Wisconsin’s Code of Ethics for Local Public Officials

By John Forester | May 19, 2022

From the Legal Side…

In its most recent Legal Update, the Renning, Lewis & Lacy Law Firm reviews the legal obligations found in Wisconsin’s Code of Ethics for Local Public Officials.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of Renning, Lewis & Lacy.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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WPF Releases Report on School ESSER Spending

By John Forester | May 19, 2022

The Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) released a new report yesterday entitled, “How Are School Districts Spending Their Federal Relief Funds?”  Check it out here.

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USDE Approves Wisconsin ESSER III Plan

By John Forester | May 3, 2022

Check here for the communication that went out to all District Administrators from DPI Deputy State Superintendent John Johnson.

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Wisconsin ESSER III Plan Receives Final Approval

By John Forester | May 3, 2022

We received notice early this morning from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) had granted Wisconsin final approval on its ESSER III plan.  More details will follow from DPI.

See USDE’s approval letter here.

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Wisconsin Redistricting Gives Republicans Lock on the Legislature

By John Forester | April 28, 2022

Throughout my 20-year tenure at the SAA, I have always found Craig Gilbert’s (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) work on redistricting and Wisconsin voting patterns to be highly informative and interesting.  His latest feature article, “Wisconsin Redistricting Gives Republicans a Lock on the Legislature,” is another “must read” on the subject.

In his conclusion, Gilbert really sums up his findings:

“Wisconsin is a 50/50 state with almost no 50/50 legislative districts. It is a place where the two major parties trade victories for U.S. Senate, governor and president, yet one party has an unshakeable grip on the Legislature.

It is a place where statewide contests are more suspenseful than almost anywhere in America, yet legislative elections are — by design — largely over before they’ve begun.”

Check it out here.

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Evers Vetoes Most Bills in History

By John Forester | April 26, 2022

From The Wheeler Report . . .

According to a new report by the Legislative Reference Bureau, Governor Tony Evers vetoed 126 bills in full and vetoed one bill in part. This means Governor Evers vetoed more bills than any other Wisconsin governor in a single legislative session. The title was previously held by Governor Fred R. Zimmerman, who vetoed 90 bills in the 1927 legislative session.

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Kooyenga Changes Mind, Won’t Seek Reelection

By John Forester | April 26, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …GOP state Sen. Dale Kooyenga, who told WisPolitics.com last week he intended to seek reelection after the state Supreme Court put in place GOP maps, said today he has decided against running again.Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, said he was “80 percent there” when he told WisPolitics.com last week he was going to run. But he had a change of heart because of his young family.“I never got to 100 percent,” Kooyenga said.He is the seventh member of the Senate to decide to retire or seek another office.

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DOR Report on State Tax Collections

By John Forester | April 26, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …

The latest Department of Revenue report shows sales tax revenues for the current fiscal year are 12.2 percent higher over the year.General sales and use tax revenue for the period covering mid-July 2021 to the end of March 2022 was nearly $4.5 billion, compared to just under $4 billion for the same period of fiscal year 2021, the report shows.But Emily Camfield, an economist with DOR, explained in a recent interview that inflation is impacting these figures.“These are nominal values, and considering that inflation is running at around 8.5 percent, that doesn’t show for particularly strong real growth; that’s closer to around 4 percent,” she said. “But as for sales, I would say that they’re coming in pretty much exactly as we had expected.”Still, she said the revenue growth is “stronger than we’ve seen” in the past decade or so.“These are coming off of depressed levels just because things had fallen so much over the year or two just because of the recession from the coronavirus,” she said.Meanwhile, corporate tax revenues are 12.3 percent higher over the same timeframe, reaching nearly $1.9 billion in the latest report.“Corporate tax revenues have been running very strong for several years now, and this is kind of a continuation of that,” she said. “And it’s not unique to Wisconsin. We see that corporate tax revenues are up across the nation, at the federal level and then as well as other states.”See the DOR release here.

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Brostoff Won’t Seek Reelection

By John Forester | April 19, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …Dem state Rep. Jonathan Brostoff announced today he won’t seek reelection to the Assembly as he gears up to run for the Milwaukee Common Council.Brostoff said he plans to run for the seat of Ald. Nik Kovac, who Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson today appointed to be the city’s budget and management director.That appointment requires the approval of the Common Council and would create a special election to fill the seat.Brostoff is the 29th member of the state Assembly to announce plans to resign, retire or seek another office.

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Thompson Not Running for Governor

By John Forester | April 18, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …Republican Tommy Thompson announced today he won’t run for guv this fall after flirting with a fifth bid for the office he held for 14 years.“This is a very difficult conclusion,” Thompson said. “After a full life of service and leading and growing businesses, I know I have the vision, drive and vitality to serve another term as governor. Wisconsin needs strong leadership to bridge political divides, care for our most vulnerable, set our economy on a path to succeed in the 21st-century, and again make us the shining star of the nation. I would have brought those qualities and commitment as governor.”Thompson, who just wrapped up leading the UW System as president, said he is “open and will continue to investigate how I may otherwise serve.”See the release here.

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