2017 March 17

Daily Archives: March 17, 2017

‘The Insiders’ take an early look at Baldwin’s re-election prospects

 

Will Tammy Baldwin need the luck of the Irish to win re-election next year? The Insiders do an early analysis this St. Patrick’s Day.

Sponsored by Michael Best Strategies and the Wisconsin Counties Association.

City of Madison: Seeking applications for AASPIRE internship program

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Contact: Kirsten L. Nichols, (608) 267-8634, [email protected]

The City of Madison’s Affirmative Action Division, in concert with City Managers, sponsors paid internships to attract members of Affirmative Action target groups who are engaged in college level studies compatible with a Public Administration career track.  The Affirmative Action Student Professional in Residence Internships (AASPIRE) consideration will also be given for individuals who have experienced a period of long-term unemployment or underemployment.

AASPIRE Internships will be limited in number and will be for a temporary period of 8 to 9 weeks in duration.  Each placement will be made very carefully based on a match between an intern’s course work or career history and interests, and the operations of a City agency.

The selected interns will be guided and mentored by City management staff.  The internships will be heavily focused on exposure to divisional operating procedures and policies.  This exposure will include attendance at departmental management team and staff meetings.  Interns will also learn where a Department or Division fits into the City organizational structure and additionally learn about departmental funding and administrative guidelines.

Recruitment for AASPIRE Internship positions runs through Sunday, April 9, 2017.  All Applicants are strongly encouraged to set up their NEOGOV account at http://www.cityofmadison.com/HR/ and apply for future City of Madison positions.  The individuals that are selected will be hired as City employees in an hourly classification.

Additional information on the AASPIRE program may be found on the City of Madison website. http://www.cityofmadison.com/dcr/aaaaspire.cfm.

City of Racine: To explore the creation of a new tax increment district

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CONTACTS

Gretchen Herrmann

Office of the Mayor

262.497.7339

[email protected]

Jordan Brown

Racine County EDC

(262) 898-7444

(414) 704-6651

 

Racine, WI –  The City of Racine, like many communities, is witnessing changes to the health and quality of its retail properties.  The City recognizes opportunity to reposition the area surrounding the Regency Mall for reinvestment and growth, and plans to create Tax Increment District (TID) No. 20 to assist in improving the corridor. The target area for TID No. 20 includes 24 parcels and totals approximately 133.9 acres. The area includes Regency Mall, the mall outlots, Target, and High Ridge Center, including Home Depot and Toys R Us.

The City of Racine’s largest commercial hub is centered at Green Bay Road and Durand Avenue. The area is anchored by the Regency Mall, which opened in 1981 as a major shopping destination for Racine County.  Other shopping and restaurant destinations in the Racine Retail Corridor include Target, Home Depot, Toys R Us, Kmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods (Mt. Pleasant), Michaels (Mt. Pleasant), Barnes and Noble (Mt. Pleasant), Hobby Lobby, Applebees, Starbucks, Olive Garden, and others.

While the corridor benefits from a strong cluster of nationally-branded retailers, the area faces challenges. The retail market place has become more competitive with more consumers buying online and alternative destinations within Southeast Wisconsin attracting Racine shoppers. As a result of conditions, a number of stores have left or have announced closings (JC Penney, Kmart, and Sears) in the Racine Corridor and sales volumes from some of the remaining stores are eroding.

“Limited property reinvestment, increasing vacancy, and eroding tax base is a significant cause for concern for the City,” notes Mayor John Dickert. “Without an intervention, the retail cluster could continue to erode and leave the area with more vacant properties. However, the community can help to turn the tide. With the recent purchase of Regency Mall by Hull Property Group, the City and the area property owners have an opportunity to come together and reposition the area as a vibrant retail destination.”   

The over 248,000 people and 95,000 households living within a 20 minute drive time of Green Bay Rd and Durand Avenue are a valuable and attractive demographic that existing and future retail operations are interested in serving.

To facilitate investment in the area, the City of Racine is proposing formation of TID No. 20. The primary purpose of the TID is to provide the necessary incentives and public infrastructure improvements needed to encourage economic development and increase property values. The Project Plan for the Creation of Tax Incremental District No. 20 (Regency Mall) 22-year expenditure period estimates total project expenditures of $15.7 million in several phases.

  • Adoption of the TID plan and formation of the TID will set the base value for all properties in the TID.
  • Any additional tax increment value across all taxing jurisdictions (Racine County, Racine Unified School District, Gateway Technical College and City of Racine) would be available to make identified expenditures in the TID plan including incentives and public improvements.
  • Any incentive provided would require a developer agreement between the developer and the City that includes agreed upon milestones and metrics to receive incentive assistance.
  • All developer agreements are approved by the City of Racine Common Council.  

The City of Racine will hold a public hearing on the proposed TID No. 20 on Wednesday, March 29 in conjunction with the City’s Plan Commission. Final consideration by the Racine Common Council is planned for April 18.

In addition to the formation of TID No.20, the creation of a business improvement district (BID) is being investigated with property owners and stakeholders. The BID will levy an additional tax on the businesses in the area to fund improvement projects within the district’s boundaries.
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Concordia University: Business of Healthcare event 🗓

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As healthcare costs continue a precipitous climb, Americans burdened with unmanageable co-pays and deductibles deserve smart solutions. The healthcare marketplace is not a free market. Should it be? How might rethinking the business of healthcare improve access and affordability to more quality care for more Americans?

Lack of price transparency robs consumers of the choice to make smart value decisions about their healthcare and how to spend their money. It is a market dysfunction that must be fixed.
The Healthcare Economics Summit hosted by Concordia University Wisconsin will explore how the right mix of innovation in the business of healthcare, most critically transparent pricing and free market principles, can contain costs and improve the quality of services.

Join us for a high-impact morning of conversation and consideration of a better way forward.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

9:00 a.m.
Registration opens at the Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship

9:30 a.m.
Welcome from Concordia University President Patrick Ferry

9:35 a.m.
Featured Keynote: Governor Scott Walker

10:45 a.m.
Keynote: John Torinus

11:10 a.m.
Case Example: Eric Haberichter

11:20 a.m.
Brief Case Example:
Valley Elliehausen (CUW Alumnus, and COO of West Bend School District)
Jeremy Normington-Slay (CUW alumnus and President of Mercy Medical Center)

11:35 a.m.
Recap: Dr. Dan Sem, Dean of the Batterman School of Business, Concordia University

Dane Co. Exec. Parisi: Dane County kicks off process to update the parks and open space plan

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Contact:  Stephanie Miller, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823

Dane County is requesting input from county residents to update a plan that helps determine how it manages outdoor resources, including what recreation activities are important to them and what may make people more likely to visit a park or participate in an outdoor activity.

“The Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan is our blueprint for future park, trail, recreation and conservation needs. We are excited to hear thoughts and ideas from residents about what they value most about our park system,” County Executive Joe Parisi said.

The Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan is a countywide comprehensive outdoor recreation and natural resource plan that must be updated every 5 years to maintain eligibility for State Stewardship grant funds.  Updates to the plan include identifying recreational needs and significant natural, cultural, and historical resources in the county to be considered for protection.  The planning process will seek input from Dane County residents that will help guide future park and trail development projects over the next 5 years.

“The vision statement of our Parks and Open Space Plan is timeless, ‘connect people to the land and water resources of Dane County,’” said Dane County Parks Commission Chair Bill Lunney.  “Our countywide network of parks, trails and open spaces are the places where this happens.”

Dane County Parks will facilitate two public information meetings to kick off the planning process to update the Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan and explain how citizens and stakeholders can participate in the planning process. The first meeting will be held at 7:00p.m. on March 30th at the Community Center/Town Hall of Cross Plains, 3734 County Road P, Cross Plains, WI  53528. The second meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on April 5th at the Village of Cottage Grove Village Hall, 221 E. Cottage Grove Road, Cottage Grove, WI 53527.

As an added outreach effort, Dane County Parks has prepared a survey to further explore the overall public awareness of the park system and any improvements that could be made to promote a larger and more diverse group of users.  The survey only takes about 5 minutes to complete and results can be monitored throughout the planning process.  The survey is available on line at:

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07edx78f4aj02u6mqc/_tmp/greeting

More information about the County Parks and Open Space Plan can be found on the Dane County Parks Division website at:

https://parks-lwrd.countyofdane.com/Information/Planning-Development

 

For questions about the Parks and Open Space Plan contact:

 

Chris James, Senior Landscape Architect

Dane County Parks Division

5201 Fen Oak Drive, Room #208

Madison, WI  53718

Phone: 608-224-3763

Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Wilson Miller

Communications Director

Dane County

608.267.8823 o

920.470.4618 c

Facebook @DaneCoJoe

Dane Co. Exec. Parisi: Presents 2017 art poster

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Contact: Stephanie Wilson Miller, 608-267-8823

 

‘Solitude’ Now Available Throughout County

Dane County Executive Parisi announced today the 2017 Art Poster from the Dane Arts now is available by voluntary donation at locations throughout Dane County. This year’s poster features, “Solitude” by Dane County resident and nationally recognized artist, John Ribble.

Dane Arts and the Cultural Affairs Commission will host a reception at Madison’s Central Public Library, downtown, Tuesday, March 28, 5:30 – 7:00 pm to unveil the calendar. The reception will honor the 2017 poster artist and recent Commission grant recipients and panelists.  Attendees will include Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, poster artist John Ribble, Cultural Affairs Commission members, grant advisory panel members, and grant recipient honorees supported by the Commission over the past two years. Music will be provided by John’s daughter Erin Ribble and her band, The Gadjo Players, a 4 piece acoustic ensemble who play mostly original compositions ranging from Jazz, Funk, Bluegrass and Gypsy Swing.

“Dane County has an incredibly vibrant arts culture,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Arts are one of the many reasons people love living in and are moving to Dane County more than any other county in Wisconsin. This year’s poster is another great example of an incredibly skilled artist that we are so fortunate to have in Dane county.”

Mr. Ribble is a pastel artist based in Madison, Wisconsin; he also teaches full time in the Graphic Design & Illustration program at MATC. John paints mostly landscapes, “en plein-air”, and focuses on rural scenes throughout the Southeastern Wisconsin area. His work in pastels has taken him all over Iowa, Dane, and Door Counties, as well as in the city of Madison. His pastel paintings illustrate a love and interconnection to the land and geography of Wisconsin.

An ongoing tradition, the Dane Art’s poster helps keep our community engaged with the arts. Commission Director Mark Fraire remarked, “The Dane County art poster is but one visible effort to showcase the arts on display in Dane County and I am so grateful to live in a County so rich with art. It is just this kind of private to public partnership that can help continue to drive the economic impact the arts generate.”

Distribution Locations

The 2017 art poster is available to the public by voluntary donation at locations throughout Dane County as follows:

Ø  Cultural Affairs Commission Office, Room 421, City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison, between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday.

Ø  Four Dane County framing shops are serving as poster distribution sites and in partnership with the Commission offering custom framing discounts for this year’s art poster: Monroe Street Framing, Douglas Art & Framing, and Megan’s Custom Framing  in Madison,  and Meuer Art and Picture Frame Company in Middleton.

Ø  Starting on April 1, municipal poster distribution sites include the city and village halls of Cross Plains, Fitchburg, Middleton, Monona, Pleasant Springs, Shorewood Hills, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, and Verona; and town hall of Westport.

Dane Arts and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission

The Dane Arts supports arts, culture and local history activities through projects and programs. Revenues from poster donations help support those programs: fostering public participation, increasing access, and forging alliances in support of arts, culture and local history. The poster was designed by Steve Wagner. More information on the Commission is available at danearts.com.

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Dems look to 2018, optimistic for a favorable redistricting ruling

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FRI AM Update: Kaul considering attorney general bid; weekly radio addresses

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FRI News Summary: Proposed cuts to Great Lakes funding; Grothman votes for health care bill in Budget Committee

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FRI REPORT: Increased accountability hoped for through more body camera use in state’s prisons

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Gov. Walker: Focuses on Historic K-12 Education Investments at New Richmond High School

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Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839

New Richmond – Governor Scott Walker joined students, teachers, and staff at New Richmond High School today to discuss the historic K-12 education investments included in his Executive Budget proposal. Highlights include $649 million in new state aids for all Wisconsin K-12 schools and a $509.2 million increase in per-pupil categorical aid. On top of this, the governor’s budget lifts K-12 investment to $11.5 billion over two years, an all-time high.

“To guarantee Wisconsin continues to move forward for generations to come, it’s crucial we make investing in education a top priority,” Governor Walker said. “Our budget proposal does just that. We’re taking the Reform Dividend and using it to bolster state support for K-12 and higher education. The young minds oftomorrow are being shaped in our classrooms today. A quality education for every single student in Wisconsin – regardless of their zip code – has a direct and significant impact on the future success of our workforce and economy.”

The New Richmond School District is estimated to receive approximately $52.1 million in funding from the state under Governor Walker’s biennial budget, including:

  • An increase of more than $1.9 million in Per Pupil Aid. Governor Walker’s budget increases per-pupil funding by $200 in Fiscal Year 2018 and $204 per pupil in Fiscal Year 2019 – the largest increase since the 2005-2007 biennium.

The New Richmond School District may be eligible for additional funding under Governor Walker’s budget proposal, such as mental health grants, energy efficiency incentives, and special needs grants.

Learn more about Governor Walker’s proposed investment in K-12 education here. For Governor Walker’s full 2017 Budget Address, click here.

Gov. Walker: Joins Hunzinger Construction Company in sending care packages to our troops

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Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839
Brookfield – Governor Scott Walker joined Hunzinger Construction Company employees today in wrapping care packages for Wisconsin troops through their Troop Care Package program. Since 2006, the Hunzinger Construction Company has shipped more than 45 tons of goods to our brave servicemen and women.

 

“Hunzinger’s efforts to collect items and wrap care packages are truly commendable,” Governor Walker said. “Something as commonplace as a jar of peanut butter or hand-written letter means the world to the troops who receive them because these items are, in many ways, a lifeline to home. I’m proud to join Hunzinger employees today in wrapping care packages to bring our brave men and women in uniform. I know the people of Wisconsin join me in thanking our troops for their service to our nation and praying for their safe return home.”

The Hunzinger Construction Company is one of the oldest contracting firms in the Midwest, moving to Milwaukee in 1928. They are the only Wisconsin firm that’s been listed every year on the Engineering News-Record Top 400 General Contractors in the United States list since the inception of the list in 1964.

The Troop Care Package Program has sent 46 tons of supplies to troops since it launched in 2006. It began as a small effort to send essentials to one local soldier and has since grown to quarterly shipments to more than 100 different military units stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the help of local companies, schools, and volunteers, Hunzinger ships packages including toiletries, food, magazines, toys, candy, and written letters.

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Increased accountability hoped for through more body camera use in state’s prisons

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Josh Kaul ‘seriously exploring’ run for AG

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Milwaukee County Transit System: Don’t rely on the luck of the Irish to get home safe – ride MCTS for free

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Contact: Brendan Conway
[email protected]
414-937-3250

Milwaukee, WI – On this Saint Patrick’s Day there is no excuse to not celebrate safely. MCTS, in partnership with Miller Lite and Beer Capitol Distributing, is offering FREE rides on all bus routes on Friday, March 17th, beginning at 6 p.m.until the end of regular service.

“We are excited to once again partner with Miller Lite to offer Miller Lite Free Rides, a long-standing St. Patrick’s Day tradition,” said Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive. “We want to remind the community to let MCTS be its designated driver.”

Since 1994, nearly 800,000 Milwaukeeans have taken advantage of the Miller Lite Free Rides on St. Patrick’s Day. The program has gained the support of local and state law enforcement, elected officials and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

“As part of our overall commitment to our hometown communities, we want everyone to have a great time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, but do so responsibly,” said Diane Wagner, MillerCoors alcohol responsibility manager. “Our goal is to keep Milwaukee roadways safe with our Free Rides program while raising awareness that drunk driving is completely preventable.”

To take advantage of the free rides, simply get on any MCTS bus after 6pm and get off at your stop. It’s as simple as A to B. Plan your trip and get up-to-the-minute Real-Time Bus Arrival information at RideMCTS.com.

One Wisconsin Now: Wrap Up Sunshine Week With a Bang, End 1,799-Day Stonewall and Reveal Donors to Legal Defense

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MEDIA CONTACT
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
[email protected]
(608) 444-3483

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker is never one to miss an opportunity for political pandering. So in honor of Sunshine Week, a media-sponsored event celebrating the public’s right to know, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested that Walker end the week by revealing the identities of the donors to his criminal legal defense fund.

“Gov. Walker can cap off sunshine week with a bang by, after 1,799 days, ending the mystery of who footed the nearly one half million dollars in fees he paid his team of criminal defense lawyers,” commented Ross. “It would be a masterstroke for a career politician who rarely fails to take the opportunity for a politically-motivated pander.”

For several years, Gov. Walker and his campaign were involved in investigations of political corruption, the John Doe I and John Doe II probes. In March 2012, the Wisconsin media reported that Gov. Walker established a legal defense fund, the Scott Walker Trust, to accept funds to pay for criminal defense lawyers retained by Gov. Walker.

Public disclosures indicate Walker’s legal defense fund spent over $440,000 on a team of lawyers but, over five years later, the names of the donors remain secret from the public.

Rep. Ballweg: Wisconsin legislative Children’s Caucus to hold meeting in Stevens Point

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Rep. Joan Ballweg 

March 17, 2017 608-266-8077

Informational Hearing on Community Efforts to Strengthen Families

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus will be hosting the fourth of five informational hearings on community efforts to strengthen families this Monday, March 20th in

Stevens Point. Founded in 2015, the Legislative Children’s Caucus is a bi-partisan group with the purpose of cultivating a legislature dedicated to advancing promising, evidence-informed public policy that improves the life of every Wisconsin child. The caucus is co-chaired by Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse), Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan), Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee).

The informational hearing will feature local invited speakers who focus on primary prevention of child abuse and neglect and serve at-risk families. These speakers will present information to the caucus co-chairs and local state legislators. The Legislative Children’s Caucus chose to hold hearings throughout Wisconsin to facilitate learning between state legislators and the local community partners who implement evidence-based practices to address child abuse and neglect. These hearings will be held throughout the month of March in La Crosse, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Stevens Point and Rice Lake.

WHAT: Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus Informational Hearing on Community Effort to Strengthen Families

WHEN: Monday, March 20th from 9:30am-12:30pm

WHERE: Portage County UW-Extension, Courthouse Annex Building, 1462 Strongs Ave., Stevens Point, WI

WHO: Children’s Caucus Co-Chairs & Local Legislators

PANELISTS: Representatives from: Indianhead Community Action Agency, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, Forest County Potawatomi, Marathon County Department of Social Services, Marquette County Department of Human Services, Waupaca County Department of Health and Human Services

 

For a full meeting agenda, details of the other meetings, or further information on the Wisconsin Legislative Children’s Caucus visit:www.wichildrenscaucus.org

This meeting is open to the public and press.

Rep. Hebl: Introduces fair courts package

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Rep. Gary Hebl, (608) 266-7678

Proposals Would Restore Credibility to Wisconsin’s Justice System

(MADISON) – Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) today announced that he has reintroduced a comprehensive reform package that will help protect the impartiality of Wisconsin’s judicial system.

Hebl said these proposals will begin to rebuild the public’s trust in the impartiality and fairness of our state’s justice system, which has been greatly undermined in recent years.

“Out of control campaign spending and many high-profile judicial recusal and discipline cases in recent years have demonstrated the need for reforming Wisconsin’s judicial discipline and recusal standards,” Hebl said. “This reform package would ensure our citizens have access to a functional and fair judicial system.”

The judicial package includes eight proposals which would:

  1. Create an objective standard for judicial recusal.

Assembly Bill 132: Wisconsin’s current recusal standards are out of line with federal standards and most other states, which have set objective standards for judicial recusal. Current Wisconsin law requires recusal only when judges subjectively determine that they cannot act impartially. This proposal requires a judge or justice to disqualify themselves from presiding over a legal proceeding if a reasonable person would question whether the judge or justice could act in an impartial manner.

  1. Increase transparency and accountability for campaign contributions.

Assembly Bill 135: Require mandatory recusal in cases involving campaign contributors. If, within the previous four years, a party to an action has contributed $1000 or more directly to the judge’s campaign fund or disbursed $1000 or more on independent expenditures advocating for the judge’s election or for the defeat of the judge’s opponent, the judge or justice must recuse himself or herself. 54 Wisconsin judges and justices recently came out in favor of a similar proposal.

Assembly Bill 137: Require that whenever an interested party in a case makes a political contribution to a judge in a proceeding over which the judge or justice presides, or to the personal campaign or authorized support committee of a presiding judge or justice, the donor must notify the judge and every party to the case within five days.

  1. Increase transparency and accountability for recusal decisions.

Assembly Bill 136: Allow entire Supreme Court to review recusal decisions of other justices. Provides that if a Supreme Court justice denies a motion to disqualify himself or herself from an action, the Supreme Court may review that decision to deny the motion, and may either affirm or reverse the justice’s decision.

Assembly Bill 133: Require a judge or justice who does not disqualify himself or herself after a motion for disqualification is filed by a party in the action to file in writing the reasons he or she did not disqualify himself or herself. This proposal will require judges to more effectively and openly address whether they are capable of being impartial in a given case.  It will also promote transparency in the decision-making process for both litigants and the general public.

  1. Increase effectiveness and enforceability of judicial discipline proceedings.

Assembly Bill 134: Lower Court Decision Prevails if Supreme Court Divided: In cases where the Supreme Court is equally divided on the question of appropriate discipline or action, the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations of the panel of judges are binding on the disciplined or disabled judge.

The bills have all been referred to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary.


Rep. Gary Hebl represents the 46th Assembly District, which includes the Cities of Sun Prairie and Stoughton, the Village of Cottage Grove, and the Townships of Cottage Grove, Dunkirk, Pleasant Springs, and Sun Prairie.

Contact Rep. Hebl with any questions or concerns you may have at (608) 266-7678 or via email at [email protected].

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Rep. Summerfield: Announces March district listening session

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Contact: Rep. Rob Summerfield, (608) 266-1194

Opportunity for Public Comment on State Issues

 Madison… Today, Rep. Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) announced the date, time, and location of his fourth in-district listening session. It will be held the evening of March 27th at the Lake Holcombe Town Hall. This event is free and open to the public. It will provide an opportunity for constituents of the 67th District to address the State Representative directly about issues affecting the area and state.

“I was impressed with the turnout for my last round of listening sessions and am hoping to continue that trend moving forward. I really appreciated the feedback I received from my constituents who attended, and encourage others to come to this and future sessions,” said Summerfield.

Rep. Summerfield’s listening session information can be found below:

Listening Session

WHEN: 5:30PM-6:30PM.

WHERE: Lake Holcombe Town Hall, 26179 275th St., Lake Holcombe, WI 54745.

Any questions about this event can be directed to Rep. Summerfield’s office (608-266-1194 or [email protected]).

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The 67th Assembly District includes portions of Dunn and Chippewa counties.

Rep. Summerfield: District listening session 🗓

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Lake Holcombe Town Hall, 26179 275th St., Lake Holcombe, WI 54745.

Contact: Rep. Rob Summerfield, (608) 266-1194

Opportunity for Public Comment on State Issues

 Madison… Today, Rep. Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) announced the date, time, and location of his fourth in-district listening session. It will be held the evening of March 27th at the Lake Holcombe Town Hall. This event is free and open to the public. It will provide an opportunity for constituents of the 67th District to address the State Representative directly about issues affecting the area and state.

“I was impressed with the turnout for my last round of listening sessions and am hoping to continue that trend moving forward. I really appreciated the feedback I received from my constituents who attended, and encourage others to come to this and future sessions,” said Summerfield.

Rep. Summerfield’s listening session information can be found below:

Listening Session

WHEN: 5:30PM-6:30PM.

WHERE: Lake Holcombe Town Hall, 26179 275th St., Lake Holcombe, WI 54745.

Any questions about this event can be directed to Rep. Summerfield’s office (608-266-1194 or [email protected]).

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The 67th Assembly District includes portions of Dunn and Chippewa counties.

Sales tax provision in Walker’s budget would benefit Kwik Trip

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Sen. Hansen: Introduce resolution honoring UWGB women’s basketball team

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Contact: Sen. Hansen, 608-266-5670
(Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced today that he will be introducing a senate resolution honoring the accomplishments of the UWGB Women’s basketball team.  By defeating Detroit Mercy 64-52 in the championship game of the Horizon League Championship the Phoenix captured their 15th tournament championship in the last 20 seasons and another trip to the NCAA tournament.
“Enough cannot be said about the UWGB women’s program.  They are one of the best programs in the country year in and year out and a great source of for our university, our community and our state,” said Hansen who is a UWGB graduate.
UW-Green Bay is one of only three Division I programs that has had a winning record every year since 1981 and by securing their 40th-consecutive winning season this year they now trail only Tennessee (43) for the longest active streak in the nation.
“This is a very exceptional group of young athletes who are well-coached and who have shown us yet again the kind of success that comes from hard work, discipline and team effort.  There is an expectation of greatness at the start of every season and they lived up to that and more.”
The Phoenix will enter the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament as a No. 8 seed in the Lexington Region and will face the No. 9-seed Purdue in the First Round in Notre Dame, Indiana
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Following is a copy of Senator Hansen’s resolution:
Whereas, the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team captured its 15th tournament championship in the last 20 seasons by defeating Detroit Mercy 64-52 in the championship game of the Horizon League Championship; and
Whereas, the Phoenix clinched its 19th-consecutive conference championship this season by defeating Northern Kentucky, 74-37 to finish with a 15-3 record and tied with Wright State for a share of the regular-season championship; and
Whereas, UW-Green Bay is one of only three Division I programs that has had a winning record every year since 1981.
Whereas, UW-Green Bay secured its 40th-consecutive winning season this year and trails only Tennessee (43) for the longest active streak in the nation.
Whereas, redshirt graduate Mehryn Kraker was named the espnW mid-major player of the year, received the Horizon League Player of the Year award, and was named to the Horizon League All-Academic team; and
Whereas, junior Jessica Lindstrom was named to the All-Horizon League Second Team and All-Defensive Team, redshirt sophomore Jen Wellnitz was named to the All-Defensive Team, and Caitlyn Hibner earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team; and
Whereas, the Phoenix will enter the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament as a No. 8 seed in the Lexington Region and will face the No. 9-seed Purdue in the First Round in Notre Dame, Indiana; now, therefore, be it further
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the legislature of the state of Wisconsin hereby commends and congratulates the UW-Green Bay Women’s Basketball Team on another very successful regular season and wishes them the best of luck in the NCAA tournament; and be it further Resolved, That the senate chief clerk shall provide copies of this joint resolution to Head Coach Kevin Borseth, his staff, each member of the team, and Athletic Director Mary Ellen Gillespie.

Senate committee approves Walker’s appointments to head DOT, DVA

A Senate committee Thursday sent Gov. Scott Walker’s appointments to head the Department of Transportation and the Department of Veterans Affairs to the full Senate for confirmation.

DOT Secretary Dave Ross pushed back during the hearing against an effort to bring in additional transportation dollars, saying the state has “a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”

The Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs approved his appointment 3-2, with Dem Sens. Dave Hansen and Tim Carpenter voting against. The appointment now goes to the full Senate.

The two Dems repeatedly pressed Ross on whether the state needs more money to fix its roads, with Carpenter saying Gov. Scott Walker is focusing on a re-election campaign “instead of taking care of our crisis in the transportation system.”

“I know you’re a great guy, but I think we’re in over our heads,” the Milwaukee Dem said.

But Ross said Walker’s budget proposal provides the “right balance” of spending and revenues. He also said DOT had too many highway construction projects in the pipeline “way too soon,” adding the feds have warned him on that point.

“We decided to remodel our kitchen and bathroom and our rec room at the same time,” he said.

Another element that played a part, he said, was DOT underestimating cost estimates for major highway projects over more than a decade, partly because it didn’t account for inflation on many of them. A Legislative Audit Bureau review in January found the state underestimated the costs for those projects by $3.8 billion.

Ross told lawmakers he’s “grateful for this audit” flagging areas of potential savings and that the agency will now report on future highway costs at a construction-related inflation rate that reflects highway inflation better than the CPI.

“Ultimately, if we are to be taken seriously, our estimates must be better,” he said.

DOT has already stopped a study looking at a possible expansion of the 39/90/94 corridor from Madison to Wisconsin Dells. It also put on hold the Madison Beltline Interchange portion of I-39/90; the project’s costs have jumped to $1.75 billion, with the Beltline portion accounting for $550 million of that. Ross yesterday wrote in a letter to Assembly GOP leaders, who had requested an update from the agency on project costs, that the Beltline portion price tag is “completely unacceptable.”

“Reevaluation of this project has already begun,” he wrote. “We can and will do better.”

As for other projects that could be cut, DOT spokeswoman Patty Mayers said “the process of reevaluation and reprioritization is underway and nothing has yet been decided.”

See the letter from Ross:
https://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/170316DOTLetter.pdf

Daniel Zimmerman, whose appointment as Veterans Affairs secretary was approved unanimously, told the committee he set “a new tone” at the department on his first day.

The agency has come under fire for reports on substandard care at its King Veterans Home, which is currently undergoing a state audit. But Zimmerman said he met with staff members there right away and noted he has “a particular affinity for King.”

His wife’s parents both worked there when she was young and King was “her playground and the members were sort of her grandparents,” he said, adding that his grandparents “dreamed of going to King and retiring.”

“It’s truly an honor to be able to safeguard what we have at King,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said he went to a conference in D.C. to meet with other veterans agency heads, which confirmed what he “already knew — that Wisconsin is truly a national leader.” The state veteran’s museum, he noted, is a Smithsonian affiliate and while veterans cemeteries across the country are no longer accepting new people, Wisconsin’s is “actually now taking people from other states.”

He said the agency is taking a look at how to address staffing and overtime levels but didn’t yet have an answer on how it’ll do so. He also said the state should “absolutely” have veteran service officers in all 72 counties, saying he’s “incredibly impressed” with the services they provide.

He called Walker’s proposal for the agency “solid,” noting it adds more direct care staff at the King home and it funds a study on the needs of women veterans. The agency is going through the proposal and see if there are “other things that we want to do or modify,” he said.

Veterans groups threw their support behind Zimmerman’s appointment, with VFW Wisconsin State Commander Mike Eggleston saying “his communication has been fantastic.”

The committee also unanimously approved Yash Wadhwa’s appointment as railroads commissioner for a term that ends in 2023. Walker first appointed him in January 2016 to replace former Commissioner Jeff Plale.

U.S. Rep. Duffy: Sends Letter To Tillerson & Haley Regarding ISIS Genocide Of Christians & Other Religious Minorities

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Mark Bednar; 202-738-0744

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI), today sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley requesting an update on what actions the United States has taken since former Secretary of State John Kerry declared that ISIS has been committing genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities.

The letter, in part, said:

“We are writing to request an update on what actions the United States has taken, since the declaration by former Secretary of State John Kerry on March 17, 2016, that ISIS has been committing genocide against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities, to investigate the perpetrators and hold them accountable.

“Additionally, we urge you to ensure that the United States is leading efforts at the United Nations and elsewhere to bring worldwide attention to the atrocities committed by ISIS against religious and ethnic minorities and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We urge you to press the U.N. Security Council to authorize a formal investigation into genocide and other atrocity crimes of ISIS, against the full range of victims, so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.

“The U.N. must stop waiting for and relying on the government of Iraq to approve prosecuting ISIS perpetrators who committed their crimes in Iraq. There must also be a mechanism that focuses exclusively on the crimes of ISIS, rather than the “International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011” which also includes crimes committed in the context of the civil war in Syria.

“The need for action is urgent. One year since the genocide declaration of former Secretary Kerry, ISIS continues to terrorize innocent civilians in Iraq, Syria, and all over the world. To date, no ISIS perpetrator has been tried for genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes, evidence that the international community has done too little to hold them accountable.”

Background:

The bipartisan letter was signed by members of both the House & Senate

To read the letter in its entirety, click HERE.

U.S. Rep. Grothman: Votes to advance American Health Care Act

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Contact: Bernadette Green, (202) 225-2476

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) today voted to advance the American Health Care Act (AHCA) out of the House Budget Committee, which will allow the bill to continue the process towards a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Grothman voted for the bill with the understanding that changes will be made to the AHCA before it comes to the House floor. House rules prevent amendments from being added to the bill in the Budget Committee.

Changes Grothman would be happy to see made to the AHCA include:

  • Implementing work requirements for able-bodied adults on Medicaid without dependents. Medicaid coverage is currently more generous than many of the plans offered by employers to working Wisconsinites. Grothman spoke out about this during today’s committee mark-up.
  • Moving up the end date for Medicaid expansions. This will stop the preferential treatment of higher reimbursement rates for working age adults over the more vulnerable populations of children, the elderly and the disabled.
  • Lowering the age that young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance plans from 26 to 23. This is the same as the TRICARE age limit for the adult children of our military families who are currently enrolled in college.
  • Shifting the allocation of Medicaid block grants from fluctuating amounts that are based on per-capita rates to lump sum amounts. This will reduce spending while giving more control to the states to handle their own Medicaid programs.

“Since the start of this Congress, Republicans’ first and foremost priority has been to repeal and replace Obamacare. The American Health Care Act works towards providing relief for American families who have been saddled with skyrocketing health care costs,” said Grothman. “I believe many of my concerns will be addressed by the time the AHCA reaches the House floor, and I am sure it will be a viable solution to ensure affordable and accessible health care coverage for Americans.”

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U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his second term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Link to the release here: http://grothman.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=278

 

U.S. Rep. Moore: Trump budget blueprint to cause irreparable damage to working- and middle-class Americans

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Washington D.C. – In response to the release of the Trump Administration’s FY2018 Budget Blueprint, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) released the following statement:
“Since the moment he assumed the Office of the President, Donald Trump has deliberately courted the most extreme elements of the alt-right and conservative movements through cavalier assurances to wreak havoc on government agencies and initiatives without regard for the consequences. He vowed to address the most pressing issues facing communities across the country. Instead, he is dismantling the progress made over the past eight years. To date, his administration has targeted the Environmental Protection Agency, Wall Street regulators, and the safety net programs intended to help people in need. Today, we saw the next dangerous step in his misguided agenda.
“The release of the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget has already prompted numerous calls of concern from my constituents. Not only do they see the harm inherent in this proposal, but they fear for their families’ future in the face of such extreme funding cuts. They recognize that the taxpayer dollars at risk help them secure a roof over their heads, provide women in poverty with access to health care services from Planned Parenthood, and ensure future generations can enjoy Lake Michigan — one of our district’s most prized natural resources. Even our senior citizens may lose out, as the funding supporting the Meals on Wheels program is gutted.
“This budget is symptomatic of an administration with total disregard for our most vulnerable, especially as students in poverty lose out on opportunities for higher education, communities of color suffer the loss of development grants, and working-class families go without the energy assistance programs that keep them warm during the coldest of seasons. Fighting these cutbacks will not be easy, but if we work together, we can enact a budget that protects these programs and provides economic opportunities and healthy outcomes for all Americans.”
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U.S. Reps. Sensenbrenner, Moore: Send bipartisan letter to remove tariffs that would hurt Wisconsin businesses

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CONTACT: Nicole Tieman, 202-225-5101
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner and Gwen Moore sent a letter to Office of the United States Trade Representative Chairman William L. Busis urging him to remove certain motorcycles from the tariffs being proposed on the European Union, which would have detrimental impacts on small-and-medium sized U.S. businesses that sell such motorcycles:

Dear Mr. Busis:

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is currently seeking comments in connection with a request from representatives of the U.S. beef industry to reinstate certain retaliatory actions against the European Union (EU) pursuant to Section 306(c) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.  Included in the list of products under consideration for the imposition of increased duties are motorcycles, including mopeds, over 50 cubic centimeters of engine displacement, but not over 500 cubic centimeters from the EU (HTS 87112000 and 87113000). We write today to share our concerns that imposing retaliatory duties against these types of motorcycles would harm the U.S. domestic motorcycle industry, as well as small- and medium-business dealers across the United States and in our state of Wisconsin.

We are aware that three of the largest U.S. motorcycle manufacturers – including the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, which is headquartered and manufactures in Wisconsin – have voiced their concerns with such tariffs.  We are similarly concerned that motorcycles should not be used as leverage in a trade dispute over agricultural issues, given such an action is unlikely to be effective in resolving the underlying issue.  Furthermore, we are concerned that levying retaliatory tariffs against European motorcycles in this dispute could increase the chance of retaliatory actions against Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any future trade dispute, including disputes completely unrelated to motorcycles.

Finally, we are very concerned with the impact such tariffs could have on small- and medium-sized businesses that carry these motorcycles, including dealers located in Wisconsin, as well motorcycle consumer and enthusiast communities across the United States.  We understand such an action would threaten well over 4,000 jobs at dealerships across the United States.

While USTR has the authority and duty to impose retaliatory tariffs against countries that fail to abide by their World Trade Organization obligations, we ask that your agency give heavy weight to the views of U.S. domestic industry and affected small businesses and decline to impose increased duties on motorcycles and mopeds from Europe.

Sincerely,

Gwen Moore

Member of Congress

F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.

Member of Congress

 

Voces de la Frontera: Sheboygan community members condemn hate resolution

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Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman | [email protected] | 414.469.9206

SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN – On Monday, March 20th, at 6pm, the Sheboygan Common Council is expected to vote on an anti-immigrant hate resolution written by Alderman Job Hou-Seye. Resolution 200 instructs the Sheboygan Police to detain community members for deportation who “cannot provide proof of U.S. Citizenship.”

Voces de la Frontera’s Sheboygan chapter will hold a press conference to oppose the resolution on Monday, March 20th at 5:30pm outside of Sheboygan City Hall (828 Center Ave #100, Sheboygan, WI 53081). Community members will then attend the vote to show their opposition to the measure.

“If passed, this resolution will divide families,” said Lina Moreno, a Voces de la Frontera member who has lived in Sheboygan with her family for over 13 years. “Parents will be worried that when they leave their homes, they might not come back to their children. We don’t want more families in poverty, more children forced to grow up without their fathers. Immigrant families are part of this community. We make this community better. We just want our families to be treated with dignity. Sheboygan is our home, and we are organizing to defeat this hateful proposal. We are grateful for the many people who are standing with us.”

“This absurd, unconstitutional resolution would promote discrimination,” said Sheboygan resident Elliott Magers. “It is divisive and hurtful, especially considering Sheboygan’s proud history of welcoming immigrants and refugees. This is not who we are, and that’s why a broad coalition is coming together to defeat this resolution.”

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Voces de la Frontera
1027 South 5th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204-1734
United States

Wisconsin Alliance for Reform: U.S. Sen. Baldwin can’t explain why she failed to act

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At a town hall Sunday, Senator Tammy Baldwin again could not explain her failure to act on information she received about the problems at the Tomah VA.  In 2014, Baldwin was contacted by a whistle blower and received an Inspector General report that detailed the prescription issues at the Tomah VA.  The whistle blower repeatedly reached out to Baldwin’s office imploring her to act on the information included in the report.

In August 2014, a young marine died as a result of mixed drug toxicity, in the 72 hours preceding his death he received 54 doses of 13 different drugs.  Since these events unfolded, Baldwin has been unable to explain why she and her staff failed to act.  Baldwin has also been unable to explain why she fired one staff member, Marquette Taylor, while retaining her chief-of-staff and demoting her state director.

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Wisconsin DOT: Need an ID for voting? Several DMV service centers offer Saturday hours

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Patricia Mayers, WisDOT Office of Public Affairs, (608) 266-5599, [email protected]

With Wisconsin’s spring election weeks away, voters needing an ID are reminded that several Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) service centers in larger cities offer Saturday hours. To obtain an ID card, people can begin the process online using the official DMV webpage (wisconsindmv.gov) where they can locate or check wait times at their nearest DMV service center and get a checklist of documents to bring. DMV service centers open Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. include Milwaukee Northwest, Milwaukee Southwest, Madison East, Madison Odana, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau and Appleton.

To obtain an official photo ID card, some documentation is required, such as a birth certificate. If all documentation is not readily available, the ID Petition Process can be used to obtain a receipt valid for voting while the remaining documents or verifications are obtained. DMV offers this service and card free of charge for voting purposes. The DMV’s voter ID hotline, (844) 588-1069, is available for questions on obtaining an ID to vote.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission website, Bring It To The Ballot, lists other forms of ID acceptable for voting purposes and has information regarding voter eligibility, poll locations and other election information.

Most people have a driver license or ID and therefore already have a form of identification to vote. A person may not have more than one valid driver license or ID at any time. For customers who need to replace a lost card (obtain a duplicate) or simply want to update their address on their records, wisconsindmv.gov offers convenient online tools and a visit to a DMV may not be necessary.

Only the website with .gov is the official state website. Others with .org and .com are not official and may list information that is dated or incorrect or have extra charges for forms. In addition to the expanding services on its website, WisDOT connects with customers on Facebook and Twitter @WisconsinDOT.

Media note: Photo of a Wisconsin ID card is available in the Newsroom photo gallery.

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Wisconsin Hospital Association: Commonwealth ranks Wisconsin health system performance 11th best in nation

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Contact: Mary Kay Grasmick, [email protected]608-274-1820, or cell 608-575-7516

MADISON (March 17, 2017) —– A newly released scorecard by the Commonwealth Fund ranked Wisconsin the 11th best state in the country based on health system performance, with several communities here ranking in the top-quintile nationally.

The Scorecard ranks every state and the District of Columbia across five broad areas: health care access, prevention and treatment, avoidable hospital use and cost, healthy lives and equity. Wisconsin ranked in the top or second quartile in 35 of the 44 measures that were used in the ranking.

Using the most recent data available, the Scorecard also ranked 306 regional health care markets known as “hospital referral regions” on four main dimensions of performance encompassing 36 measures. There are five measures of hospital care and a mix that includes nursing home, ambulatory and population health.

Appleton ranked 5th highest in the nation among the 306 U.S. communities included in the report, with Madison (13th), La Crosse (15th) and Green Bay (19th) scoring in the top quintile. Wausau, Neenah, Marshfield and Milwaukee ranked in the top quartile. Milwaukee topped more than 231 health care markets across the country.

“Wisconsin’s outstanding performance on this scorecard is not a surprise given the clinical excellence of the health care professionals working within our health systems,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding, “Our strong performance is bolstered by the high degree of care integration in our state and the continuing commitment of our hospitals, health systems and care providers to quality improvement.”

Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are closely aligned with physicians, long-term care facilities, home health and often health plans to ensure that care is coordinated across settings.  This leads to not just better quality care, but better outcomes and ultimately better value for the dollars spent on health care, according to Borgerding.

Readmissions continue to decrease in Wisconsin, one of the measures that was included in the Commonwealth report.

“Our hospitals and health systems continue to make progress in reducing readmissions, which aligns to the work that WHA has been doing with members over the past four years through our own project,”  according to Kelly Court, WHA chief quality officer. “This year we joined with Illinois and Michigan to form the Great Lakes Partners for Patients collaborative to extend our learning network and ability to collaborate with hundreds of hospitals and health systems in three states. We believe that collaboration is the best way to speed the adoption of best practices and improve patient care.”

The report noted that the most pervasive improvements in health system performance occurred where policymakers and health system leaders created programs, incentives, or collaborations to ensure access to care and improve the quality and efficiency of care.

“Every hospital and health system in the state is collaborating with community partners to raise the health status of Wisconsin’s residents, which in turn will help moderate increases in health care costs,” Borgerding said. “Wisconsin providers are moving forward and not waiting for changes in the reimbursement system that recognize and pay for prevention. They are helping people now to stay well and avoid encounters with the health care system, which will create heathier communities that will attract economic development in our state, as well.”

 

 

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty: Sues state of Wisconsin for its protectionist butter law

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Dairy State’s unconstitutional law could send you to jail for selling Kerrygold butter

March 17, 2017 – Milwaukee, WI – On behalf of four consumers and Slow Pokes Local Foods, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty has filed a lawsuit against the State of Wisconsin to preserve the freedom to buy and sell whatever type of butter one wishes to.  Wisconsin’s current protectionist law prohibits the sale of any butter that hasn’t been labeled by government taste testers.  This archaic labeling regime prevents Wisconsin residents from enjoying very popular butters such asKerrygold, a high-quality Irish import.  Violators risk jail time or thousands of dollars in fines.  Wisconsin is the only state in the country with specific and onerous labeling requirements that prevent the sale of Kerrygold and other similarly produced butters.

According to WILL President Rick Esenberg, “Because the Wisconsin butter law serves no adequate government purpose, it is one of those laws that violate the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Wisconsin Constitution.  The requirement that sellers of butter engage in compelled speech – that they publicize the government’s opinion of how a butter tastes – also violates the guarantee of free speech.”

“Wisconsin is well known as the ‘dairy state’, so it is ironic that Wisconsin consumers and businesses don’t have a full range of butter options like every other state in the union,” added Associate Counsel Jake Curtis.  “The protectionist labeling requirements of the butter law in no way relate to health or safety concerns and therefore the state of Wisconsin has no rational basis for impeding the economic freedom of Wisconsin consumers and businesses.  We have all the confidence in the world that Wisconsin’s butter producers can compete with the likes of Kerrygold.  But in order for the state of Wisconsin to continue its upward climb, we cannot remain in the business of erecting, or in this case preserving, artificial barriers to product entry.”

A 1953 Wisconsin law requires all butter sold in the State be sampled by government-licensed “butter tasters.”  Once tasted, butter is issued a grade and then labeled during the packaging process.  Wisconsin is the only state in the union to impose such a labeling requirement.  Those who sell butter in Wisconsin without the proper label face up to one year in a county jail, up to $5,000 in fines, and a permanent injunction against future butter sales.

As highlighted by recent media accounts – locally, nationally, and even internationally – the butter law has prevented Wisconsin grocery stores from legally selling certain brands of butter.  One example is the incredibly popular Kerrygold butter, made in Ireland.  Kerrygold claims to produce the “sweetest, richest milk in the world, which makes our grass-fed cow’s milk Irish butter taste silky and creamy and glow a healthy, golden yellow.”

Unfortunately Wisconsin consumers, such as WILL clients Jean Smith, Amber Marzahl, Nicole Batzel and Kathleen McGlone, and businesses such as WILL client Slow Pokes Local Foods in Grafton, are not free to legally test whether Kerrygold’s butter is in fact the “silkiest” or “creamiest” butter in the world.  WILL’s clients, who in some cases have been able to get their hands on the creamy contraband by traveling to other states, wish to have the freedom to enjoy the butter of their choice without risking time in their local county jail, thousands of dollars in fines, and a permanent injunction against selling the butter.

Protectionist measures such as the Wisconsin butter labeling requirements are inconsistent with the competitive federalism championed by WILL’s Center for Competitive Federalism.  States are certainly free to set their own polices.  However, as courts have long held, a state may not protect favored interests from the impact of those policies without a clearly defined rational basis.  Wisconsin has no such basis in this case.

WILL President Rick Esenberg and Attorneys Jake Curtis and Clyde Taylor filed the lawsuit in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.  The full complaint can be found here.  For additional information regarding WILL and its Center for Competitive Federalism, including a full listing of its policy reports and model legislation, please visit the CCF website.

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March 19, 2017 | March 16, 2017
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