This week Senator Tammy Baldwin (D) announced her intent to run for a third term in 2024. The announcement was not a total surprise, though Senator Baldwin was on some media watch lists as a potential candidate to retire from office at the end of her current term. No Republicans have officially announced their intent to run at this point, though some names mentioned have included former state Senator Roger Roth, Congressmen Mike Gallagher and Bryan Steil, as well as businessmen Eric Hovde and Scott Mayer.
Baldwin has easily defeated her previous opponents, including former Governor Tommy Thompson in 2012 and state Senator Leah Vukmir in 2018. She begins the campaign cycle with over $3 million in her war chest.
Read more here.
Assembly Debates Unemployment Insurance Changes
A week after voters overwhelming signaled their support of requiring childless, able-bodied adults to work in order to receive welfare, two Assembly committees held public hearings on bills to change unemployment benefits.
The first bill, AB 153, would cap the number of weeks a jobless worker could receive checks to the state’s jobless rate. Currently, the maximum is 26 weeks and under the proposed legislation, that would only be allowed if the rate is above 9%. Wisconsin currently has a record low unemployment rate of 2.7%.
Another bill, AB 150, would direct the Department of Workforce Development to promulgate rules to implement drug testing requirements.
Finally, the Assembly Health Committee will hear testimony on a bill that would bar the Department of Health Services from automatically renewing the eligibility of a participant in the BadgerCare Plus program. The effective date of AB 148 would be Jan. 1, 2024 in order not to jeopardize current federal funding.
Governor Tony Evers previously vetoed similar legislation last session and is expected to do so again, should these bills pass.