Legislative Update

winter capitolAssembly Special Election  Republican Ken Skowronski of Franklin easily defeated Democrat John Hermes of of Greendale yesterday to fill a vacant seat in the 82nd Assembly District. Former Representative Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) resigned in October to become an administrator for the Public Service Commission. Republicans now have a 60-39 majority in the Assembly.

Bills Signed into Law  Governor Scott Walker signed nearly 50 bills into law last week, including one that will require an additional year of science and math credits for state high school students and one that allows closure of managed forest land that contain a proposed mine site.

Bills signed on December 12 are here and bills signed on December 13 are here. The governor has not indicated if he will sign the controversial race-based mascot bill. The bill was sent to the governor on December 12 and automatically becomes law if no action is taken within six days.

2014 Elections  Democratic State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) has not said if she will challenge Mary Burke of Madison for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Vinehout was injured in a car accident last week while driving to an event in Racine and is recovering from surgery.

State Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) has not decided if he will run for re-election. Representative Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) said in April he will challenge Schultz for the nomination. Schultz has voted with Democrats on several key pieces of legislation, including collective bargaining rights for public employees and mining legislation.

State Senator Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) announced he will run for Attorney General. Several Democrats have declared their candidacy for the senate seat, including Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Dan Adams; Jonathan Brostoff, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee); Milwaukee County Board Chair Marina Dimitrijevic; and Sara Geenen, a Milwaukee labor lawyer.

State Representative Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) launched her campaign for State Senate in the 25th District this week. State Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) announced earlier this year he will not run for re-election after serving the district for 28 years.

State Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) also said earlier this year he will not run for re-election, leaving that seat open. No candidates have declared their intention to run.

State Senator John Lehman (D-Racine) announced last month that he will run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014, leaving his seat open. Lehman was first elected to the senate in 2006, but was defeated by Republican Van Wangaard in 2010. Lehman defeated Wangaard in a 2012 recall election. The district, however, has become more Republican as a result of redistricting.