2019 June 11

Daily Archives: June 11, 2019

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative: Midwest dairy farmers back waivers for early harvest of cover crops


Contact: Jamie Mara
Director of strategic communications
(920) 209-3990 | [email protected]

— Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, issued a statement today after the introduction of a federal bill that would allow early harvest of cover crops in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prevented planting program.

The Feed Emergency Enhancement During Disasters Act (FEEDD Act) would provide emergency flexibility to help alleviate livestock feed concerns caused by this year’s wet weather.

U.S. Reps. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, and Angie Craig, D-Minnesota, late Monday announced the bill, which would give the agriculture secretary authority to provide a waiver to allow for haying, grazing or chopping of a cover crop before Nov. 1 in the event of a feed shortage due to wet or drought conditions. Farmers would avoid taking a further discount on their crop insurance.

Many Edge members and other farmers throughout the Midwest have been affected by the extraordinary weather conditions.

The following is a statement from Mitch Davis, treasurer of Edge and general manager of Davis Family Dairies in south-central Minnesota, Rep. Craig’s home state:

“I want to thank Representatives Johnson and Craig for their leadership on this issue. Our cooperative represents dairy farms throughout the Upper Midwest, and many of them are struggling to get a crop in and are concerned about what the feed outlook is for the coming year. The FEEDD Act will give dairy farmers and other livestock producers much needed flexibility as we work through the challenges caused by an unusually wet spring.”

Edge’s policy team has been raising the issue with lawmakers and agencies in recent weeks as an option for members in need of additional livestock feed. Under current rules, farmers cannot utilize cover crops before Nov. 1 if they choose to receive the prevented planting indemnity.

Click here for a press release from the lawmakers.

Tweet about this: #Dairy farm group @voiceofmilk supports emergency waivers for cover crop harvesting

About Edge:

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers throughout the Midwest with a powerful voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within their communities. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is one of the top cooperatives in the country based on milk volume. For more information, visit voiceofmilk.com.

GOP JFC nixes Evers’ CAFO fee hike


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Gov. Evers: Announces $100,000 coastal grant for Green Bay


Contact: [email protected] or 608-219-7443

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced a $100,000 grant that will improve the shoreline at Bay Beach Amusement Park by constructing a new, ADA-accessible shoreline walk.

Administered by the Department of Administration’s Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, this and previously announced coastal grants will be used by local, state and tribal governments, regional planning commissions, universities, and nonprofit organizations to assist with projects throughout Wisconsin.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy our state’s natural resources. This grant for the City of Green Bay means more opportunities for everyone to recreate and appreciate the beach at the Bay Beach Amusement Park, and I believe will be economically beneficial to the entire region,” said Gov. Evers.

The intergovernmental and private sector collaborations aided by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program advance Wisconsin and regional Great Lakes priorities such as enhancing public access, sustainable use practices, community development and resiliency, fostering future stewards, and resource protection.

Gov. Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, and DOA Secretary-designee Joel Brennan will make additional grant announcements and presentations in the coming weeks.

JFC approves $1.9 billion capital budget, $600 million less than Evers proposed

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JFC approves Stewardship Fund extension

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Major progress in addressing the wastewater permitting audit


MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after the Joint Committee on Finance approved Omnibus Motion #143 which, among other things, adopts 2019 Senate Bill 31, authored by Senators Cowles and Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Representative Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa), and provides for a total of four positions in the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) program to address a backlog in the issuance and reissuance of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) wastewater permits, discovered in a 2016 audit of the WPDES program (Audit Report 16-6):

“While I’m happy to see these changes, implementing the recommendations from Audit Report 16-6 should have been an easy lift, but it hasn’t been. Water quality should be a bipartisan issue. Through numerous follow-ups over the past three years as Co-Chair of the Audit Committee, we’ve seen positive changes that have reduced the industrial and municipal permit backlogs. However, despite efforts, the Department of Natural Resources has failed to adequately issue the permits necessary to meet the agricultural permitting backlog goal. Given that the WPDES program is one of our state’s primary tools to protect water quality, this continued backlog is far more than a clerical concern.

“Business owners deal with enough red tape without the added frustration of permits being delayed. The four positions I advocated for in this budget motion will prove to be pivotal in reducing the agricultural permitting backlog. This motion is accomplished without the taxpayers footing the bill through reallocating existing permit revenue to the permitting division and through other segregated accounts. While this motion doesn’t close the book on the 2016 audit, it moves towards creating a more accountable, effective, and transparent permitting program to achieve improved water quality and provide Wisconsin’s farmers with the regulatory certainty the program currently lacks.”

Nygren says JFC not looking to add wedding barn regulations to state budget

Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. John Nygren is strongly denying a charge that the state’s budget panel is looking to “(smuggle) into the budget” an amendment that would put in place new regulations on so-called wedding barns.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty was among a coalition of groups that in a letter yesterday asserted that “there may be an effort underway” to include language in the state budget that would force the venues to obtain a liquor license before allowing consumption of alcohol on the premises. The Department of Revenue currently does not require wedding barns to hold such permits.

But in a tweet, the Marinette Republican called the contention “a boldface lie” and suggested that WILL was “looking to fundraise on this issue.”

WILL later indicated the letter was not specifically targeting Nygren or JFC members. Rather, the group had heard from sources inside the Capitol that the Tavern League — a trade group representing bars, taverns and restaurants that has been staunchly opposed to unlicensed wedding barns — is pushing for the measure to be added through the 999 motion. That’s typically the final addition to the budget while it is before the finance panel.

“It’s unfortunate special interests have been considering a secret attempt to do so,” said WILL Executive Vice President CJ Szafir.

The letter, WILL said, was an effort to prevent that from happening. The conservative group indicated that Nygren’s tweet actually showed they were on the same page as the JFC.

The issue of regulating wedding barns has been brewing for some time, even drawing a last-minute attempt last session to change state law. But that effort was dropped, and a study committee on the topic didn’t get anywhere.

Outgoing AG Brad Schimel issued a nonbinding informal opinion late last year that wedding barns needed a liquor license, a break with longstanding state practice. But a spokeswoman for Gov. Tony Evers indicated in March that the administration would not support such a change.

Read the letter:

Pines Bach LLP: Welcomes new partner, Joshua J. Kindkeppel


Contact: Lisa Fox
[email protected]
(608) 251-0101

MADISON, Wis. – The prominent Madison law firm Pines Bach LLP is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Joshua J. Kindkeppel as a Partner in the firm’s business, real estate, and employment law practices.

Kindkeppel handles business start-ups, represents clients in business acquisitions and guides owners through break-ups and dissolutions. He prepares, negotiates, and advises clients on contracts and enjoys representing clients in commercial and residential real estate purchases/sales. His practice also includes the areas of business and real estate litigation, representing professionals in licensing appeals, and mediating cases through the Dane County Case Mediation Program. Over the years, Kindkeppel has represented a variety of businesses and professionals including attorneys, accountants, contractors, childcare providers, dentists, engineers, farmers, therapists, and more.

Many of the 16 attorneys at Pines Bach continue to be honored with the highest levels of peer recognition for excellent legal work by being named as Super Lawyers™, included in Best Lawyers in America and chosen as members of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Litigation Council of America.

Pines Bach has a wide-ranging practice that includes civil and criminal litigation, family law and representation of health care organizations and businesses. It litigates cases in the areas of labor and employment, environmental protection, personal injury, commercial disputes, public policy issues, open records claims and white collar and other criminal defense cases. Its attorneys regular

Protect Our Care: As Medicaid expansion makes America healthier, Wisconsin still lags behind


Contact: Joe Zepecki
[email protected]

– Protect Our Care released a new report today detailing the benefits of Medicaid expansion in communities across America. This report confirms what we already know: Wisconsin Republicans’ refusal to expand Medicaid is limiting Wisconsinites’ access to health care.

The report documents improved maternal health, reduced racial disparities in coverage, increased access to treatment for opioid use disorder, and advancements in disease-specific diagnosis and treatment in states that expanded Medicaid. While Medicaid expansion has allowed millions across the country to access quality, affordable health care, Wisconsinites are missing out on these benefits as state Republicans stall on Medicaid expansion.

Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement about the report:

“It’s undeniable that Medicaid expansion has enabled more Americans to receive coverage and improved access to vital health care services in communities across the country. Republicans who continue to wage a war against Medicaid do so at their own political peril, and as the program continues to improve the lives of millions, the GOP’s relentless sabotage efforts place even more Americans at risk of losing coverage.”

View the full report: Let’s Expand On That: Medicaid Expansion Has Made America Healthier But GOP Sabotage Threatens Those Gains

Rep. Born: Statement on capital budget


Madison- Today, Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance put forward a proposal that significantly invests in our state’s buildings and infrastructure. The capital budget proposal includes nearly $2 billion in total spending to renovate, repair, and replace aging state owned facilities.

“The action taken today by my colleagues and I was a historic investment,” said Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam). “We funded necessary maintenance and repair projects in all areas of state government, especially in our UW-System, that will be a catalyst for growth and innovation in our communities.”

Included in the Republican proposal was over $1.2 billion in projects for the UW-System. The plan included full funding for two new science buildings at UW-Milwaukee and UW- Eau Claire, and a new veterinary school at UW-Madison. Republicans also signed off on a new State History Museum on the Capitol square.

“The sound budgeting decisions of the past 8 years has given the state the ability to reinvest in our state’s infrastructure with an ambitious capital budget that stays within our means,” said Born. “These nearly 50 projects, across all corners of our state, are necessary priorities that help our state continue to thrive.”

Reps. Petryk, James, Pronschinske, Quinn & Summerfield: UW-Eau Claire Science Hall replacement included in state budget


State Representative Warren Petryk (608) 266-0660
State Representative Jesse James (608) 266-9172
State Representative Treig Pronschinske (608) 266-7015
State Representative Romaine Quinn (608) 266-2519
State Representative Rob Summerfield (608) 266-1194

Madison – Today the Budget writing committee officially voted to include the UW-Eau Claire Science Hall building as part of the state budget. The motion to include the project was part of a joint state budget request submitted by local Assembly Republican legislators Representatives Warren Petryk, Jesse James, Treig Pronschinske, Romaine Quinn, and Rob Summerfield.

“Today’s action by the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance means that the UW-Eau Claire Science Hall building project is one step closer to becoming reality. This project will continue the knowledge boom our area is already experiencing and will ensure that we remain a national leader in undergraduate research. The positive vote today would not have been possible without the strong advocacy of my fellow Assembly colleagues, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and its strong partnership with the Mayo Clinic,” said Representative Warren Petryk (R-Eleva).

“This budget motion was a huge lift for my Republican colleagues and I. The new science building represents an enormous investment into the UW-Eau Claire campus that will be a game changer for both our educational and healthcare community. At a price tag of $250 million, this project is more than enough reason for northwestern legislators to put aside their differences and pass the upcoming budget,” said Representative Romaine Quinn (R-Barron).

“After months of hard work, I am glad to see funding for a new science building at UW-Eau Claire has been approved! This project will have a tremendous impact on our community and ensure that the Chippewa Valley will remain on the cutting edge of healthcare science,” said Representative Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer).

“In an age of technology, we need to encourage our youth and provide them with further STEM opportunities. That is why today I am thankful the Joint Committee on Finance supported the UW-Eau Claire Phillips Hall project with the partnership of Mayo Clinic. It will not only give the Eau Claire area many benefits but the surrounding communities that include my district as well,” said Representative Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi).

“I want to extend a huge thanks to all who fought for this project and saw it come alive- Chancellor Schmidt, Bill McCoshen, Dr. Rick Helmers, Governor Tommy Thompson and my fellow colleagues, especially Representative Born and Representative Swearingen. The old building is dead, it no longer meets the needs of students and their demands for lab space. This is a very exciting time for UW-Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley. This is a proud legacy to the state with Mayo Clinic Health Systems and I’m glad to have played a small part,” said Representative Jesse James (R-Altoona).

Once the committee completes its work the budget will be sent to the full Assembly and Senate before being sent to the Governor.

Sen. Marklein: Praises JFC actions on agriculture, natural resources & capital investments

Madison, WI – Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) made the following statement on the Joint Finance Committee’s (JFC’s) actions to support agriculture, natural resources and capital investments.

“I am proud of the JFC’s investments in agriculture, natural resources and capital investments in the legislature’s version of the state budget.

The JFC funded the Dairy Innovation Hub – the Dairy Task Force 2.0’s top priority. I am proud to be the author of the legislation with my colleague Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City). Our persistence got it done. We are being responsive to dairy farmers as we allocate $8.8 million for development of the Dairy Innovation Hub at UW Madison, UW Platteville and UW River Falls.

We also invested $678,900 for positions at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for supporting the future of Industrial Hemp farming and we created four positions to support the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) program. Farmers told us that they needed more support for these areas to relieve backlogs, protect the environment and encourage growth in a new industry.

I have heard from dozens of constituents who asked me to reauthorize the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program because Governor Tony Evers did not do that in his budget. We voted to continue this popular land acquisition and improvement program for the next two years.

The Elroy-Sparta and 400 State Trails near the City of Elroy and the Villages of LaValle and Union Center were also highlighted in our decision to provide $100,000 for State Trail Repairs. We are also requiring the DNR to make repairs this summer. Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) championed this part of our budget work. Thanks Rep. Kurtz!

Finally, the JFC’s capital budget takes care of existing buildings and properties throughout the state. In the 17th Senate District, we are investing $1 million in the Campground Shower Building at Yellowstone State Park in Lafayette County.”

Marklein represents the 17th Senate District, which includes all or parts Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties. Marklein serves on the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee and is Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue & Financial Institutions.

Sen. Nass: State building program sets new historic high at $1.9 Billion


Sen. Steve Nass (608) 266-2635

Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) issued the following statement regarding the Joint Finance Committee’s approval of a new record high State Building Program with $1.9 billion in bonding (all funding sources). The previous record high came during Governor Jim Doyle’s term in 2009-11 with $1.7 billion in bonding for state building projects.

“Excessive spending and bonding is now the rage in the State Capitol as Republicans try to buy Governor Evers’ support for our version of the budget. $1.9 billion for the state building program will come at the expense of taxpayers and higher fees throughout state government in the future, especially in the UW System.

Tonight was another win for big spending and a loss for the taxpayers. It is becoming more difficult by the day to vote in favor of the budget in two weeks.”

TUE AM Update: JFC to take up taxes, capital budget today

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TUE News Summary: GOP eyes $400M middle-class tax cut; judge approves Foxconn water diversion

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TUE PM Update: JFC to shift votes on taxes to Thursday; Kaul joins lawsuit to stop T-Mobile, Sprint merger

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UW System: Statements on Joint Finance Committee capital budget vote


MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross issued this statement today:

“I deeply appreciate the Joint Finance Committee’s very strong investment in the University of Wisconsin System’s infrastructure. This will help us modernize laboratories and classrooms, repair aging and unsafe facilities, and replace obsolete structures. This long-term investment will help attract and retain more students and faculty.”

UW System Board of Regents President Drew Petersen issued this statement today:

“The investment in our facilities forwarded by the Committee today will have a significant impact on our students, faculty, and staff. The Board of Regents greatly appreciates the legislature’s support and commitment to make these critical improvements.”

UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health: Calkins honored with Max Fox Award for medical education


Contact: Andrew Hellpap
(608) 316-9786
[email protected]

– The UW School of Medicine and Public Health will bestow the prestigious 2018 Max Fox Preceptor Award to a family practice doctor from Westby.

Dr. William Calkins, who practices at the Vernon Memorial Healthcare’s Bland Clinic, received the award, now in its 50th year, that is named in honor of Dr. Max Fox, the first award recipient in 1969.

The award is given to an outstanding preceptor or preceptors (private practitioner who instructs medical students at his or her clinic) whose effective service as a mentor and teacher has guided UW medical students.

“A primary goal of the school is to increase the number of physicians who practice medicine in Wisconsin, especially in underserved rural and urban settings,” said Dr. Robert Golden, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “Dr. Calkins serves as an outstanding role model for our students, providing each of them with individualized learning experiences in a rural setting.”

Students typically do their training with preceptors in the fourth year of medical school before graduation and going into a residency program, as a means of learning how to apply their training to real-world settings.

The school recently completed a transition to a new medical student curriculum called the ForWard curriculum. With this change, the traditional fourth-year preceptorship was transitioned to the Ambulatory Acting Internship, or AAI, as of July 2017.

The AAI maintains the emphasis on exposure to real-world medicine outside of an academic setting, and focuses on building skills in patient care that students will need immediately when they graduate from medical school and begin postgraduate residency clinical training programs.

Today, 50 physicians from 35 different communities across Wisconsin teach in the Ambulatory Acting Internship.

The Max Fox Award ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m., June 13, at the Branches Winery in Westby.

WisPolitics Midday: June 11, 2019


In today’s WisPolitics Midday update:

  • Republicans say cutting taxes for middle class still a priority.
  • Sen Tammy Baldwin urging President Trump to not close a Northwoods job center.
  • Conservative group opposes a mileage-based fee on drivers.

WMC: Encourages JFC to reject Gov. Evers’ $365 million tax hike plan

MADISON –  Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) called for Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) members to reject a number of tax hike proposals included in Gov. Tony Evers’ budget when they gather for a vote this week. Specifically, the Committee should oppose seven provisions that aim to create conformity between the state and federal tax code that would result in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax increases.
“Employers large and small would be hit hard by Gov. Evers’ plan to raise taxes,” said WMC General Counsel and Director of Tax, Transportation & Legal Affairs Cory Fish. “JFC members should take this opportunity to defend job creators and wholly reject the governor’s call for higher taxes.”
WMC encourages JFC to remove the following tax hikes from the state budget:
  • Loss Limitation for Pass-Through Taxpayers
  • It would increase taxes by $70.4 million in 2019-20 and $66.3 million in 2020-21.
  • Limitation on the Deduction for Business Interest
  • It would increase taxes by $87.0 million in 2019-20 and $83.5 million in 2020-21.
  • Accounting Rules for Accrual Method Taxpayers
  • It would increase taxes by $10.5 million in 2019-20 and $7.9 million in 2020-21.
  • Limitation on FDIC Premium Deduction
  • It would increase taxes by $7.3 million in 2019-20 and $5.8 million in 2020-21.
  • Limitation on Deduction for Highly Paid Individuals
  • It would increase taxes by $4.5 million in 2019-20 and $3.6 million in 2020-21.
  • Limitation on Employers Deduction for Entertainment, Amusement and Recreation Expenses
  • It would increase taxes by $10.1 million in 2019-20 and $8.2 million in 2020-21.
  • Amortization of Research Expenses
  • Because of a delayed effective date, this would have no impact on the current budget, but it would increase taxes by $76.9 million in 2021-22 and $83.2 million in 2022-23.
The seven provisions of the federal tax code that were cherry-picked by the Evers’ administration would target businesses with $365 million in tax hikes during the 2019-21 biennium, and it would be even worse in future years.
“Wisconsin’s job creators should not be forced to pay $365 million in additional taxes when we have had budget surpluses year after year,” added Fish. “We hope members of the Finance Committee will put taxpayers first and, instead, find ways to reduce the tax burden on our employers and employees.”
For more information, please contact:
Nick Novak, 608.258.3400

Youth Justice Milwaukee: Statement on the juvenile justice budget decisions before the Joint Committee on Finance


For immediate release:
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Contact: Sharlen Moore, 414.975.6100, [email protected]com

Youth Justice Milwaukee (YJM) has reviewed the budget papers for the 2019-21 biennial state budget to determine the courses of action for each item that we believe will produce the best comparative outcomes to reduce harm to children, families, and communities around the state.

Youth Justice Milwaukee has chosen to make its recommendations public to raise the level of awareness about the future direction of youth justice in Wisconsin.  For the past several months, as lawmakers have held public listening sessions and debated the state budget, the voices of the most vulnerable stakeholders in the youth justice system were not included.

“Decision-makers must understand how critical it is to have ongoing meaningful input from the people who are most impacted by the justice system to make informed decisions that will affect thousands of people for generations to come,” said Sharlen Moore, Co-founder of Youth Justice Milwaukee.

YJM urges lawmakers to work across party lines to prevent and divert children from entering the justice system by investing in effective, community-based services. Research conclusively demonstrates that incarceration increases violence and recidivism (re-offense) among children.  The people of Wisconsin cannot afford to continue to waste money and lives on a failed model.


Paper #251 2017 Act 185 (Corrections — Juvenile Corrections)

YJM is in favor of Alternative C. 1. “A. C. Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake Closing Date 1. Approve the Governor’s recommendation to allow Corrections to transfer juveniles as soon as a substitute placement that meets the needs of the juvenile are ready. Further, close Lincoln Hills once all juveniles are transferred to SRCC’s or a new state facility.”

If this is not possible due to lack of support, YJM is in favor of Alternative C. 4. 4. Take no action.”

It is not acceptable to select the second alternative, which would extend the closure of the two prisons by a full 18 months to July 1, 2022.

Paper #255 Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center — Expansion and Funding Transfer from DOC (Corrections — Juvenile Corrections)

YJM is in favor of Alternative A. 3.
 “A. Funding and Positions for Initial Expansion 3. Take no action. Repeal statutory provisions enacted as part of Act 185 that require DHS to expand MJTC by not less than 29 beds.”

If this is not possible due to lack of support, YJM is in favor of Alternative A. 2. “2. Modify the Governor’s recommendation by reducing funding by $514,400 PR and position authority by 8.0 PR positions in 2020-21 to provide a total of $2,645,000 PR and 42.5 positions in 2020-21 for unit staff for a 14-bed expansion of MJTC, but no positions and funding for additional program staff for future expansion of MJTC. Repeal statutory provisions enacted as part of Act 185 that require DHS to expand MJTC by not less than 29 beds.”

Paper #211 Cost Reimbursement for Establishing Secured Residential Care Centers

YJM is in favor of Alternative A. 1.
  “A. SRCC Start-up Cost Reimbursement 1. Approve the Governor’s proposal to create a new annual sum certain GPR appropriation to reimburse counties for the for one-time start-up costs incurred by counties to establish SRCCs and provide funding of $3,500,000 GPR in 2020-21.

YJM is in favor of Alternative B. 2. “B. Youth Aids SRCC Bonus Payments 2. Modify the bill to provide $750,000 GPR in 2020-21 in order to fund youth aids bonuses for qualifying counties that operate a SRCC.”


June 12, 2019 | June 10, 2019
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