Hamilton Political Tidbits – September 27, 2023

Political Tidbits - September 27, 2023

September 27, 2023

Wisconsin political news for clients and colleagues.

Articles in this edition of Political Tidbits:

Other updates in this edition:

  • Bits & Pieces
  • News Clips

If you have additional questions, please contact a member of the Hamilton Consulting team.

Bits & Pieces:

  • Republicans Release Brewers Stadium Plan: Republican legislators last week unveiled a plan to fund renovations at American Family Field, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, to ensure the baseball team stays in Wisconsin through 2050. The proposal, co-authored by Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) and Sen. Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac) and endorsed by Assembly Speaker Vos (R-Rochester), provides about $400 million in state funds and requires contributions of $200 million from Milwaukee and $100 million from the team over a 30-year period.

  • Democratic leaders including Milwaukee Mayor Johnson, Assembly Minority Leader Neubauer (D-Racine), and local alders and supervisors have criticized the stadium plan for requiring significant contributions from the city and county. Gov. Evers’ executive budget proposed spending $300 million in state funds to extend the team’s lease to 2043; his office said the governor will review the proposal and shares a goal of keeping the team in Wisconsin.

  • Democrats Seek Repeal of Employment Law Reforms: A group of Democratic lawmakers are introducing legislation to repeal significant employment law reforms enacted under former Gov. Walker (R). Sen. Spreitzer (D-Beloit) and Rep. Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) are circulating a bill to repeal Wisconsin’s right-to-work law, which allows individual workers to decide whether to join and pay dues to a union and prohibits requiring union membership or non-membership as a condition of employment. Meanwhile, Sen. Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and Reps. Shankland (D-Stevens Point) and Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) are circulating a bill to reinstate prevailing wage requirements for public works projects.

  • Financial Tidbits: According to the Department of Revenue, Wisconsin’s real estate market grew by 13% in 2022 to $842 billion, mostly due to a market value increase of $83 billion. For the eighth year in a row, workers’ compensation insurance premiums will decrease, saving Wisconsin employers an estimated $148 million. Finally, the state’s Group Insurance Board recently voted to increase rates for 2024, including an 11.8 percent increase for state government employees and 14.6 percent for local government employees. The board decided not to use reserve funds to offset the premium increases, which it has done in recent years.

Fall 2023 Floor Period: Taxes, Child Care, and Redistricting Emerge as Key Issues

Between the Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers, both sides were dissatisfied with aspects of the 2023-25 state budget and are seeking legislation to address those issues. The governor issued 51 partial vetoes of the budget bill, most notably eliminating an individual income tax cut for the state’s upper two tax brackets. Largely because of this veto, the state is projected to have a $4 billion surplus at the end of the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Continue reading this article

Assembly, Senate Floor Sessions: September 12 and 14

After a quiet summer following passage of the 2023-25 state budget, the Wisconsin Legislature resumed regular committee and floor activities in early September. The Assembly and Senate are each expected to hold several floor days in October and November and again over the first few months of 2024 before adjourning the session.

Continue reading this article

Governor, Speaker Create Separate AI Task Forces

Gov. Evers announced an executive order creating the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence on August 23. The following day, Assembly Speaker Vos announced the formation of four policy task forces, including the Speaker’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence.

Continue reading this article

News Clips


Republicans' redistricting plan is nearly identical to Democrats' bill from 4 past sessions

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 22, 2023

In less than a minute, GOP takes no action on Gov. Evers' child care, workforce development proposals

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 20, 2023

Group of Wisconsin lawmakers propose ranked-choice voting and top-five primaries

Associated Press, September 20, 2023

Vos will try to block UW pay raises unless campuses eliminate DEI positions

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 19, 2023

Republicans announce plan to use state, local dollars for Brewers stadium renovations

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 18, 2023

Assembly Republicans pass sweeping redistricting reform, but likely veto awaits

Associated Press, September 15, 2023

Josh Kaul: Senate ‘blatantly ignored’ state law in vote to fire top election official

Wisconsin State Journal, September 15, 2023

Supreme Court impeachment talk cools as Vos changes direction

The Capital Times, September 13, 2023

$2.9 billion tax cut approved by Wisconsin Assembly; Gov. Tony Evers pledges veto

Wisconsin State Journal, September 13, 2023

Third Democrat launches bid for western Wisconsin swing congressional district

Associated Press, September 6, 2023

Utilities & Energy

Wisconsin will house an energy storage facility that's the first of its kind in the US

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 25, 2023

Alliant lands $30 million DOE grant for nation's first carbon dioxide-based battery

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 22, 2023

We Energies plans $100M project to support new Microsoft data center. A law passed for Foxconn may exempt it from regulation

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 20, 2023

State regulators hear from customers on proposed rate hikes

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 18, 2023

Bills favoring Wisconsin utilities killed by out-of-state company, conservative group, former regulator says

Wisconsin State Journal, September 13, 2023

Indigenous tribes urge federal officials to deny loan request for Superior natural gas plant

Associated Press, September 11, 2023


Wolf fight continues in Legislature with hearing for population quota for gray wolves

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 22, 2023

Conservation groups seek to halt Trump-approved logging project in WI Northwoods

Wisconsin Examiner, September 19, 2023

Wisconsin farm groups reflect on impact of federal sustainability funding

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 19, 2023

Wisconsin approved legal settlements in these 6 environmental lawsuits

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 14, 2023

Wisconsin wolf hunters face tighter regulations under new permanent rules

Associated Press, September 11, 2023

US Military firefighters grapple with unknowns of PFAS exposure

Wisconsin Examiner, September 8, 2023

Wisconsin senator provides PFAS update on Senate Bill 312

Eagle Herald, September 5, 2023


Wisconsin taxpayers footing legal bills for Republican and Democratic state senators named in redistricting lawsuit

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 20, 2023

Wisconsin’s supreme court brawl

The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2023

UW-Madison legal experts doubt impeachment threat will fly

Wisconsin State Journal, September 15, 2023

Lawsuit against Green Bay, mayor over audio recording devices moves to federal court

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 14, 2023

Wisconsin settles pollution cases against 2 factory farms

Wisconsin State Journal, September 14, 2023

Can the Wisconsin Supreme Court overcome its fractured relations? Observers fear a point of no return

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 11, 2023

Employer & Consumer

Conservation, manufacturing closures have led to less water use in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 22, 2023

Here's why UW Health nurses lost their union contract and efforts to get it back

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 18, 2023

15 private and public sector partners hope to make Wisconsin a 'Regional Tech Hub'

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 12, 2023

Inflation erases wage growth in Wisconsin, according to COWS report

The Isthmus, September 4, 2023

Audit: WEDC didn't meet job goals, waited years to recover money from businesses not meeting requirements

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 1, 2023

Evers, licensing agency seek more funding, staff as wait time for licenses has reduced

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 1, 2023

Transportation & Infrastructure

Wisconsin UAW locals join escalating strike

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 22, 2023

Will Madison Amtrak plans ever leave the station? City officials keep pushing for passenger rail expansion

Wisconsin Public Radio, September 13, 2023

Wisconsin has more roundabouts than any other state

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 12, 2023

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