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News & Press: Legislative Issues

WPHA Legislative Update November 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017  
Posted by: Dan Carpenter, Hoven Consulting
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WPHA Legislative Update November 2017

Legislature Wraps Up 2017

Thursday, November 9th was the last day of session for the Wisconsin State Legislature in 2017. While there might still be public hearings and committee voting sessions, the full body of both houses will not meet again until next year.

Floor periods are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 and will go into the spring. Once session is formally adjourned, legislators will transition into campaign mode leading up to the next election on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. While it sounds far off, it is less than one year away and will be here before we know it!

The government affairs team at Hoven Consulting will continue to provide legislative updates as well as critical campaign updates leading up to the election.

Bills Tracked by WPHA

WPHA has officially registered a position on 30 bills with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission so far this legislative session. Of those bills, 5 have been in opposition and 25 are in support. There are many other bills the government affairs team is monitoring that have not been officially registered. A few bills passed one or both houses in early November before the winter recess and are on their way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. They include:

Assembly Bill 306 - relating to tracking the sale of pseudoephedrine products. WPHA supports.

Assembly Bill 444 - relating to hospice staff transferring the controlled substances of deceased persons to drug disposal programs. WPHA supports.

Assembly Bill 499 - relating to the regulation of nonferrous metallic mining, prospecting, exploration and bulk sampling, repealing administrative rules relating to wetlands, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation. WPHA opposes.

Senate Bill 417 - ratification of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, extending the time limit for emergency rule procedures, and providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures. WPHA supports.

Campaign Update – 10th Senate District

On Friday, November 10th, Governor Walker appointed State Senator Sheila Harsdorf to be the next Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Harsdorf replaced Ben Brancel, who served as Secretary from January 2011 until August 2017.

With Harsdorf’s appointment, Gov. Walker called a special election to fill her Senate seat. The special election will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 and the primary will be held on Tuesday, December 19, 2017. So far, Rep. Adam Jarchow (R – Balsam Lake) and Rep. Shannon Zimmerman (R – River Falls) have announced they will run for the seat. St. Croix County Medical Examiner Patty Schachtner announced she will run for the seat as a Democrat.

This should be an interesting race to watch because of the limited time candidates have to collect nomination signatures and actually campaign. They will also be competing with cold weather and connecting with voters over the holidays. It is fair to predict low turnout for the primary and special election.

Mahlon Mitchell Joins Democratic Field of Candidates for Governor

On Monday, November 13, Mahlon Mitchell became the seventh Democrat to formally announce a gubernatorial bid. Mitchell also ran for Lieutenant Governor during the 2012 recall election. At 40, Mitchell is the youngest person to get into the race.

Mitchell is the President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, which represents over 3,200 fire fighters in over 70 local communities around Wisconsin. He served as a fire fighter in the City of Madison for 15 years before becoming the youngest and first African-American president of the organization.

At his campaign announcement, Mitchell said, "I want to make sure that my son has a good future and the opportunities for him need to be there. There's got to be a better investment in the tech schools and the school system in general."




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