2018 brings a whole new set of opportunities for WBA on the advocacy front. Whether on legislative policy or politics, 2018 has plenty of both in store. We're going to need your help to get bills over the finish line this spring and elect pro-banking candidates in the fall.

To start with, WBA is working on passing our final bill of the 2017-2018 legislative session. Assembly Bill 822/Senate Bill 686 is an omnibus bill containing several pro-banking provisions. Wisconsin statutes currently have several areas that are not aligned with federal rules or the statutes in contiguous states (Illinois). This bill, supported by both the Wisconsin Bankers Association and the Wisconsin Credit Union League, contains eight industry-focused changes that will create a position of conformity with certain federal regulations and Illinois. It will have a positive impact on Wisconsin’s banking industry and will help banks serve municipal customers.

While session will end in March, the legislative process never stops. The 2017-2019 State Budget does not expire until June 2019, but the process to build the 2019-2021 begins this summer. We will be encouraging Governor Scott Walker (Pending re-election) to include our tax exemption on income generated from small business and agricultural loans under $10 million in his next budget. He will officially introduce his plan in February of 2019.

Two sets of elections will also be held this year. In addition to all your local offices, the only statewide race on April 3rd will be for Supreme Court Justice. Sitting Justice Michael Gableman is retiring at the end of his 10-year term. The primary in February will narrow the field of currently three canddiates to two. Conservative Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock, as well as liberals Milwakee County Judge Rebecca Dallet and attorney Tim Burns of Madison are in the race. 

This fall Governor Walker, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D), the entire Congressional Delegation, half of the Wisconsin State Senate, and the entire State Assembly will be on the ballot. In addition to Senator Baldwin, one-third of the U.S. Senate will be up for election. While it is still too early for predictions, historically the party out of power - in this case the Democrats - make electoral gains in midterm elections. 

The opportunities to get involved are numerous in 2018. WBA's official D.C. trip this year coincides with the ICBA event April 8-11. ABA will host their D.C. fly-in April 23-25.

Contributing to WBA advocacy funds are another great way to be involved. Donations to the Alliance of Bankers for Wisconsin conduit and Wisbankpac crucial to ensure pro-banking candidates are elected to office.

If you have any questions on getting involved, please contact Jon Turke at jturke@wisbank.com or 608/441-1215.