By John N. Jacobson
October 18, 2023
The ever-changing landscape of state government requires businesses across all industries to stay informed on the happenings in Madison. Welcome to Ruder Ware’s Capitol Connection. Be on the lookout for regular, nonpartisan, news and analysis from Madison regarding workforce development, changes in tax and regulation, and other general topics that may impact you or your business. Access the October 2023 issue of the Capitol Connection.
Hi, I’m John Jacobson, Director of Public Affairs at Ruder Ware.
Welcome to another edition of the Capitol Connection. I’m glad you’re here.
The Wisconsin State Assembly and the Senate were both in session this week, making this the perfect time to get caught up on Three Issues of Interest in and around the Capitol.
So let’s start off with the home of the Milwaukee Brewers – American Family Field.
The State Assembly on Tuesday passed two measures designed to keep the Brewers in Wisconsin through 2050, by financing renovations, maintenance, and upkeep of their 23-year-old stadium.
After changes were made to address several concerns, the bill that ultimately passed includes a $400 million contribution from state funds, a $135 million contribution from the city and county of Milwaukee, and $100 million from the Milwaukee Brewers.
While a spokesperson for Governor Evers said he supports the amended language, the Senate has yet to vote on the measure and is still considering adding a ticket tax requirement that could either be levied on all events at American Family Field, or all non-baseball events.
If the Senate makes any changes, the bill will then return to the Assembly for approval before it heads to Governor Evers.
Next, in a 4-3 order earlier this month, the Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted one of the challenges to the state’s current legislative boundaries or maps, while dismissing the other case.
The lawsuit, Clarke v. the State of Wisconsin Legislature, alleges the state’s current maps are not contiguous and violate the state constitution’s separation of powers doctrine.
The court has scheduled oral arguments in that case for Tuesday, November 21st.
And finally, the Wisconsin Legislature gaveled-in and immediately adjourned Governor Evers special session on Workforce and Child Care in September, but they did leave open the possibility of taking up the measure at another time.
In an unusual move for special session bills, the legislature held a public hearing on Evers’ proposal last week. Later in the week, Senate leadership offered up an amendment to the bill that included lowering the state’s third income tax bracket from 5.3% to 4.4%, also increasing the state income tax credit, and providing tax relief to help parents cover the costs of child care.
While the Senate was in session on Tuesday, they gaveled back in to the special session and passed the bill.
A spokesperson for Governor Evers indicated that the Governor does not support the changes and will not sign them.
For more details on these three and other current issues in state government, please refer to the Capitol Connection e-mail.
If there’s a specific proposal or topic that interests you, or something you would like to see addressed in this publication, don’t hesitate to contact me directly. I look forward to hearing from you.
It’s our pleasure to keep you informed on what’s happening in Madison, and to be your Capitol Connection.
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