of the new EPA rules for existing power plants and carbon emissions, some are calling the new rule the
biggest announcement of President Obama's second term. What makes the new rule on carbon pollution emission guidelines so noteworthy?
WMC President on Up Front with Mike Gousha

At the end of May, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce President Kurt Bauer appeared on Up Front with Mike Gousha to discuss Governor Walker's job growth numbers.

DOT Looks for Solutions to Funding Shortfall


In our last edition of Political Tidbits, we reported the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is facing a $600 - $700 million shortfall in the next state budget. Secretary Mark Gotlieb warned that if the shortfall is not rectified, major transportation projects like the Zoo Interchange and I-39/90 from Madison to the Illinois state line could be delayed.


In a new interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, Secretary Gotlieb stated that 2015-2017 Transportation budget request would include long-term solutions for the shortfall... 


DHS Awards Grants for Rural Wisconsin Areas


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has awarded over $3.3 million in grants to health organizations in rural and underserved areas of Wisconsin.


The money for the grants was appropriated in the 2013-2015 state budget, and allows DHS up to $1.75 million per year for new programs.  The grants will establish Graduate Medical Education programs (GME). "Clinical training in underserved areas significantly increases the likelihood that resident physicians will remain to continue their practices, which in turn will increase access to quality health care," DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades said in a statement.

Walker Approves Harbor Improvement Grants


Governor Walker approved four harbor grants this month through the Department of Transportation Harbor Assistance Program (HAP). HAP, created in 1979 by the state legislature, assists harbor communities with maintenance and improvements to aid commerce on the water.


This year's grants were given to:

  • City of Two Rivers (Manitowoc County)
    • $878,868 for dredging the Two Rivers Harbor entrance to serve commercial fisheries.
    • $400,000 for the reconstruction of a seawall in Two Rivers Harbor that will allow commercial fishermen to more easily navigate the harbor, serve as a mooring site and provide a safe refuge.  
  • City of Superior (Douglas County) / Fraser Shipyard - $2,912,110 for the final phase of a three-phase site improvement project that extends the existing sheet pile dock wall to maintain a safe berth and lengthen shipyard life.  
  • Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay (Door County) - $2,309,022 for construction of a new dock wall to allow for the docking of large vessels for maintenance and construction.
This Weekend: DNR Free Fun


This weekend, June 7th-8th, 2014, is the Wisconsin DNR's Free Fun Weekend.


Fishing on Wisconsin lakes is free and doesn't require a license this weekend, whether you're a Wisconsin resident or visitor. All admission fees for Wisconsin State Parks and trails will also be waived this weekend. Plus, all ATV trails are free, and machines do not need to be registered in Wisconsin.


Wisconsin free fun weekend is June 7-8, 2014
Wisconsin free fun weekend is June 7-8, 2014


Wisconsin Business Achievement Award


The Flowers Family Foundation will be presenting the first annual Wisconsin Business Achievement Award at the State of Wisconsin Business Luncheon, presented by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), on October 15. Applications are currently being accepted.


The award will recognize a Wisconsin individual, partnership, corporation, organization, or educational institution that had a role in supporting and creating a positive impact on the Wisconsin economy.

The award will also include a $50,000 donation to the winner's Wisconsin-based 501(c)3 organization of choice.


Nominations will be accepted through August 1, 2014.


For more information: WMC - Seeking Nominations.


DWD Awards More Worker-Training Grants


In our last edition of Political Tidbits, we reported the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) awarded 37 different employers with $1.5 million in worker training grants for nearly 2,200 manufacturing workers. At the end of May, DWD announced its intent to award nearly $1 million more for worker training grants through the Wisconsin Fast Forward program.


To date, the Wisconsin Fast Forward program has granted $3.4 million to train workers in manufacturing, construction, information technology, financial services, healthcare, small business and transportation. DWD Secretary Reggie Newson said, "These employer-driven training programs are creating new opportunities for working families... and cementing Wisconsin as a leader in collaborative efforts to address the skills gap today and in the years to come."


The Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program was appropriated $15 million in 2013 to award to companies. Governor Walker expanded the program with $35.4 million in January of 2014 through his Blueprint for Prosperity program.


Visit the Wisconsin Fast Forward website for more information, or to apply for a grant.


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News Clips 


Wisconsin Politics: GAB is criticized over new rules on signatures: FDL Reporter, June 4, 2014.

On Politics: Former state Sen. Gary George files papers to run for Congress: The Journal Times, June 3, 2014.

Legal price tag for officials sued in John Doe probe nears $300,000: Journal Sentinel, June 3, 2014.

Election 2014: Lots of turnover on tap in fall legislative races: State Journal, June 2, 2014.

Secretary, treasurer candidates file signatures: Channel 3000, June 2, 2014.

36 primaries await in Wisconsin legislative races: Channel 3000, June 3, 2014.

Mary Burke's financial statement lists homes, Trek stock: Journal Sentinel, May 30, 2014.

Obama to speak with European allies about Russia: Green Bay Press Gazette, June 2, 2014.

Scott Walker, Mary Burke among crowd at Brown County on the Farm: Appleton Post Crescent, June 1, 2014.

Assembly Speaker Vos wants total cost of John Doe investigations: WSAU, May 31, 2014

On the Capitol: Governor's race called a toss-up as undercover operations and mistaken identities abound: Wisconsin State Journal, May 30, 2014.

European stocks rise as elections wrap up: Channel 3000, May 26, 2014.


Economic Development and Finance 

Fed survey: Economy showing improvement across US: Madison, June 3, 2014.

Alarm sounded over Wisconsin's lack of start-ups, venture capital: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 1, 2014.

Walker looks to boost business growth: Wisconsin Radio Network, June 4, 2014.

Milwaukee-area officials move forward with Advanced Manufacturing Training Center: Milwaukee Business Journal, June 3, 2014.

Fed report notes region's economic strengths, weaknesses: Green Bay Press Gazette, May 31, 2014.

Mary Burke's financial statement lists homes, Trek stock: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 30, 2014.

Feds support Milwaukee economic development base: Channel 3000, May 30, 2014.

Northwoods unemployment rates down in April: WJJQ, May 29, 2014.

Job training law to help businesses compete globally, Doyle says: La Crosse Tribune, May 24, 2014.


Utilities and Energy

Propane pipeline reversal prompts plan to build western Wisconsin terminal: 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 4, 2014.

Reopen Public Comments on Wisconsin Oil Pipeline, Professor Says: WPR, June 4, 2014.

Strange bedfellows in EPA's carbon rule (opinion): Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 2, 2014.

Power struggle: Public input sought on Badger Coulee Transmission Line: The Country Today, June 2, 2014.

Xcel offering energy conservation services: WEAU.com, June 2, 2014.

WPS seeks $50m expansion of Marathon County ash landfill: Green Bay Press Gazette, June 1, 2014.

EPA rules may force Wisconsin utilities to reduce coal use:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 31, 2014.

Focus on Energy provides Flambeau River Papers loan for energy efficiency projects: Sawyer County Record, May 31, 2014.

Green energy trend puts pressure on utilities: Daily Reporter, May 30, 2014.

ATC eyes $101 million upgrade for four aging power lines: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 28, 2014.



Application inconsistencies under health law: The Journal Times, June 4, 2014.

Medicaid Rolls Grow By 6 Million Since Health Law Rollout: Madison, June 5, 2014.

Heroin, opiate addiction labeled today's public health crisis at forum: Journal Sentinel, June 4, 2014.

Mental health board taking shape: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 31, 2014

Shineski resigns amid vets' health care problems: The Journal Times, May 30, 2014.

Bill targets mental health issues among troops: Oshkosh Northwester, May 28, 2014.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 27, 2014.


Transportation and Construction

Wisconsin's brain drain and transportation priorities: Journal Sentinel, June 4, 2014.

Wisconsin looking to plug up $680 million transportation gap: Leader-Telegram, June 3, 2014.

Long-term transportation funding solution coming in 2015-17 budget: Wisconsin State Journal, June 2, 2014.

Millenials opt for alternative modes of transportation: WEAU, May 26, 2014.

Surface transportation trade value with NAFTA partners reached second-best mark in March: Progressive Railroading, June 2, 2014.

Ohio working with US agency on Lake Erie silt plan: Madison.com, May 31, 2014.

North American rail traffic gains continued in May's third week: Progressive Railroading, May 30, 2014.

Road transport biofuels forecast at $338 billion by 2022: Wisconsin Ag Connection, May 22, 2014.
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