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An affiliate of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Inside GLLF—A Note From Our Treasurer

By Nick George

Funding the Foundation—The Need to Grow

This month several business and agricultural organizations received letters from the Great Lakes Legal Foundation, introducing them to our work and asking for their support by making a financial contribution. Whether or not you received such a letter, we encourage you to put a contribution into your annual budget starting this month.

The outreach represents a small part of a larger effort to grow the funding base of the foundation to include more organizations, businesses, and foundations. The goal is to create a base that will allow us to hire staff and sustain GLLF for many years to come.

For the past ten years, we’ve relied on a group of active associations and businesses for funding and participation on filings. GLLF is an affordable way for organizations to participate in the judicial process. And we have had many successes.

Perhaps our greatest success is defending 2011 Wis. Act 21, a law that limits the reach of state agencies by requiring they have explicit statutory authority before imposing regulatory mandates in permits or otherwise. In other words, agencies can only operate within the boundaries of their enabling statutes.

Unfortunately, despite the law, many agencies continue to ignore it and exceed their authority.

As a result, we currently find ourselves preparing to brief the Wisconsin Supreme Court on two crucial cases where agencies have exceeded their authority. We’ve been working these cases for years, starting at the circuit court. If the Supreme Court agrees with us and finds that legislative delegations to agencies must indeed be explicit, then Act 21 may well be the most important constraint ever imposed on the administrative state.

GLLF has been instrumental in defending Act 21 and limiting the power of the administrative state. In order to continue that work we need to raise sufficient funds for the foundation. If you know of a business, foundation, or organization that feels the burdensome weight of agency regulation, encourage them to donate to the Great Lakes Legal Foundation. We will be happy to meet with them and answer any questions.

For additional information you can contact me or Amy Buchmeyer, GLLF Counsel and Director of Development, at or 262-399-8934.

Nickolas C. George
GLLF Treasurer
Past-President, Midwest Food Products Association Inc.
608-219-0790 (cell)