Hamilton Political Tidbits – September 10, 2021

Political Tidbits - September 10, 2021
September 10, 2021
Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.
Employer Issues Update: Federal Unemployment Benefits Have Ended; Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Disabled Residents
Effective September 6, several federal programs providing new or additional unemployment insurance (UI) benefits have ended. Notably, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program provided recipients of UI benefits with $300 per week in addition to the state benefits they were eligible for. Also, a group of nine Wisconsin residents has filed a class action lawsuit seeking to overturn a state law that prohibits people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from also receiving UI benefits.

State Tax Collections $319 Million More Than Expected For 2020-21
A new report shows the state of Wisconsin collected $319 million more in general fund taxes than previously expected for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended June 30. A memo released September 2 by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), a nonpartisan government agency that serves the Wisconsin Legislature, summarizes preliminary tax data from the Department of Revenue (DOR).

PFAS Update: State Hires California Firm to Litigate PFAS Claims; Other Lawsuits in Progress
On August 25, Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul and Gov. Evers announced that the state had hired a law firm, Sher Edling LLP, to litigate against companies responsible for discharging PFAS compounds in Wisconsin. According to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Sher Edling “represents state and local governments and other public agencies in significant environmental cases across the country. The firm currently represents public entities in multiple PFAS contamination matters.”

Senator Asks Legislative Leaders to Sue UW System, Seeking Legislative Oversight of COVID Rules
The Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) ordered the UW System to submit its COVID-19 protocols as an emergency rule within 30 days, arguing that measures such as regular testing or masking requirements must be promulgated as administrative rules, subject to JCRAR’s review and approval. On September 7, Sen. Nass sent a letter to Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader LeMahieu requesting that legislative leadership commence legal action against the UW System to force its compliance with JCRAR’s order.

DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk Has Retired
Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk has retired as of September 10. Gov. Evers announced one week earlier that Willems Van Dijk would retire and that Deb Standridge would take her place starting September 13. Previously, Standridge directed Wisconsin’s temporary care site for COVID-19 patients at State Fair Park and was a regional president for Ascension Wisconsin.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Update: Three Million Fully Vaccinated; Case Rates Have Risen Since June Lows
As of September 7, Wisconsin had administered about 6.17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with just over 3 million Wisconsin residents or 51.9 percent of the state’s population fully vaccinated. About 84.9 percent of Wisconsinites aged 65 and older have received at least one dose.

Governor, Legislators Introduce Prescription Drug Package
On August 4, Gov. Evers, Rep. Lisa Subeck, and Sen. Jon Erpenbach announced a package of bills that they argue will reduce the cost of prescription drugs in Wisconsin. Called the “Less for Rx” prescription drug plan, the package includes a variety of proposals recommended by the Governor’s Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices. Gov. Evers previously included many of these policies in his 2021-2023 budget proposal.

News Clips
Wisconsin State Journal, September 10, 2021
U.S. News, September 9, 2021
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 9, 2021
The Hill, September 8, 2021
The Hill, September 8, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, September 8, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, September 8, 2021
U.S. News, September 7, 2021
Politico, September 7, 2021
U.S. News, September 7, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, September 3, 2021
U.S. News, September 2, 2021
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 1, 2021
Wisconsin State Journal, September 1, 2021
U.S. News, August 31, 2021
The Journal Times, September 2, 2021
Utilities & Energy
Employer & Consumer
Economic Development
Transportation & Infrastructure
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