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Capitol Eyes 1.14.2021

Cap Eyes 4.30.20
Jan 15, 2021
By The Government Affairs team
  • Advocacy

Leadership and Key Committees for the 2021-2022 Legislative Session

There are new faces in leadership for the 2021-2022 State Legislative Session, along with eight new Senators and 16 new Representatives.

It is important to continue developing strong working relationships with legislators, and especially those serving in new roles. REAL Solutions® stories continue to be an effective way to illustrate the Credit Union Difference and leave a memorable impact.

Assembly Leadership >>   

Senate Leadership >>

Freshmen Representative >>

Freshmen Senators >>

Budget-Writing Joint Finance Committee >>>

  • Co-Chairs: Sen. Howard Marklein (R- Spring Green) & Rep. Mark Born (R- Beavar Dam)

Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions >>

  • Chair: Rep. Cindi Duchow (R- Town of Delafield)

Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Revenue >>

  • Chair: Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R- Brookfield)

Advocacy to Prioritize Credit Union Frontline Staff in Vaccine Distribution

In a letter last month, The League asked DFI Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld to advocate for credit union frontline staff to be prioritized in access to the COVID-19 vaccine as essential workers.

Advocacy efforts continue, as the administration further develops the distribution plan.

Letter to DFI Secretary >>

CULAC - Credit Unions' Federal Political Action Committee

Board of Trustees Confirms Board Positions

Last month, the CULAC Executive Committee reappointed The League’s Government Affairs Committee member Lori Horstman of Altra Federal Credit Union to a two-year term on the CULAC Board of Trustees. The CULAC Board of Trustees serves as the governing body for CULAC, credit unions’ federal political action committee, and includes representatives from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Pause in Activity

This week, CULAC Chairman Jeff Olson (President/CEO, Dakota Credit Union Association) announced a pause in CULAC activities. His statement notes:

CULAC has decided to temporarily suspend contributions to all candidates in the wake of last week’s events.

Our goal is to provide the necessary time to reflect on these events, and to properly assess how they will impact CULAC, our contributors and our political strategy moving forward, while continuing to fulfill our mission to advance credit unions and our legislative agenda.

This is a responsibility the collective leadership of CUNA, Leagues and CULAC takes seriously. As such CULAC’s leadership, specifically its Board of Trustees and Executive Committee, will be reviewing our policies and strategies in the coming weeks.

This announcement is similar to recent decisions of other federal political action committees and offers an opportunity to seek input and thoughtfully consider how to approach future CULAC support.

CULAC is a critical and effective tool for the credit union Movement to ensure allies are elected to represent credit union interests in Congress.

CULAC successes during the 2020 election >>

If you have questions about CULAC, please contact Sarah Wainscott

COVID-19 Response Bill

Assembly Bill 1 & Senate Substitute Amendment 1

Last week, the State Assembly passed AB 1 – a COVID-19 response package.  Earlier this week, the Senate passed an amended version.  The two chambers must pass identical bills before it heads to the Governor’s desk.  Governor Evers has indicated his preference for the Senate bill, which could be up for consideration in the Assembly later this month. 

Summary of the Assembly bill, and amended Senate version >>

Of note, the Senate version does not include a prohibition on COVID-19 vaccine mandates by employers, DHS, and local health officers.  

The League Joins Coalition Seeking Liability Protections

This fall, The League joined a coalition of pro-business groups in a letter to Governor Evers and the Wisconsin State Legislature encouraging meaningful liability reforms and protections for businesses related to COVID-19. 

Both bills include liability protections that, as described by the Wisconsin Legislative Council, “Creates immunity from civil liability for a COVID-19-related injury or death, except in the case of reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct;" The Assembly version additionally notes, "that violation of an order to close or limit an entity's capacity does not constitute reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct."

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About The Author

Tom Harrington is the Political & Grassroots Specialist for The Wisconsin Credit Union League.