Hamilton Political Tidbits – October 8, 2019

Political Tidbits - October 8, 2019
Hamilton Consulting Group
 October 8, 2019
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

The Senate & Assembly meet this week for the first time since passing the state budget. This edition of Political Tidbits covers the upcoming floor action and legislative proposals of note moving this fall. This Tidbits also explains the complications surrounding the special election in the 7th Congressional District, as well as updates on the candidates running in the 5th & 7th CDs. Plus, recent agency actions and litigation in Wisconsin political news.
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October Floor Preview: Senate to Approve Evers Appointments, Assembly Will Focus on First Responders

The Senate and Assembly are both meeting this week for the first time since passing the state budget in June. Both chambers plan to meet once more in November before returning in 2020 for the final floorperiods of the 2019-20 legislative session.
Wisconsin Democrats Release Legislative Priorities

Ahead of October floor sessions this week, Wisconsin Democrats released a list of legislative priorities called "Forward Together." Legislators released the initiative at press conferences around the state on Oct. 7. The package is "focused on values that put families, workers, and communities first."
Wis. Congressional Candidates: Who's In and Who's Out

The lists of possible candidates for the open 7th and 5th Congressional Districts in Wisconsin continue to narrow. Meanwhile, recent headlines in the 7th have focused on the primary and general election dates for the special election to replace Sean Duffy, whose resignation took effect Sept. 23.

CARES Act Would Eliminate Workforce Barriers for PAs

The Collaboration and Rural Expansion of Services (CARES) Act (LRB 0196), which would update Wisconsin statutes related to physician assistants (PAs), is currently circulating in the Legislature. The bill seeks to reduce workforce barriers for PAs, thus maintaining and increasing access to high quality medical care, particularly in underserved rural areas of the state. The bill has bipartisan support from across the state.

Benefits for Families of Fallen Officers Scheduled for a Senate Vote

The Senate plans to vote on Tuesday, Oct. 8, on legislation (SB 266/AB 300) which would require any government entity and Marquette University to provide health insurance benefits to the widowed spouse and/or children after a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty.
Gov. Evers Urges Congress to Act on PFAS
On Sept. 18, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers joined a bipartisan group of 14 other governors in asking congressional armed services committees to include several provisions related to PFAS in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are manufactured chemicals that are found in many everyday products, including nonstick pans, cleaning products, paints, and firefighting foam. Competing studies debate whether or not PFAS have negative health effects, and, if they do, at what level they are harmful. 
Gov. Evers Requests AG Opinion on Act 21

Attorney General Josh Kaul is currently considering a request from Gov. Tony Evers for a formal opinion regarding the applicability of 2011 Act 21, which provided a broad scope of rulemaking reforms.
PSCW Gives Final Approval to Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) has given final approval for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line. The line will electrically connect Dane County, Wisconsin to Dubuque County, Iowa. Additional approvals are needed from the Iowa Utilities Board and federal agencies.
Survey Shows Dental Insurance Enrollees Are Highly Satisfied with Coverage

A survey recently released by America's Health Insurance Plans shows dental insurance enrollees are highly satisfied with their providers and coverage. Overall, the survey found consumers were happy with their ability to find in-network, high quality, and affordable dental care.
Medicaid Budget Projected to End in the Red 

On Sept. 30, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted an updated projection for the state's Medicaid budget to the Joint Finance Committee. DHS estimates the Medicaid expenditures will exceed the budget by $21.4 GPR at the end of the 2019-2021 biennium.
Federal Extraordinary Session Case Dismissed

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin recently dismissed DPW v. Vos, the federal case challenging the 2018 extraordinary session laws. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) had filed a complaint in February seeking to declare the extraordinary session legislation in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

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News Clips
Only 5 of Tony Evers' cabinet appointments on Senate schedule: Wisconsin State Journal, October 5, 2019.

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