Wisconsin Legislation Updates

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July 18, 201, REPORT

July 18th, 2017

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On July 14, a group of Republican legislators led by Senator Chris Kapenga (R – Delafield) and Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R – New Berlin) introduced legislation to make various operational reforms at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT).
In particular, the bill provides DOT with multiple project delivery options. DOT currently designs a project, asks contractors to bid on the cost, and then awards the project’s construction to the lowest bidder. In addition to this method, the bill allows DOT to award a project to a contractor that will do all architectural, surveying, engineering, and construction work in a process known as design-build.
The bill also allows for a delivery method called construction manager-general contractor, in which all services unrelated to construction are provided by a contractor who, subject to approval by DOT, provides construction services as well.

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State Budget Negotiations at Impasse

Negotiations on the state budget are at a halt. After multiple meetings, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R – Juneau) remain at odds over how to fund state road projects. Vos and the Assembly Republican Caucus are open to increasing revenues. They believe doing so will promote long-term solvency for the transportation budget. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald and his caucus oppose increasing fees and taxes. Fitzgerald sides with Governor Scott Walker’s proposal for limited bonding for road projects.

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Gronik Announces Campaign for Governor

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Andy Gronik, a Milwaukee-area based business owner, announced he will run as a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018. A political-unknown, he owned and operated the business-consulting firm AccuVal from 1988 to 2013.In a press statement, Gronik said, “It is clear to me that Governor Walker has failed our state. He’s put politics over people and Wisconsinites have paid the price.”
Gronik’s announcement emphasized his private-sector experience. “I’m a business leader with the progressive values necessary to beat Governor Scott Walker and make living in Wisconsin better for all residents,” he said.
In response to the announcement, the Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) called him an “out-of-touch con artist” and said he has “offered only far-left fantasies and shady political behavior.” RPW’s press release highlighted Gronik’s ties to defense attorney Mark Iola, claiming he was under a RICO investigation.
Gronik is the first Democrat to declare candidacy. However, State Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma recently registered a campaign committee to run for governor. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and State Representative Dana Wachs of Eau Claire have also expressed interest in running.

 

 

 

 

 


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