HC Report

Governor Walker Calls Special Elections After Court Decision

Following a Dane County Circuit ruling, Governor Walker recently called special elections in the 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District to take place on June 12. In late March, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Josann Reynolds ruled Walker must call special elections in the legislative districts. Both seats have been vacant since December when former Senator Frank Lasee and former Representative Keith Ripp both resigned from the legislature to take positions in the administration. Following their departure, residents in those districts, with the help of an organization headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, filed a suit against…


Dallet Wins Supreme Court Race

On Tuesday, April 3, Wisconsin voters went to the polls to vote in municipal races, school board elections, and local referendums. However, the marquee race was the State Supreme Court general election, the only statewide race on the ballot. Rebecca Dallet, the liberal candidate and Milwaukee County judge, defeated the conservative Sauk County judge Michael Screnock by a large 12-point margin. “I think my message resonated with Wisconsinites. People are tired of special interests ruling and wanted to speak up,” Dallet told the media after her win. For Wisconsin Democrats, the results signified a major victory and a sign of…


Regular Session Comes to a Close…Maybe

Last week, both houses of the legislature met for the final time in the regular 2017-18 legislative session. The legislature took up issues ranging from a sales tax holiday to school safety. According to legislative leaders, neither house currently has intentions to take up any more bills this year. The State Senate met on Tuesday to amend and pass a proposal that creates a sales tax holiday in August for back-to-school items. It’s expected to cost the state approximately $12 million. Additionally, the Senate passed Governor Walker’s proposal to provide a $100 per child tax credit to Wisconsin families. Democrats…


Dane County Judge Orders Walker to Call Special Elections, Legislature Heads into Extraordinary Session

On Thursday, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Josann Reynolds ruled Governor Walker must call a special election in the 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District. Both seats have been vacant since December when former Senator Frank Lasee and former Representative Keith Ripp both resigned from the legislature to take positions in the administration. Following their departure, residents in their districts, with the help of an organization headed by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, filed a suit against Walker to hold special elections. Walker determined in December to allow both seats to remain vacant and be filled during the…


Walker to Introduce School Safety Proposal

According to various reports, Governor Scott Walker has been speaking with state legislators on a package to provide schools with increased security measures. The proposal comes on the heels of a national discussion on school safety following last month’s school shooting in Florida. While details have yet to be released, the proposal is said to focus on providing a certain amount of tax dollars to schools to pay for security improvements to school buildings. These improvements could include installing new locking systems, security cameras, and other safety features. It is unclear how much the proposal costs. State Superintendent Tony Evers…


Marquette Law School Releases New Poll

On Monday, March 5, the Marquette Law School released its newest poll numbers on a range of state and national topics. As the first significant poll of the 2018 election season, it offers interesting insight into what issues voters are prioritizing before heading to the polls in November. Among the highlights are Governor Walker’s approval ratings, public opinion on the Foxconn deal, and voters’ perceptions of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates. According the poll, Governor Walker’s holds a 47 percent job approval rating. That number has held relatively steady over the course of the 2017-18 legislative session. Walker’s disapproval rating is…


State Supreme Court Candidates Set for April General Election

On Tuesday, February 20, Wisconsin held its State Supreme Court Primary election. Voters chose Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecaa Dallet, who received 35% of the vote, and Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock, who took 46%, to square off in the April 3 general election. A third candidate, Madison attorney Tim Burns, received 18% of the vote and will not be on the April ballot. The winner of the general election will fill the seat vacated by Justice Michael Gableman, who is not seeking second term. Dallet currently serves as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge. While Supreme…


Legislative Session Sprints to a Finish

There’s been a whirlwind of action in the State Legislature over the past few weeks. With Assembly leaders insisting on finishing business in February and Senate leaders scheduling just one more floor session in March, legislators are rushing to get their bills through the legislature before the 2017-18 session ends. Last week, the State Assembly took up nearly 200 bills over the course of three days. The bills addressed issues across the board, including opioid abuse, direct primary care agreements, wetlands, and criminal justice. Of the more high profile bills was Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to provide a tax credit…


Legislature Gears Up for Floor Sessions

Legislative leaders announced both houses of the legislature will be on the floor in January. The Senate plans to hold votes on Tuesday, January 23. The Assembly will meet on Tuesday, January 16 and Tuesday, January 23. While neither house has released agendas, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) provided insight on which bills the Assembly won’t take up during this session. Speaking to reporters in December, Vos said his house in unlikely to take up several high profile bills including the “right to carry” bill, a bill that bans the use of aborted fetal tissue, and a bill…


Lasee and Ripp Appointed to Administration

On December 29, Governor Walker announced the appointments of Frank Lasee and Keith Ripp to serve within his administration. The move leaves both a State Senate and State Assembly seat open for the remainder of the 2017-18 legislative session. Walker appointed Lasee to administrator for the Department of Workforce Development’s Worker’s Compensation Division. Lasee previously represented the De Pere area in the State Legislature for over two decades. He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1994 before becoming a state senator in 2010. In his new role, Lasee will oversee and ensure the proper administration of the state’s…