Before another special election "blue-wave" test, Republicans have their own test in what has developed into a contentious primary in Wisconsin's 1st Senate District. The special election primary features sitting Assemblyman Andre Jacque (R-DePere) and political newcomer Alex Renard.
Gov. Scott Walker has signed the last bills of the 2017-18 legislative session. With signatures on the last of this session's 367 Acts, Walker and legislators will switch gears into study committees and upcoming fall elections.
Wisconsin Receives National Recognition for Tort Reform Legislation
Wisconsin has received national attention after passing Act 235, which contains a number of important civil litigation reforms, including discovery and class action rules. Act 235 is a significant victory for Wisconsin businesses and will reduce the cost of litigation.
EPA Relaxes Ozone Regulations for Southeastern Wisconsin
In its final designations under the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has narrowed the areas of Wisconsin designated as "nonattainment," or not meeting the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standards. The final attainment/nonattainment designations will relieve many businesses in southeastern Wisconsin from the regulatory burdens associated with areas designated as nonattainment zones.
Gov. Walker Reorganizes Government Efficiency Offices
This week, Gov. Scott Walker issued Executive Order #288, implementing a reorganization of government efficiency offices within the Department of Administration (DOA) and providing several directions for state agencies to find cost savings.
Governor's Opioid Task Force Meets on Alternative Treatments
The Governor's Task Force on Opioid Abuse met on April 13 in Milwaukee to discuss alternatives to opioids for treating pain. The Task Force heard from several groups advocating for alternative treatments and discussed insurance coverage related to these methods.
Last week, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) submitted the 1332 Waiver for State Innovation that, upon federal approval, would allow Wisconsin to create a state-based reinsurance program for health carriers.
Wisconsin, 19 Other States File for Preliminary Injunction in ACA Lawsuit
On April 26, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with 18 other states, filed a preliminary injunction in federal district court against the federal government's enforcement of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Tommy Thompson Center on Public Leadership held a two-day conference last week focusing on Criminal Justice Reform. The program discussed how lawmakers can address criminal justice reform in "more cost-efficient and liberty-enhancing" ways while still prioritizing public safety. Topics included prisoner re-entry into the workforce, prosecutorial discretion, and civil asset forfeiture.
The Governor's Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment met last week for what was likely their last round of presenters. The committee expects to put forward a draft of a plan at the May meeting and work toward finalizing that plan by their final meeting in late June.
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