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WUI MEMBERS TRAVEL TO MADISON FOR DAY AT THE CAPITOL

Over 100 WUI members from across the state travelled to Madison to meet with their legislators during a critically important budgetary crunch time at our capitol. Members caught busses en-route from Green Bay and Milwaukee and also drove from points West and locally. Legislators from 16 Senate districts and 33 Assembly districts were visited. Each legislator was briefed on who Wisconsin utility shareholders are, how WUI represents a shareholder’s interests, and more specifically regarding the Wisconsin Utility Investor opposition to Senate Bill 115 and Assembly Bill 198 which seeks to nullify existing leased generation contracts.

Thank you to all who attended, braving the wet weather and construction! WUI is also very grateful for our wonderful guest speakers, Commissioner Mike Huebsch and Senator Scott Fitzgerald, for their unique insights into the regulatory and budgetary processes.

Legislative Update

The 2017-18 Legislature convened its first regular session in January of this year.
In February, Governor Walker introduced his Biennial Budget proposal (AB 64/SB 30)
which governs the state’s taxing and spending for the next two years beginning in July
2017. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has begun its review of the proposal
and the Budget is expected to occupy most of the Legislature’s time and attention until
the bill finally passes in late June.

Of significant interest to utility shareholders, legislation has been introduced by Senator
Stroebel and Representative Ott (SB 115) that will allow the Wisconsin Public Service
Commission (PSC) to retroactively modify or terminate, existing and previously approved,
leased generation contracts. Currently, under such contracts, public utilities are able to
lease electrical generating facilities from their affiliates. This type of financing arrangement
has been used in Wisconsin to facilitate the investment of billions of dollars in new generation
facilities in recent years.

Under current law, the PSC may modify or terminate such contracts only as specified in the
contract itself, or the original order approving the original contract. Under the provisions of
SB115, the Public Service Commission could unilaterally invalidate or modify these contracts
which could significantly impact a utilities rate of return and dividend payout.

The sponsors of the bill believe that modifying these existing contracts will force a
reduction in electric rates. However, the current rates are necessary to generate a fair rate
of return for utility shareholders based on the recent investments Wisconsin utilities have
made in new electric generation.

If this proposal makes investment in Wisconsin utility stock less attractive for many small
investors, it will become more difficult for Wisconsin utilities to raise the necessary capital
to maintain and upgrade our electrical system. In the long run, this hurts consumers
who will have to pay even higher rates to finance the additional borrowing and internally
generated capital needed to replace their equity investment.

Investors seeking stability and reliability have the choice of investing in a wide range
of electric utilities across the country. To the extent that Wisconsin utilities become a
less attractive investment option, shareholders can go elsewhere, while consumers in
Wisconsin are simply left with higher electric rates.

Wisconsin utilities, WUI and many key legislative leaders have already expressed concern
over this bill. You can add your voice of opposition by attending WUI’s Legislative Day in
Madison on May 24, 2017.

Announcing the WUI 2017 Day at the Capitol! Registration Now Open.

 

 

 


Click Here to Register


You’re Invited to
Get Plugged In!

This is your opportunity to let your representatives know what is important to you as a Utility Investor! You will hear from legislative leaders about the current issues affecting your investments, have opportunities to meet with your representatives at the Capitol, and share lunch with your fellow WUI members at the newly renovated Park Inn Hotel (formerly Inn on the Park).

AGENDA:
9:30 am Registration
10:00 am Meeting  & Guest Speaker
11:15  am Scheduled Legislative Meetings
12:30 pm Lunch
12:45 pm Luncheon Speaker
1:20 pm Wrap up & Home

INVITED GUEST SPEAKERS:
Governor Scott Walker
Commissioner Mike Huebsch

YOUR DAY AT THE CAPITOL:
You can drive to Madison or ride one of the comfortable coach buses provided by WUI.  (Click on registration link to learn more.)
Valet parking is available
at the Inn on the Park.

 

WUI Day at the Capitol Energizes Attendees

PSC Chair Ellen Nowak speaking at the 2015 Day at the Capitol event.

WUI held its biennial Day at the Capitol on May 7, 2015.  The
successful event drew more than 100 WUI Members from across
the state of Wisconsin. These shareholders were able to put a
face on the organization in a true grassroots effort which touched
20 Senators and 38 Assemblymen. Members were welcomed by
Chairman of the Board, Roger Cole. James Buchen, Executive
Director WUI, provided a Legislative Review of current State and
National Issues. Representative Mike Kuglitsch, Chair of the
Committee on Energy and Utilities, was joined by Todd Stewart,
Executive Director of Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group, to lead a
panel discussion concerning utility issues.

Members were greeted by a beautiful day in which to walk across
the street from the Inn on the Park to the Capitol for their
constituent meetings with their Senators and Representatives.
Upon returning from the Capitol, members enjoyed lunch followed
by a presentation from by Ellen Nowak, Chairperson of the Public
Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin. Chairperson Nowak
briefed members on both state and national utility issues and
explained the Commission’s perspective on distributed generation
and the need for fixed charges to better reflect fixed costs to
ensure that all customers shoulder their fair share of the cost of
the infrastructure needed to deliver electricity on demand.

The Wisconsin Utility Investors Board of Directors would like
to thank the speakers and panelists, former WUI Executive
Director Bob Seitz, government relations representatives from
our state utilities, and most importantly all the WUI Members
— we appreciate you!

WUI INVESTOR DAY at the CAPITOL | May 7th, 2015

Coach buses are provided from:
DePere, Appleton, Oshkosh, Beaver Dam,
Brookfield, Oconomowoc, & Johnson Creek!

Join other WUI members for updates from legislators
and key policymakers.
Meet your
Senators and Representatives in their offices.
Enjoy lunch and door prizes.

Sorry, this event is passed.

We appreciate all who participated and helped to deliver our utility
shareholder point of view to our state legislators.

WISCONSIN UTILITY INVESTORS HAVE SUCCESSFUL DAY AT THE CAPITOL

A record number of members attended this year’s WUI Day
at the Capitol. 143 Current and new members registered for
the day to learn about pending utility issues and to visit the
Capitol to discuss these issues with their Senators and
Representatives. Our voice was heard by 24 Senators and
45 Representatives. WUI wishes to thank all who
participated.  Attendees enjoyed comments by the Chairman
of the Committee on Energy and Utilities, Representative
Mark Honadel; as well as, the Chairman of the Committee
on Energy, Consumer Protection, and Government Reform,
Senator Robert Cowles.