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News & Press: Legislative

May 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rebecca Hogan, Hamilton Consulting Group
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On Tuesday April 1, the Senate banged the final gavel on the 2013-2014 legislative session. It was an extremely successful, bi-partisan session for our organization as three of the four WEDA legislative priorities have been signed into law. These highlights are provided below; meanwhile, additional information about other legislative items of interest to WEDA can be found by visiting the bill tracking feature online.

Venture Capital (AB 181 & SB 169): Creates a $25 million fund-of-funds investment program to facilitate investments in venture capital funding that must be targeted toward investing in Wisconsin businesses. Act 41, which was signed by Governor Walker on July 18, requires the Department of Administration (DOA) to contract with an investment manager to manage these venture capital investments. Recently, Sun Mountain Kegonsa was selected by DOA to serve as the fund’s manager. WEDA testified at this bill’s hearings and attended the bill signing. 

TIF Base Value Reduction (AB 289 & SB 252): Requires the Department of Revenue, upon approval of a city or village, to redetermine the base value of a tax incremental district when certain conditions exist. On April 2nd in Oshkosh, the Governor signed Act 183.  To help advance this bill, WEDA members attended several meetings at the Capitol with the bill authors, testified at the hearings and attended the bill signing.

Walker signs TIF bill in Oshkosh

Tax Credit Transferability (AB 580 & SB 449): Allows the transfer of certain tax credits to facilitate an economic development project. The afternoon of April 2, in Janesville, provided the forum where Governor Walker signed Act 184. This bill was also facilitated with support from WEDA members through legislative meetings, public hearing testimony and our attendance at the bill signing. 

Walker signs tax credit transferability bill in Janesville

Gearing up for Next Session - Legislative Committee Update:
To build off the successes of this past session, the Legislative Committee is beginning the strategic process of identifying targeted policy and programming areas. Various ideas have been preliminarily vetted and these items will be thoroughly reviewed and subsequently agreed upon as the framework for the upcoming legislation session.  If you are interested in participating in the Legislative Committee, please contact Rebecca Hogan at or 608.258.9506 by June 2.

Legislative Council Study on Tax Incremental Financing (TIF)

Every summer after the adjournment of session, the Joint Legislative Council establishes study committees to examine policy-related issues identified by the Legislature. The committee composition includes legislators and citizen representation, particularly those possessing significant topical expertise and/or experience. This summer, there will be a review of Wisconsin’s TIF law. 

WEDA will likely participate and several names have been forwarded to the Legislative Council for review/appointment. Considering that TIF is one of the most important economic development tools, Hamilton will continue to monitor and update WEDA members on the committee’s work throughout the summer. We expect committee assignments to be announced very soon, so stay tuned.

More Legislative Retirements
Senator Neal Kedzie was the most recent legislator to announce his retirement, leading Rep. Stephen Nass to announce his intentions to run for Senator Kedzie’s seat. To date, 22 Representatives and seven Senators have announced they will not seek re-election. While additional retirements could be on the horizon, it is unlikely as nomination papers are due June 2.  Click here to view a listing of the announced retirements. 

Hamilton Consulting Group: Your Government Relations Easy Button
As we move into election season, the Hamilton team is working to make sure WEDA members have the information and tools necessary to engage with legislative candidates this fall. We encourage you to make use of all the many services that Hamilton provides:
  • WEDA’s Legislative Tracking Report - WEDA’s Tracking Report provides timely, in-depth coverage of bills that WEDA is monitoring. If you have a question or comment about the Report, please contact WEDA’s government affairs contacts: Rebecca Hogan or Bob Fassbender.
  • News Clips - President Harry Truman once wrote that you can't get all the facts from just one newspaper, and without the facts, "you cannot make proper judgments about what is going on." The side column of Political Tidbits contains a selection of the most important news stories, but did you know you can always get the latest news sorted by subject on the Hamilton Consulting website?
  • Political Fundraising Calendar - Hamilton's political fundraising calendar allows you to see all of the upcoming fundraising events and import them to your own calendar.  

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