Wisconsin

Environment - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

WI Governor Signs AB 455 WISCONSIN Gov. Scott Walker (R) signs AB 455 , which eliminates a state law requiring someone to be at least 10 years old to legally hunt in the Badger State. Walker also signs AB 323 , which makes it legal to hunt or trap...

Pension Problems Worsen in Most States | 11-17-2017

As of 2016, the last year for which complete data is available, states had only 71.1 percent of the assets they needed to cover future pension payments to retirees, down from 74.5 percent in 2015. New Jersey was in the worst shape, with a pension funding...

Health & Science - November 13 2017 | 11-10-2017

WI Assembly Approves AB 501 The WISCONSIN Assembly overwhelmingly approves AB 501 , which would give 2,000 Badger State families who receive food stamps a discount on healthy foods for 10 months in hopes it will encourage them to eat better. It moves...

Business - November 6 2017 | 11-03-2017

Pennsylvania Governor Signs HB 271 PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signs HB 271 , which legalizes online poker, online table games, online slots, daily fantasy sports and internet lottery sales in the Keystone State. The law also allows 10 of the state’s...

Education - November 6 2017 | 11-03-2017

Wisconsin Senate Approves SB 236 The WISCONSIN Senate approves SB 236 , which would require school districts for the first time to seek competitive bids on contracts of significant dollar value. The measure moves to the Assembly (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL...

Health & Science - November 6 2017 | 11-03-2017

New Jersey Department of Health Finalize Rules The NEW JERSEY Department of Health finalizes rules that allow pharmacies without a medical director to apply for a standing prescription to dispense the anti-overdose drug naloxone. The state began allowing...

GOP Govs Sign Anti-Boycott Israel Orders | 11-03-2017

Two GOP governors have signed executive orders making their states the latest to bar government agencies from doing business with companies that are boycotting Israel. On October 23 rd , Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed EO 01.01.2017.25 , which requires...

If You Bake It, They Will Come | 10-13-2017

If you live in Wisconsin and you’ve always thought your grandma’s cookies were so good she ought to sell them, take heart. As Wisconsin Public Radio reports , it’s now perfectly fine for home bakers to sell their scrumptious goodies...

Business - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

Business In Wisconsin A WISCONSIN Appeals Court upholds the Badger State’s right-to-work law, which bars unions and employers from requiring that all employees pay fees to join a union, either in membership dues or “fair share” payments...

Walker Signs Amended WI Foxconn Bill | 09-29-2017

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed off on a controversial deal granting almost $3 billion in incentives to lure Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to build a new plant in the Badger State. If Foxconn follows through on its plan to invest $10 billion...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Budgets In Brief - September 18 2017 | 09-15-2017

OK GOV TO CALL SPECIAL SESSION TO FIX BUDGET: OKLAHOMA Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said she will ask lawmakers to convene a special session on Sept. 25 to make adjustments to the budget after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a proposed cigarette tax. The...

Kasich, Schwarzenegger Push End To Gerrymandering | 09-08-2017

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) joined forces with other prominent Republicans last week in filing briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court urging justices to rule that extreme political gerrymandering —...

Budgets In Brief - September 11 2017 | 09-08-2017

TRUMP SIDES WITH DEMS ON DEBT-CEILING EXTENSION President Trump aligned with Democratic U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on a plan to raise the federal debt ceiling...

Budgets In Brief - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

IL APPROVES EDUCATION FUNDING REFORM ILLINOIS lawmakers passed legislation last week overhauling the way state money is distributed to local school districts to ensure that more funding goes to poorer schools. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) was expected to...

Midwestern Govs Push Controversial Incentives Plan | 08-11-2017

Wisconsin lawmakers have given initial approval to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) nearly $3 billon proposal to lure Chinese electronics company Foxconn to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in the Badger State. But if successful, he might not be...

Potpourri - August 7 2017 | 08-04-2017

Potpourri In the U.S. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholds a lower court’s ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have the legal power to strip gray wolves in the Great Lakes Region of their protection under...

Walker Signs Suite Of Opioid Bills | 07-21-2017

Saying “we won’t stop until there are zero opioid overdoses in Wisconsin,” Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed 11 bills last week addressing the Badger State’s ongoing opioid abuse epidemic. The measure take a wide tack, from setting...

Business - July 17 2017 | 07-14-2017

Business In Wisconsin A federal appeals court upholds WISCONSIN’s so-called “right to work” law that bars collective bargaining agreements requiring workers to pay union fees (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL). Rhode Island Signs SB...

Budgets Late In Many States | 07-07-2017

Ten states started the 2018 fiscal year on July 1 without a budget in place, according to the Tax Foundation. A partial government shutdown in one of those states, Maine, ended on the 4th of July when Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed a budget compromise eliminating...

States Address Cybersecurity, Election Reform And Other Issues | 07-07-2017

Despite the unusual amount of uncertainty heading into this year’s state legislative sessions, a few of the issues we predicted last December might receive particular attention from lawmakers, such as cybersecurity and transportation funding, have...

Politics In Brief - July 3 2017 | 06-30-2017

Supreme Court To Consider Partisan Gerrymandering Case The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a WISCONSIN case in which a three-judge federal appeals panel ruled 2-1 last year that the political district map drawn by that state’s GOP-controlled...

Crime & Punishment - May 8 2017 | 05-04-2017

Crime In Wisconsin A federal judge in WISCONSIN rules that the Badger State’s so-called “cocaine mom” law, which allows adult pregnant women suspected of current or past drug or alcohol use that could affect their fetus be held in...

Business - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Business In Indiana The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and lesbian employees from workplace discrimination, the first time a federal appellate court has come to that conclusion. The ruling from the...

Governors In Brief - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Baker Tries Again on MA Police Assault Bill After lawmakers killed a similar proposal last session, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) refiled legislation last week that would make it a felony to assault and cause serious bodily harm to a police...

States Delaying Payment of Income Tax Refunds | 03-31-2017

A lot of taxpayers are going to be waiting longer than usual for their state tax refunds this year. At least 21 states, including Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin, say refunds could be delayed...

Politics In Brief - March 20 2017 | 03-17-2017

IA HOUSE PASSES VOTER ID BILL After 12 hours of debate over two days, IOWA’s Republican-controlled House passed legislation ( HF 516 ) that would require voters to present government-issued identification at the polls. The bill now moves to the...

Some GOP Govs Unhappy With Proposed ACA Changes | 03-10-2017

Some GOP governors have expressed disappointment at the changes to the Affordable Care Act proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said governors had asked House lawmakers to work with them on changes, but that...

Politics in Brief - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

High Court Rejects VA Districts Over Race: On a 7-1 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court to re-review 11 legislative districts drawn by VIRGINIA Republicans after the 2010 Census. The districts are among a dozen that Democrats argued...

Budgets in Brief - March 13 2017 | 03-10-2017

Fantasy Sports Bill Goes to MS Gov: The MISSISSIPPI Senate passed a bill approved by the House last month ( HB 967 ) that, if signed by Gov. Phil Bryant (R), would impose an 8-percent tax on the revenues of fantasy sports companies like Fan Duel and...

Budgets In Brief - February 13 2017 | 02-10-2017

Edwards Pitches LA Budget Fix LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) proposed a wide range of fixes aimed at closing the Pelican State’s $304 million budget deficit, including tapping into the state’s rainy day fund. Other proposals include...

New York And Florida Agencies Top Cybersecurity Rankings | 02-10-2017

The New York State Education Department, Florida Governor and Wisconsin Government were the state entities with the strongest cybersecurity standards of 600 local, state and federal government organizations analyzed and ranked in February 2016 by the...

Politics In Brief - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

AR Revives Voter ID Law ARKANSAS’ Republican-controlled House approved a voter ID bill last week ( HB 1047 ) that is nearly identical to a voter ID law unanimously struck down by the state’s Supreme Court in 2014. Four of the justices in...

Budgets In Brief - February 6 2017 | 02-03-2017

Indian Gaming Boosting OK Economy Native American tribes have paid the state of OKLAHOMA over $1 billion in exclusivity fees since 2006, according to a report from the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. The report also indicated that tribal gaming...

GOP To Have Freer Rein In WI | 11-18-2016

Republicans have controlled the Wisconsin Legislature for the last six years straight, but next year they’ll be more dominant than at any time in the last few decades. It looks as though this month’s election will leave them with a 20-12 majority...

Higher Ed Funding Still Well Below Pre-Recession Levels In Most States | 11-04-2016

State spending on higher education nationwide is down nearly $10 billion - an average of $1,598, or 18 percent, per student - from where it was before the Great Recession began in 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Per-student...

Judge Orders Investigation Of WI Voter ID Procedures | 10-07-2016

A federal judge has ordered the state of Wisconsin to investigate reports that employees of the Department of Motor Vehicles have been misleading people trying to obtain state-issued identification to vote. U.S. Western District Judge James Peterson issued...

States Sue To Block Federal Overtime Rule | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one predominantly Republican-governed states have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Obama administration rule extending mandatory overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule, which was finalized in May and takes effect in December...

Budgets In Brief - October 3 2016 | 09-30-2016

Welfare Cuts Coming in RI A special legislative committee in RHODE ISLAND tasked with recommending budget cuts is reportedly focusing on public assistance programs like Medicaid and food stamps. The Joint Committee on Government Accountability Transparency...

Public Pension Return Rates Lagging In States | 08-19-2016

Investment returns for large public pension plans in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 were significantly lower than the plans’ assumed rates of return, according to money management news source Pensions & Investments . The one-year return...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Cities, States Refusing To Spend On Infrastructure | 08-12-2016

With current interest rates making borrowing cheaper than ever, it’s never been a better time for state and local governments to invest in infrastructure. But government bond issues are at their lowest level in decades. The $140 billion in municipal...

Politics In Brief - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

Judge Approves Watered Down TX Voter ID Law U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos approved a plan last week eliminating the mandatory requirement for TEXAS voters to present an ID before casting a ballot in the November election. The change, necessitated...

Tough Day For GOP-Backed Voter Restrictions | 08-05-2016

Local and federal courts struck down Republican-backed voter restrictions in three states in a single day last month. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a North Carolina law restricting the number of acceptable forms...

GOP AGs Take Congress To Task On Unfunded Mandates | 08-05-2016

Last month Republican attorneys general of 15 states sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate majority and minority leaders Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Harry Reid (D-Nevada) expressing their concern...

Judge Orders Voter ID ‘Safety Net’ | 07-29-2016

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled this month that Wisconsin voters lacking the photo identification mandated by that state’s 2011 voter ID law can cast ballots after signing an affidavit attesting to their identity. “Although most...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Texas Abortion Ruling Reverberates In Other States | 07-01-2016

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2013 Texas law requiring doctors and clinics that perform abortions to meet hospital-like standards resulted in the almost immediate effective invalidation of similar laws facing legal challenge...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

Drone Laws Passed In Over Half of States In Last Few Years | 05-05-2016

Since 2013, 27 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally define what UAS or drones are and specify how they can be used by law enforcement...