News & Events

Lobbying Group Tracks Bills That Affect Water Industry

The 2005-06 State of Wisconsin Legislative Session is well underway. Legislators were inaugurated on January 3 and reported to the Assembly and Senate floor on January 12th for the first official legislative floor period.

Legislative activity has been brisk, with more than 400 proposals introduced thus far—268 in the Assembly and 139 in the Senate. Proposals run the gamut from designating the bluestem as the Wisconsin state grass and declaring October 10, 2005 as Brett Favre Day to increasing the state’s minimum wage and addressing the methamphetamine problem in Wisconsin.

The Board will also review the situation regarding the Department of Commerce’s plumbing code exams and the fact that their training materials may be outdated and do not provide adequate information to help those studying for the test to pass it the first time through. This may necessitate a change in the department through legislative means or be resolved by the industry without help from the Department of Commerce.

With regard to the minimum wage issue, it is likely that legislative leaders and the Governor will be able to resolve their differences and craft a position that will increase the minimum wage in Wisconsin in a two-stage process as well as pre-empt local municipalities from mandating their own minimum wage requirements on small businesses.

The biggest piece of legislation that the Legislature will address is the State’s Biennial Budget. The Governor introduced the budget to the Legislature on February 8, 2005. The Joint Finance Committee is in the process of reviewing the 1132 page document piece by piece and putting forward a comprehensive package that must be approved by both the Senate and Assembly. The final step for the budget is the Governor’s review and signature, keeping in mind that the Governor has line-item veto power.

Here are a few facts on the 2005-2006 Wisconsin Biennial Budget as proposed by Governor Jim Doyle:

The Capitol Group, LLC monitors all the above activity on behalf of the Water Quality Association and alerts the Board of Directors to issues that directly and indirectly affect the water conditioning industry. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Brandon Scholz or Michelle Kussow at The Capitol Group, LLC through our website at