Like just about every other aspect of life over the past six months, the Wisconsin State Legislature has been impacted by COVID 19. The 2019/20 session was adjourned due to the virus and the unexpected quick end to the session left over 100 pieces of legislation that had been approved in the State Assembly stuck in the State Senate. To date, there are no plans to bring legislators back to the State Capitol until after the November elections and there is no certainty that any action will take place at that time.
One item that could force the legislature to return would be the impact of COVID on the state economy and on the 2019-21 state budget. State revenues for 2019-20 collected so far are $749 million behind what Wisconsin took in during the previous fiscal year, according to a new Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB). LFB Director Bob Lang however noted that due to the tax filing deadline being pushed back to July 15, it will be late August before the agency has a clear picture on how the economic fallout from the virus has impacted the 2019-20 fiscal year.
Tight budgeting and record growth in the state’s rainy day fund during the terms of Governor Scott Walker should also help as the state works through the unexpected budget downturn.
Without a doubt, it will be an interesting election cycle in Wisconsin as the state is viewed by both the Republican and Democratic parties as critical in their Presidential pathways to victory. President Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by 23,000 votes which helped propel him to the Presidency. His win in Wisconsin was the first for a Republican since 1984 so it remains unclear where Wisconsin voters will land in 2020.
Interestingly, the state’s Election’s Board has rejected allowing the candidacy of Kanye West to appear on the Wisconsin ballot as his nomination papers were submitted at 5:00:40 p.m. and the deadline was 5:00 p.m.
Republicans currently control both houses of the State Legislature, 19-14 in the State Senate and 63-36 in the State Assembly. While it is highly believed that they will maintain power, Democrats are hoping to pick up seats as a result of the Presidential contest being on the ballot. All 99 Assembly seats and 16 of the 33 Senate seats are up for election and Republicans are suggesting they could come back with veto-proof majorities. Obviously this election cycle is critical at the state level as control of redistricting is at stake.
Please watch for future blog posts for a deep dive on Wisconsin‘s upcoming elections.
This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.