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News & Press: Legislative

January 2014 Legislative Update

Sunday, January 26, 2014   (0 Comments)
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As evidenced by Gov. Walker’s focus on jobs and the economy in his recent State of the State address, there is no better time than the present for WEDA to become extremely active as Wisconsin’s economic voice. The key to our success, however, requires engagement and involvement from the membership. That’s why it is important to participate in WEDA’s February 11th Legislative Day.

Gov. Walker Outlines Priorities in State of the State

Gov. Walker delivered his 4th State of the State address this week, and he used this opportunity to highlight a number of indicators that demonstrate Wisconsin’s economy is moving in the right direction. Anchored by a projected $1 Billion dollar revenue surplus, the Governor outlined a series of tax cuts and new workforce investments.

The Governor followed up his State of the State address by immediately calling for a special legislative session to enact his plans. Early indications suggest that the path to passage is far from clear, as Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald remarked that his caucus cannot pass the Governor's plan due to structural deficit concerns.


This address, which was delivered under an increasingly growing national spotlight, contained various policy-related initiatives that will stoke the political fires in Wisconsin’s upcoming gubernatorial election. While reactions to the speech are still coming in, Gov. Walker's message was clear: Wisconsin has prospered under his policies and will only continue to improve.

Click here to read the full text of the speech.

Tax Credit Transferability

AB 580/SB 449, which would authorize the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to approve the transfer of economic development tax credits between eligible Wisconsin taxpayers, is moving closer to the goal line.

On January 22nd, the Senate passed the bill on a vote of 32-0. That same day, the Assembly Committee on Jobs, the Economy and Mining held its first hearing on the bill. Chairwoman Williams has scheduled a vote on the bill for February 5th.

WEDA President-Elect Patrick Schloss, WEDA Executive Director Kristen Fish, and Peter Thillman testified on WEDA’s behalf in favor of the bill.

To move this bill though the full Assembly and then over to the Governor’s desk before the end of session, WEDA needs your help. Specifically, please contact your Assembly members and tell them about the following benefits of this bill:

  • Specific examples of how projects in your community could benefit from transferable credits.
  • Making credits transferable enhances the use of an existing economic development tool.
  • Transferability can reduce the financial gap between a tax credit's paper and net present value.
  • Trading credits essentially creates a stream of affordable, flexible cash between the original recipient and the eventual transferee.
  • This is another way to accelerate economic development projects and create jobs.

TIF Enhancement Bill

This past October, Senate Bill 252 passed the Senate and on Thursday January 23, it was passed (with amendments) out of the Assembly Committee on State and Local Finance. WEDA continues to work with members of the Assembly to move this bill to the floor for a final vote.

Workforce Training Accounts

WEDA remains committed to working with agency personnel and members of the legislature regarding the mechanics of establishing a workforce training account concept. Considering the amount of attention that workforce development continues to receive, WEDA is optimistic that a proposed solution may surface.

Save the Date

When you sign-up to attend WEDA’s 2014 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development don’t forget to register for WEDA’s February 11th Legislative Day. If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact Rebecca Hogan, WEDA’s chief lobbyist at the Hamilton Consulting Group at or 608.258.9506.

Hamilton Consulting: Your Government Relations Easy Button

As the 2013-14 Legislative Session progresses, the Hamilton team is working to make sure WEDA members have the tools necessary to accomplish their government relations goals. We encourage you to remember to make use of all the many services we provide:

  • WEDA’s LegislativeTracking Report- WEDA’s Tracking Report provides timely, in-depth coverage of bills WEDA is monitoring. If you have a question or comment about the report please contact Rebecca Hogan or Bob Fassbender, WEDA’s lobbyists on the Hamilton Consulting team.
  • 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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