Hamilton Political Tidbits – May 6, 2016

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Hamilton Consulting
Political Tidbits
Compiled by
The Hamilton Consulting Group
May 6, 2016

The review period for Governor Walker to veto or sign bills from the 2015-2016 legislative session has passed, but some legislators still have work to do in the Capitol. In this week's Tidbits, read about the 2016 legislative study committees and the Joint Finance Committee's pending decision on a proposal to reform long-term care services in Wisconsin.

In judiciary news, read about Justice Prosser's retirement announcement and the candidates who are already planning to apply for the open Wisconsin Supreme Court seat. Also in Tidbits, learn more about the state Department of Justice's (DOJ) appeal to allow Wisconsin's right-to-work law to stay in effect while the law is under judicial review, and Wisconsin's DOJ has joined a coalition of states asking the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate an EPA ozone rule.

Also in this issue of Tidbits you can find the latest state election news and a guide to Wisconsin's new campaign finance laws.

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.

New Vacancy on State Supreme Court

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David T. Prosser Jr. has announced he will retire from the highest court in Wisconsin later this summer with four years left in his term.

In his letter of resignation Justice Prosser said, "Public service was the career I chose at an early age. The goal has been fulfilled... For me, the time has come to step down, pass the torch, and begin a new chapter in my life."

Gov. Scott Walker will accept applications for an appointment to fill the seat through mid-May, and the appointee will hold the seat until elections are held in April 2020.

JFC May Vote Soon on Long-Term Care Reforms

The Joint Committee on Finance is considering a Department of Health Services' (DHS) proposal to reform long-term care services in Wisconsin, otherwise referred to as FamilyCare 2.0. The reforms to expand such services statewide and to integrate personal care with health care will, according to DHS, save at least $300 million over the next six years compared to the current program. 

Read more about these reforms to save hundreds of millions of dollars, improve and expand care.

Attorney General Appeals Ruling on Right-to-Work

Friday, April 8, Dane County Circuit Court Judge C. William Foust struck down 2015 Wisconsin Act 1, Wisconsin's right-to-work law, concluding that labor unions have a property right to a portion of a worker's wages.  Under 2015 Wisconsin Act 1,

"No person may require, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, an individual to do any of the following:
  1. Refrain or resign from membership in, voluntary affiliation with, or voluntary financial support of a labor organization.
  2. Become or remain a member of a labor organization.
  3. Pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges or expenses of any kind or amount, or provide anything of value, to a labor organization.
  4. Pay to any 3rd party an amount that is in place of, equivalent to, or any portion of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges or expenses required of members of, or employees represented by, a labor organization."
Wis. Stat. s.  111.04 (3).

Attorney General Brad Schimel has filed an appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District III, and is seeking a stay of Judge Foust's decision. A stay, if granted, would allow Act 1 to remain in effect during the appeal.

Read more about Attorney General Brad Schimel's appeal to protect workers' wages.
Legislative Study Committees Finalized

Each interim summer, the Wisconsin Legislative Council provides legal and policy support to the study committees established by the Joint Legislative Council. The Joint Legislative Council has finalized the 2016 legislative study committees.

Read more on the seven committees for 2016. 

Get Ready for Campaign Season: Basic Fundraising Points You Need to Know

Nomination papers are circulating and the candidates listed on the ballot have yet to be finalized, but that has not precluded the onslaught of fundraising appeals in your mailbox, inbox and even on your voicemail.

Hamilton's Political Fundraising Calendar

As campaign season gets underway, consider using Hamilton's political fundraising calendar. The calendar provides an excellent resource to find all upcoming fundraising events. Included are all events for state and national elected officials who represent Wisconsin. Fundraisers provide a great opportunity to get to know current and prospective legislators and other elected officials.

The information on the calendar comes from candidates and committees, so please be sure to RSVP to the person indicated in the event information, not the Hamilton Consulting Group.
The Hamilton political fundraising calendar can be found on our  website, or through  Google Calendar.
AG Schimel Sues EPA over New Ozone Standard

Wisconsin joined a coalition of states and industry groups challenging EPA's new ozone standard. The new standard was released on October 26, 2015, and lowers the ozone standard to 70 parts per billion (ppb). 

Read more about DOJ's brief and the rule.
Governor Vetoes Two Bills

The review period for the governor to sign or veto legislation has now ended. While Gov. Scott Walker signed most bills, he also issued his first full vetoes. Senate Bill 360 and Senate Bill 87 were vetoed and returned to the Senate.

SB 360 made several changes, both technical and substantive, to the administrative rules promulgated by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The governor vetoed the bill, citing concerns with the broad scope of the legislation and changing the administrative rules without any economic impact analyses and stakeholder engagement.

SB 87 directed the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to promulgate rules to require an inspection of a one or two-family dwelling for a major renovation of more than 20 percent of the dwelling's value. In his veto message, the governor stated that SB 87 would create unnecessary regulatory burdens on homeowners and drive up administrative costs for DSPS and local units of government.

Senate District 32: Shilling vs Kapanke

As the spotlight burns on what has been an extraordinary Presidential election, Wisconsin's state legislative races are starting to take shape, albeit with much less attention.

One of those races has turned out to be more interesting than expected as former State Sen. Dan Kapanke has decided to challenge sitting Minority Leader Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). While her odds to return to the senate representing her La Crosse area seat remain very favorable, the pathway now has some unexpected obstacles.

Tony Zammit Enters Crowded Race for 67th Assembly District

Tony Zammit of Chippewa Falls has entered a crowded Republican primary for the 67th Assembly District. Zammit, the executive director of the Chippewa Valley Symphony, officially declared his candidacy on April 13.

In a statement released by his campaign, Zammit said, if elected he will focus on improving the education system and strengthening the economy in northwestern Wisconsin. Zammit also praised the work of current 67th Assembly District Rep. Tom Larson (R-Colfax), who is stepping down from his position in the fall due to health issues.

Zammit is a former employee of the Republican National Committee and has worked for Republican Minnesota politicians including former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. 

Law Creates New Funding Stream for Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

A bill that would create a new dedicated funding stream for law enforcement to fight internet crimes against children was signed by Gov. Scott Walker as 2015 Wisconsin Act 369 in April 2016. The law transfers $1 million from an existing appropriation for drug law enforcement to a new appropriation for investigating internet crimes against children. The bill was championed by Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc).

Read more about the new law.
Mandatory CPR Training Bill Signed into Law

In one of the final bill signings this legislative session, Gov. Scott Walker signed AB 545 into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 390. The legislation requires mandatory cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training be taught in every health class offered to pupils in grades seven through 12. The requirement will be effective starting with the 2017-18 school year. The bill was introduced by Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield) and Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) late last fall and passed both chambers with strong majorities.

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News Clips 
State Rep. Robb Kahl won't run for re-election : Wisconsin State Journal, May 6, 2016.
Hillary Clinton staffs up in Wisconsin : Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 6, 2016.
The electoral map looks challenging for Trump : New York Times, May 4, 2016.
Wisconsin GOP leader Fitzgerald: 'We're on the Trump train now' : Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 5, 2016.
Hunt to run for 67th Assembly seat : Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, May 4, 2016.
Donald Trump's win just latest tremor shaking GOP : Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2016.
Ron Johnson makes his re-election bid official in Oshkosh : Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 2, 2016.

Economic Development
State study finds new health hazards in drinking water : Wisconsin State Journal, May 6, 2016.
Partnership health center awarded $1M : Appleton Post Crescent, May 4, 2016.
Wisconsin exceeds national rate for smoking during pregnancy : Wisconsin Public Radio, May 4, 2016.
Drug abuse driving up child neglect reports in Wisconsin : Wisconsin Public Radio, May 3, 2016.
Wisconsin's two medical schools say doctor shortage is real : Wisconsin Public Radio, May 3, 2016.
New food safety law gives states a big role : Duluth News Tribune, May 2, 2016.
Opioid epidemic fueling hospitalizations, hospital costs : Kaiser Health News, May 2, 2016.

Study: Those bumpy, slow rides cost you $2,000 : Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 5, 2016.
Air bag recall doubles in size, taxes overloaded industry : Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 4, 2016.
Amtrak lets passengers bring bicycles on Milwaukee-Chicago trains : Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 3, 2016.
Judge denies reinstatement of State 23 expansion : Fond du Lac Reporter, May 3, 2016.

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