During the 2016-17 budget debate, Klaetsch Public Affairs Strategies (KPAS) led a coalition effort of suppliers, retailers, consumers and right-leaning advocacy groups to eliminate a measure that was destined for last-minute inclusion in the final budget package. George Klaetsch and his team led the coalition to ensure small, medium and large (international) distiller manufacturers would be able to maintain their brand ownership and guarantee their right to contract with powerful wine and liquor wholesalers. This victory also allowed Wisconsin consumers to enjoy their favorite drink without the looming threat of dramatic price increases.
In 2008, legislation was proposed that would jeopardize Wisconsin consumers' choices. The proposed legislation would have significantly limited all Wisconsinites' ability to access credit. Klaetsch Public Affairs Strategies, LLC represented more than 15,000 concerned Wisconsin citizens and successfully protected their personal and financial choices.
The 2016-17 Executive Budget included a proposal to shift state regulatory oversight of Private Onsite Water Treatment Systems (POWTS) or septic systems. The shift would have transferred regulatory oversight of POWTS from the Department of Safety & Professional Services (DSPS) to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). To ensure this regulatory shift was amended out of the final budget document, KPAS created and managed a ten member Rural Health & Economic Development Coalition to successfully lobby the Joint Committee on Finance to amend the Governor's original budget proposal and provide for more consistent regulation of POWTS within the DSPS and grants for families unable to afford replacement POWTS for their personal residences.
For more than four years the Elevator Industry Worker Preservation Fund had attempted to introduce the Elevator Safety & Worker Protection Act (2005 Act 456). The primary objective of that legislation was to ensure that all Wisconsinites would ride in properly installed and well-maintained conveyances. Additionally, Act 456 ensured that individuals and companies installing and maintaining conveyances were properly trained and certified to perform these tasks safely. In less than eight months, KPAS was able to get the bill introduced and passed into law with unanimous approval of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate. On May 5, 2006 Act 456 was signed into law.
In 2015 KPAS was successful in lobbying on behalf of Wisconsin families in need, by persuading the Joint Committee on Finance to unanimously vote 16-0 in authorizing $2.5 million for the Wisconsin Fund. This effort was spearheaded by KPAS with the assistance of other like-minded organizations to ensure the Wisconsin Fund continues to serve families in need. Through the effort of KPAS and others, the Wisconsin Fund has been able to assist over 15,000 Wisconsin families since 2000.
In February 2009, the Wisconsin biennial budget, as introduced, contained language to establish fees per animal slaughtered for commercial sale and consumption. Along with other agricultural coalition activists, Klaetsch Public Affairs Strategies, LLC led the Joint Finance Committee lobbying effort to eliminate the targeted slaughter tax. On May 26, 2009 the Joint Finance Committee eliminated the fee imposed on slaughter facilities.
KPAS began the day-to-day management of the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists (AWL) in the Fall of 2011. Since assuming the role of Executive Director and primary association manager, the AWL has experienced a 15% increase in membership and a 100% increase in corporate sponsorship. KPAS has also managed the AWL's programming changes that provide more comprehensive alternatives to their membership.
From February 2008 to 2013, Klaetsch Public Affairs Strategies, LLC coordinated the Wisconsin Women in Government's annual scholarship banquets. The annual bipartisan banquet is attended by more than a thousand state and local officials, business leaders, public servants and political enthusiasts. The event is held to raise funds to support and encourage young women to choose a career in government service.