MEUW Weekly :: November 15, 2022

Election outcome expected to bring more of the same: The Nov. 8 election resulted in Wisconsin voters continuing with divided party control of state government. By re-electing Democratic Governor Tony Evers and voting for even larger Republican majorities in both legislative houses, it’s pretty much “status quo” in Madison. While Republicans will enter the next legislative session in January with a 22-11 supermajority in the Senate, the 64-35 advantage in the Assembly is short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to ensure an override of any gubernatorial veto.

In terms of direct impact to municipal electric utilities, the election outcome is expected to eventually change the political makeup of the Public Service Commission (PSC). With his re-election, Gov. Evers is now poised to name a successor for Commissioner Ellen Nowak, whose current six-year term ends Feb. 28, 2023. PSC Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq and Commissioner Tyler Huebner were each nominated by Gov. Evers, although Huebner’s 2020 appointment has yet to be confirmed by the Republican-controlled State Senate.

Register now for the Electric Operations Conference & Expo and apprentice graduation banquet: Don’t miss the chance to participate in the 2023 Electric Operations Conference & Expo hosted by MEUW and the cooperative utilities association. The newly updated conference agenda is available here. In conjunction with the conference, the municipals and co-ops also celebrate the newest graduates of the lineworker apprenticeships.

Full details about both events are available on MEUW’s Website (click on the links below). The event takes place at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Details about registration passes can be found here. Info about lodging accommodations is here.

> Electric Operations Conference & Expo – Jan. 11, 12, and 13

  • Conference begins at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11 (Day one is exclusive to MEUW members)
  • “Welcome Reception” at 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday’s conference sessions are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (open to MEUW and co-op employees). More than a dozen breakout sessions will take place during three separate periods to enable attendees to learn about topics that most interest them.
  • The “Expo” part of the program is a trade show featuring top utility industry manufacturers and suppliers showcasing their latest products and innovations. This year’s Expo takes place on Thursday, Jan. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. More than 50 vendors have already registered; a list of those exhibiting is here.
  • MEUW Board of Directors’ meeting is Friday at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend.

> Apprentice Graduation Banquet – Thursday, Jan. 12 (ticketed event; separate registration required)

  • 6:00 p.m. reception and 7:00 p.m. dinner with a brief program to follow. Friends and family of graduates are welcome and encouraged to attend. A list of those to be recognized is here.

Have you completed enough MEUW training classes to be recognized? As we’ve communicated, MEUW is evolving the long-standing Management Training Program (MTP) in 2023. We know that many municipal utility employees attended training classes but were unable to complete all six courses in the program. Depending on how many and which MTP classes you have not yet finished, you may still be eligible to be considered a “graduate” of the legacy program. The full details are here.

Every individual’s situation is unique depending on which classes they have completed and the ones they still wish to take. If you’re interested in being recognized, start by confirming your personal status on this list of participants. If your records don’t match MEUW’s, please send an email to and explain the discrepancy.  

Public power is subject of new podcast episode:  While the benefits of municipal ownership of electric utilities may be evident to those who work in the industry, the unique qualities that define public power are not widely known or well understood. A new episode of “The Electric Wire” podcast from the Customers First! Coalition (CFC) — released Nov. 8 — aims to educate a wider audience about public power and the municipal utility model. MEUW’s Tim Heinrich and Tyler Vorpagel, along with municipal utility leaders from Manitowoc, Stoughton, and Sun Prairie, join host Kristin Gilkes for the discussion, which can be heard here.

CFC’s podcast series, which launched in 2020, seeks to help advance dialogue and education about energy issues across the state and features interviews with guests who have ties to Wisconsin. The newest episode is one of three to explore different utility operating models (investor-owned, municipal, and cooperative). To access the podcast episodes, search for The Electric Wire wherever you subscribe to podcasts, or listen at CFC’s YouTube channel. You can follow @theelectricwire on Twitter to get notifications of new episodes, pictures, and other information about the podcast series. MEUW is a founding member of CFC.

Happy Thanksgiving: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we will not distribute the Weekly on Nov. 22.

All of us at MEUW are grateful for your support as we focus on our mission to unify and strengthen Wisconsin’s community-owned utilities. We send best wishes to you and your family for a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.