It’s time to step up, speak up, and support the banking industry
By Lorenzo Cruz
The barrage of political advertisements ended in April after another record turnout of voters for the Spring Election in 2023. Liberals scored a major victory with Democratic-backed Judge Janet Protaseiwicz defeating Republican-backed former Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly by a double-digit margin. In addition, this year’s State Supreme Court race shattered the previous $15 million campaign spending record in hitting over $45 million.
After 15 years of Conservatives controlling the State Supreme Court, the ideological power swings back to the Liberals with a narrow 4–3 majority. With Protaseiwicz taking office in August, the new majority could act to reverse court decisions on redistricting, voting rights, and other issues impacting the business community.
Despite the landslide victory in the State Supreme Court race for progressives, State Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) held on to defeat Democratic challenger Jodi Habush Sinykin in the 8th Senate seat by a 2-point margin. The GOP victory gives Republicans a supermajority, which provides them the ability to impeach civil officers.
The close State Senate race is another illustration of the changing trend in suburban areas where once leaning Republican strongholds are becoming more Democratic. If the Supreme Court redraws state and congressional maps, this seat and others will be in play for majority control of the Wisconsin Legislature and Congress in the fall 2024 general election.
With April elections over, the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) is navigating through the budget and legislative process under Democratic Governor Tony Evers and a State Legislature controlled by the GOP. The Government Relations team has been meeting with key legislators and the Governor’s office since last summer to advocate for WBA’s public policy priorities.
Bank advocates from across the state supported WBA’s efforts and visited the state capitol in Madison at the end of April during WBA’s annual Capitol Day. Legislative leadership and the Governor’s administration shared their insights on the budget and legislative priorities during the morning program. In the afternoon session, bank advocates met with legislators and staff to discuss and lobby on a variety of topics including:
- Credit Union Expansion (WBA-opposed)
- Banking Modernization (WBA-supported)
- Interchange Fees (WBA-opposed)
- Environmental Social Governance (ESG) (WBA-opposed)
- Elder Financial Abuse (WBA-supported)
- Trust Code (WBA-supported)
As WBA’s GR team continues to work closely with bank advocates to educate and lobby legislators and staff on WBA’s budget and legislative priorities, we also encourage our members to become more engaged in advocacy efforts.
In addition to participating in annual events such as Capitol Day or lobbying in D.C., WBA urges bankers to become an Advocacy Officer; a Leadership Circle or Silver Triangle member; to achieve Gold Triangle or BIGG (Bankers Involved in Grassroots and Government) recognition; or to contribute to the Wisbankpac, Alliance of Bankers Conduit, or the Association’s issue advocacy fund.
Thank you for supporting WBA’s grassroots and political fundraising efforts — your voice and active participation makes a difference!