Legislative Update

WDC Journal Edition: September 2002
By: Bernie McCartan - American Family Mutual Insurance Co.

Despite the apparent gridlock at the Capitol, there are a couple of things to report. First, the recently passed budget repair bill contains favorable language on the medical records cost issue, which it is expected will be signed into law by the Governor. More details on that will be contained in an end-of- session summary in the near future. Second, there are several issues of interest to CTCW members simmering behind the scenes for the next legislative session. They include sales tax on legal services, compulsory counterclaims, and caps on loss of society damages in wrongful death claims, among others.

At its April meeting, the CTCW Board of Directors voted to revive the CTCW Legislative Committee. We are looking for volunteers.

The committee is responsible for:

  • reviewing legislative proposals of concern to the CTCW membership and defining the CTCW position on them,
  • creating and developing legislative proposals on matters of interest to CTCW members, and
  • working with the CTCW lobbyist, Jim Hough, to provide written and/or in person testimony on behalf of CTCW at legislative committee hearings, either in support of or opposition to pending bills.

It is hoped that the committee’s work on the on the first two points can be accomplished by e-mail, with an occasional telephone conference call. The third item will require a willingness to commit time necessary for drafting position statements and testifying at legislative committee hearings, sometimes on short notice.

We hope to assemble a group of volunteers representing a cross section of views, both in terms of geography and practice area. At this writing we have 10 volunteers, from Madison, Milwaukee and the Fox Valley. We could use some help from the northern and western parts of the state. Anyone who would like to serve on the CTCW Legislative Committee should contact Bernie McCartan by July 31, 2002. Depending on the number of volunteers the committee may have to work in subcommittees to keep things manageable. That will be addressed after the level of interest is determined.

In the meantime, all CTCW members are urged to become active in their local elections in support of candidates favoring a fair and impartial civil justice system.