" With the completion of the state budget in September and the recent passage of the Homeowners Bill of Rights, we have already accomplished a great deal this session. "

With the 2018 elections now in the rearview mirror, it is important to analyze the recent election results and take some time to think about how those election results will impact our 2019-2020 advocacy agenda items.

The majorities in the state senate and the state assembly come back almost unchanged from where they were during the last legislative session. It appears Speaker Robin Vos will come back losing only one seat if the canvas of the vote shows a similar margin in the Wauwatosa based 14th assembly district. When they take office in January, the Assembly Republican Caucus will come back with 63 members from their total of 64 members last session.

Despite a number of seats in districts where Hillary Clinton took the majority of votes in 2016, the assembly GOP was able to hold on in several tight races. 3 incumbents (Hutton, Ott, Novak) and a candidate in a tight open seat (Oldenberg) were able squeak out wins with 52% of the vote or less.

In the state senate, the GOP was able to increase their majority from 18 to 19 seats by flipping back the 1st Senate District which went to democrat Caleb Frostman in a special election this summer. The race this fall was a rematch where, this time, Representative Andre Jacque bested Frostman 55% to 46%.

Two sitting state senators were the target of big money to defeat them in 2018 and both were able to hold on. State Senator Howard Markein was reelected to serve in the 17th State Senate District 54% to 46% by defeating Democrat Kris Marion. WBA member and State Senator Roger Roth bested Lee Snodgrass in the 19th State Senate District 53% to 47%.

In a hard-fought and nasty race for an open state senate seat in the Wauwatosa area, State Representative Dale Kooyenga defeated democrat Julie Henszey 51.3% to 48.7% in this traditionally strong GOP seat. This seat became open with State Senator Leah Vukmir decided to vacate it to run against U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin this fall.

The loss of Governor Scott Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel is obviously a huge disappointment. Over the past eight years, our association has had several key wins signed into law by Governor Walker, and were again strongly supporting his reelection bid. In his first term as Attorney General, Brad Schimel supported WBA’s position that the state statutes should trump any conflicting administrative rule regarding multifamily sprinkler requirements.

We thank both Governor Walker and Attorney General Schimel for their dedication to supporting policies to decrease the cost of housing for Wisconsin families during their time in office.

The biggest question being asked since the results of the governor’s race were determined on Wednesday was what do the election results mean for the items contained in the 2019-2020 WBA Advocacy Agenda?

We should still have a great opportunity to pass most if not all of our agenda items working with the GOP majorities in both houses of the legislature. Getting those items signed by Governor Tony Evers will be the biggest unknown heading into January 7, 2019, when Governor-Elect Evers is sworn into office.

Items dealing with workforce development are very bipartisan, and we hope to work on them with members of both political parties for Governor Evers to pass in 2019-2020. Other issues, like reforming impact fee laws, will likely be more of a challenge to get signed into law without first working with other interest municipal government interest groups, and they likely will not go as far as the reforms we may be looking for.

The one thing we will need this session is your continued interest in advocating for sound public policy to decrease the cost of housing for Wisconsin families. How can you help? When we reach out to you using the Voter Voice email system to support or defeat bills, please take 2 minutes to click the link and send a message to your legislator or governor to make a difference. Also, please consider attending out annual Advocacy Day in Madison event in March 2019 to directly lobby your member of the state legislature.