Strategies Newsletters 05/19/2017
Updates from Strategies
Senate Republicans Unveil “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”
On Thursday, June 22, Senate Republicans released their version of a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Named the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” the bill largely follows the basic contours of the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). While more detailed summaries (including a Congressional Budget Office analysis) will be available in the coming days, here are a few of the bill’s key provisions:
- Extends the time to roll back the ACA’s enhanced Medicaid payments. Transforms Medicaid from its current status as an entitlement program to a state choice of per capita payments or fixed block grant allocations. Reduces the rate of growth in Medicaid funding. Early interpretations of these changes describe the Senate bill as making, overall, deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House bill did. Read more.
Trump Infrastructure Proposals Continue to Evolve
President Trump has started adding more details to his campaign pledge to catalyze investment in American infrastructure. Candidate Trump called for $1 trillion in new investments into infrastructure over 10 years, with most of those dollars presumed to come from private investors who would increase their participation in revenue generating infrastructure projects, including toll roads and airports, rather than from an infusion of new or reallocated funds from the federal government. Read more.
By Karen Timberlake and John Zordani (MBS Intern)
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REINS Act on Verge of Becoming Law
This week the Wisconsin Assembly passed legislation known as the REINS Act (Senate Bill 15), which significantly amends Wisconsin’s administrative rulemaking process. The legislation’s name is based on a similar federal bill called the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act.”
Below is a summary of the legislation:
- Department of Administrative Review of Statements of Scope: Under current law, before an agency begins to work an administrative rule, it must submit a statement of scope (scope statement) to the governor for his or her approval. This legislation requires that the scope statement be sent to the Department of Administration, which must determine whether the agency has explicit authority to promulgate the rule and submit its determination to the governor, who may approve or reject the statement of scope. Read more.
Wisconsin State Budget
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State Budget Impasse Continues
Action by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on the 2017-2019 State Biennial Budget has been put on hold as legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly continue negotiations around the remaining big-ticket items. Those items – K-12 education, transportation and taxes – have loomed large on the horizon since the governor introduced his Executive Budget in February. Since JFC’s first meeting on May 1, the committee has voted on numerous provisions in the budget, including the UW-System, the state Medicaid program, the technical college system, workforce and economic development programs, and a range of others.
Now, with the end of the state fiscal year fast-approaching on June 30, the Senate, the Assembly, and the governor remain at odds over how to allocate funding for roads and schools, as well as what changes to make to income and property taxes. Read more.
Democrat And Iron Worker Randy Bryce Challenges Paul Ryan For Congress
Paul Ryan, former candidate for vice president and current House Speaker, has held district in southeastern Wisconsin since 1999, but on Monday, a Democrat veteran and iron worker, Randy Bryce, announced he will challenge Ryan for the Wisconsin 1st Congressional District in 2018. After losing races in the past, Bryce says he learned from them and is planning to raise $2 million for this run. Read more on Journal Sentinel.
Paul Ryan to Insist on Permanent Tax Reform
“We are going to get this done in 2017. We need to get this done in 2017. We cannot let this once-in-a-generation moment slip,” says House Speaker Paul Ryan on GOP plans to introduce and pass a joint tax bill this fall. Read more on Washington Examiner.
Hansen, Genrich Want to Open Badgercare to All Wisconsin Residents
In order to deal with the rising healthcare costs, Green Bay Democrats state Sen. Dave Hansen and state Rep. Eric Genrich, along with local members of Citizen Action Wisconsin, introduced a bill that would offer a cost-effective option of BadgerCare to all state residents. Read more on Oshkosh Northwestern.
Environmental Groups Sue Wisconsin DNR Over Monroe County Frac Sand Permits
Two environmental protection groups, Midwest Environmental Advocates and Clean Wisconsin, have challenged the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ approval of a Monroe County frac sand operation. Meteor Timber was granted permits to fill 16.25 acres of wetlands to make way for a proposed $65 million processing and loading facility that would serve a nearby mining site of nearly 50,000 acres. “That would be the largest single destruction of wetlands in the state for an industrial frac sand project, according to Clean Wisconsin.” Read more on Lacrosse Tribune.