Hamilton Political Tidbits – May 17, 2019

Political Tidbits - May 17, 2019
Hamilton Consulting Group
 May 17, 2019
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

It was a busy week in the state capitol with the Joint Finance Committee beginning budget votes, Senate and Assembly floor sessions, Supreme Court oral arguments in the extraordinary session litigation, and PA Day at the Capitol all happening this week. This edition of Political Tidbits also covers the latest Fiscal Bureau revenue projections and last week's meeting of the water quality task force.

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Joint Finance Committee Begins Budget Votes

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has begun taking votes on the 2019-21 state budget. Departing from previous sessions' procedures, JFC is working from the previous base budget instead of the governor's proposal. If no motions are offered on a particular area, then that item remains at the base funding level. So far, JFC has voted to remove 131 major policy and fiscal provisions from the budget and taken up a list of relatively non-controversial state agencies. Below are summaries of notable actions from each of JFC's executive sessions so far.

The next JFC meetings will be on May 21 and 23.
LFB Releases Updated Revenue Projections

As the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) continued budget votes this week, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated revenue numbers projecting the state will collect $753 million more in general fund taxes than previously estimated. Overall, the new projections give the state $2.9 billion more to spend in the 2019-21 budget than in 2017-19.
Continue reading about the updated numbers.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in First Extraordinary Session Challenge

In its last oral arguments of the 2018-19 term, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard a case that will decide whether the Legislature constitutionally convened the December 2018 extraordinary session. The issue in League of Women Voters v. Evers is whether extraordinary sessions are "provided by law" as required by Wisconsin Constitution Art. IV ยง 11.

Floor Report: Legislature Approves Marsy's Law, Other Bills Taken Up by Senate & Assembly

The Senate and Assembly both met for floor sessions on May 15. The relatively limited calendars included votes on crime victims' rights, a water pollution trading program, record expungement, and a package of legislation on abortion.
Water Quality Task Force Meets in Lancaster

The Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality met for its first public hearing on May 8 in Lancaster. The task force heard from several research and farm groups before taking public testimony.
The task force plans to meet for several more public hearings across the state. Previously, the task force met twice at the state capitol to hear testimony from farmers, conservation advocates, and state agencies. April meeting. March meeting.
PA Day at the Capitol 2019

The Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants held PA Day at the Capitol on May 14. Nearly 50 PAs from across the state came to Madison to advocate in support of its Collaboration And Rural Expansion of Services (CARES) Act.

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News Clips
Utilities and Energy
Net-zero carbon by 2050 is feasible: Wisconsin Public Radio, May 17, 2019.

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