Capitol Connection, June 2024 Recap

July 2, 2024

The ever-changing landscape of state government requires businesses across all industries to stay informed on the happenings in Madison. Welcome to the June 2024 Recap issue of the Capitol Connection.

Inside this issue

Vos Recall Denied by Elections Commission

A months-long back-and-forth between Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and a group seeking to recall the Republican leader ended on June 27th when in a 4-2 decision, the Wisconsin Elections Commission decided that organizers of the effort failed to collect enough valid signatures by the required deadline.

The commission’s decision also ended debate on whether a potential recall would take place in the 63rd or 33rd Assembly District. Until new legislative maps were adopted, Vos represented the 63rd but was drawn into the 33rd. Late last year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court barred any future elections from taking place under the former maps, but declined to offer clarification on which district a recall election would take place, despite the new maps not having yet taken effect.

Renowned Pollster Visits Ruder Ware

On June 11th, renowned political pollster Dr. Charles Franklin visited Ruder Ware’s Wausau office to share election year insights. Franklin serves as the director of the Marquette University Law School Poll.

A major takeaway from the presentation: Wisconsin voters should expect a close race.

You can view Dr. Franklin’s slides here.

You can view MU Law Poll’s most recent results here.

We plan to host a post-election presentation by Dr. Franklin sometime in late 2024.

New K-12 Literacy Vendor Selected

2023 Wisconsin Act 20 created an Office of Literacy within the state’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI). That new office, known as the Wisconsin Reading Center, will execute the statutory responsibilities relating to early literacy outcomes within K-12 schools.

The bill requires school boards and operators of independent charter schools to assess early literacy skills of students. According to DPI, they will assess those skills “using a readiness screener at multi points throughout the school year from 4K to third grade.”

In late June, DPI selected a bid from NCS Pearson to supply the statewide readiness screener under the new requirements.

DPI will now engage in negotiations with the vendor to finalize details relating to assessment administration, accommodations and accessibility options, training for teachers and administrators, and testing windows. Details are expected to be announced sometime in the fall.

Wisconsin Policy Forum: More FoodShare Recipients Now Than Pre-Pandemic

According to the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s FoodShare recipients have stabilized at higher levels than pre-pandemic times.

A new report cited data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), showing a total of 702,700 recipients of that program. That number was below the peak of 793,300 in May of 2021, but 99,000 recipients higher than March of 2020.

The full report can be viewed here.

DWD: Wisconsin Employment at Record High

On June 20th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary estimates for May 2024, which showed the state’s “employment hit a record high of 3,048,000 during the month.”

DWD says that figure is 6,500 more people than one year ago.

The agency also said the state’s unemployment rate remained at 2.9%, or 1.1% below the national rate of 4.0%.

You can view more data about Wisconsin’s workforce here.

Gov. Evers: WHEDA Reaches All-Time Record Home Purchases

Governor Tony Evers on June 19th announced that the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) reached an all-time home purchase record in its half-century history.

WHEDA says its single-family team closed 240 percent more home purchases than in the previous year. At the end of FY2023, WHEDA closed 1,121 home purchases, valued at $190 million. With the close of FY2024 on June 30th, the agency had already closed more than 2,700 home loans, with a value of nearly $560 million.

Governor Evers said expanding access to home ownership is critical to the state’s workforce.

“[We] will continue building on the progress we’ve made over the last year to help even more folks become proud homeowners,” Evers added.

Information on WHEDA’s homeownership programs can be found here.

Close to Home: Lawmakers React to Lincoln Hills Tragedy

Two incarcerated teens at the Lincoln Hills School in Irma have been charged in connection with an attack on employees at the Department of Corrections Facility on June 24th.

The attack left one corrections officer, Corey Proulx, dead and another in serious condition.

In response to the tragedy, Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) and Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) released the following statement:

“Our thoughts are with the injured officer and his family, and our prayers go out to him for a successful and swift recovery. As details of this incident emerge, we are acutely aware of the frustrations and anger in our community over this situation. There will be a time for discussions of accountability and an analysis of how we got here, but now is not that time. All we know with certainty now is that a family in our community is facing one of their worst fears. We send our prayers to the family, and hope they know our thoughts are with them during this agonizing time.”

Governor Tony Evers also ordered all flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Officer Proulx.

“Our hearts break for Corey, his family and loved ones, his colleagues at the department, and all those who knew and loved him. By all accounts, Corey was a dedicated public servant who led with kindness and compassion in his commitment toward helping and supporting the youth he worked with,” Governor Evers said. “Wisconsinites today are honoring Corey and his service as we mourn his tragic passing and keep Corey’s family and loved ones, colleagues, and all those who knew and served alongside him in our hearts and our prayers.”

Did You Know?

Under 2023 Wisconsin Act 149, sales of precious metal bullion, defined as coins, bars, rounds, or sheets that contain at least 35% gold, silver, copper, platinum, or palladium, are exempt from sales and use tax.

The sales and use tax exemption does not apply to any other tangible personal property that contains, in whole or in part, precious metal bullion.


If you have questions or would like more information regarding state regulations, programs, policies, or legislative proposals, please reach out to Ruder Ware’s Director of Public Affairs John Jacobson directly at

Back to all News & Insights

This document provides information of a general nature regarding legislative or other legal developments, and is based on the state of the law at the time of the original publication of this article. None of the information contained herein is intended as legal advice or opinion relative to specific matters, facts, situations, or issues, and additional facts and information or future developments may affect the subjects addressed. You should not act upon the information in this document without discussing your specific situation with legal counsel.

© 2024 Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C. Accurate reproduction with acknowledgment granted. All rights reserved.