Vos Pulls Schraa From Joint Finance

By John Forester | December 1, 2016

From WisPolitics.com …

Speaker Robin Vos is pulling Rep. Michael Schraa, R-Oshkosh, from Joint Finance as he adds two new members to the Assembly team.

Reps. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, and Mike Rohrkaste, R-Neenah, will replace Schraa and fill the vacancy left by the retirement by Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson.

Vos previously announced Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, will return as co-chair.

Meanwhile, Reps. Mary Czaja, R-Irma; Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield; and Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, will return.

Kooyenga also will retain the title of vice-chair.

See the release here.

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Voucher Advocate, Critic Spar at Marquette

By John Forester | December 1, 2016

Check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel coverage of a “discussion” on lessons learned from the Wisconsin voucher experience.  Voucher advocate Scott Jensen and opponent Julie Underwood squared off yesterday at Marquette University.

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Hearing on Special Needs Scholarship Rule Set for December 13

By John Forester | November 29, 2016

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing in December to accept public testimony on emergency and proposed permanent rules related to revising the Special Needs Scholarship Program. The Dec. 13 hearing will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the DPI’s headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison.

Additional information is available in the DPI news release here.

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Borsuk: Table Set for Major School Choice Push

By John Forester | November 28, 2016

Check out Alan Borsuk’s most recent column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Boardman & Clark: Overtime Rule Blocked

By John Forester | November 28, 2016

From the Legal Side…

The Boardman & Clark law firm recently published this School Law Update regarding a federal courts blocking of the US Department of Labor’s overtime rule.

The SAA regularly receives these updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of Boardman & Clark.

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Wisconsin Voucher Supporters Cheer DeVos Pick

By John Forester | November 28, 2016

In case you missed this story by Erin Richards of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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32nd Senate District Recount Begins Today

By John Forester | November 28, 2016

From WisPolitics.com …

The recount in the 32nd SD will kick off today.

Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, finished the county canvasses 56 votes ahead of Republican Dan Kapanke out of more than 89,000 cast.

Elections Commission Administrator Mike Haas said some of the work for the Senate race recount, including reviewing poll books and absentee ballot envelopes, will not need to be repeated when those counties do the second count of the presidential race results.

See the Elections Commission release on both recounts here.

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Federal Court Blocks Overtime Rule

By John Forester | November 23, 2016

From WisPolitics.com …

Attorney General Brad Schimel is praising a federal court ruling blocking a new employee overtime rule that had been set to take effect on Dec. 1.

Wisconsin was among the 21 states that sued to overturn the Obama administration rule, which doubles the threshold for when full-time salaried employees are no longer automatically eligible for overtime pay. Currently, employees are automatically eligible for overtime unless they make more than $23,660 a year, but the rule would lift that to $47,476.

Judge Amos Mazzant, a federal judge in Texas and Obama appointee, issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the rule, saying the Department of Labor exceeded its authority in crafting the rule and that the states would likely succeed in their lawsuit.

Schimel said he’s “incredibly happy the Court agreed the rule should be put on hold.”

“There’s no greater honor than representing millions of Wisconsinites in the continuous fight for the return of power to our citizens, away from an out-of-control federal bureaucracy in Washington D.C. Wisconsin must have the ability to set its own priorities and policies,” Schimel said.

See the release here.

See an earlier story on the overtime rule here.

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Corporate Income Tax Collections Down

By John Forester | November 23, 2016

From WisPolitics.com …

Corporate income tax collections in October were down more than 46 percent compared to the same month in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Department of Revenue.

The October collections underscore the softening in corporate tax collections that, in part, prompted the Walker administration this week to revise down revenue projections for the remainder of this fiscal year, which runs through June 30.

In January, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau projected the state would take in more than $15.6 billion in general fund taxes for 2016-17. That included just more than $1 billion in corporate taxes.

The report DOA released Monday dropped the revenue estimate for the current fiscal year to just over $15.4 billion. That includes a new estimate of $888.5 million in corporate tax collections for 2016-17.

DOR reported yesterday between July and October, corporate tax collections were down 16 percent compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year.

See the DOR release here.

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Shilling-Kapanke Recount Could Take Up to Six Days

By John Forester | November 23, 2016

From WisPolitics.com …

The expected recount in newly re-elected Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling’s 32nd SD could take up to six days, according to a spokesman for the state Elections Commission.

The agency met with county clerks in the district via conference call yesterday; La Crosse County, the largest in the district, indicated the process could last up to six days, said Election Commission spokesman Reid Magney.

Republican Dan Kapanke, of La Crosse, is expected to file his request today for a recount after finishing the county canvasses 56 votes behind Shilling, who was re-elected yesterday as minority leader.

Once the request is filed, the Elections Commission will issue the order for the recount, which is not expected to begin until Monday.

See the Kapanke statement here.

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