FRI News Summary: Evers ‘not giving up’ Medicaid expansion, meets with Foxconn’s Gou

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Evers: ‘I’m Going To Fight Like Hell’ For Medicaid Expansion
… [DHS Sec.] Palm has called the expansion the “anchor” of her department’s budget. Evers quickly called a press conference Thursday morning to respond to the GOP pushback. “I’m here today with a message for the people of Wisconsin: I’m going to fight like hell for Medicaid expansion and I need your help to get it done.” BadgerCare, expansion details. VOs at Thursday presser in Milwaukee still opposed, “Under his plan, we will actually see the potential of over $500 million increased costs in the private sector. … But we are never going to do it in a way that undermines private sector health insurance, drives up their cost, all while putting the taxpayers of Wisconsin at greater risk, should something change in Washington, D.C.” Dems continue to wave MU Law poll showing 70% support for Evers expansion. JFC Rep. Taylor: “Republicans politicians are, once again, not listening to the people of this state.” By White, WPR

Evers discusses meeting with Foxconn CEO with Racine, Kenosha editorial boards
… Evers met with … Gou inside the Signature flight terminal, reserved for private jets, at Mitchell International Airport on Thursday after Gou met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday. … Evers described the 30-minute meeting as “great conversation” … first step toward “building a good relationship. We talked a lot about what their plans were and it’s pretty much how it’s been defined previously. … We spent a lot of time talking about the transition from him being in charge of daily work in the company to [running for president of Taiwan and] turning over the helm to some of his colleagues,” Evers said. “I talked about our interests and that the company succeeds and that has always been our position.” … [rehash switch from Gen10.5 to Gen6, 13K job promise] “The fact that I said that they may not have 13,000 (jobs), it could be less, it could be more, to me it doesn’t matter,” Evers said. “I’m not doubting their word, I’m just saying that we want as much clarity as we can going forward and we talked about what they’re doing right now as far as building. They’re hoping to have the new plant up and running as soon as possible. … We’ll be supportive of (the Foxconn deal), I was never not supportive of that. … Any business, especially a large business, is going to have their detractors and attractors, this business is no different. I don’t want to contribute to that because frankly I want them to be successful.” … Gou then met with local officials [Speaker Vos, Mt. Pleasant chair DeGroot, Co. Exec. DelaGrave, REDC’s Trick] and Foxconn workers at the company’s building located at 13315 Globe Drive in Mount Pleasant. Delagrave said Gou spoke affectionately of WI, Racine County, “He looks forward to continuing the project and the investment that they’re making is a critical part of their business plan,” said vertical construction begins early June, “those contracts are going to be let pretty soon and hopefully in 30 days they’ll have the construction companies named and we’ll be on our way,” noted “national media put in some uncertainty” so “Foxconn now is going to be responding to these national reports right away.” Vos statement called the meeting a “positive step forward … Every time they are asked, Foxconn officials reiterate their commitment … Let’s hope now that they’ve met with Gov. Evers, we can put the political back and forth behind us. We’re all on the same team and we can’t have politics get in the way of this transformational project.” Foxconn issued statement on Trump meeting. Huckabee-Sanders for Trump: “Mr. Gou is spending a lot of money in Wisconsin and soon will announce even more investment there. The President and Mr. Gou did not discuss support for his campaign in Taiwan, he is just a great friend.” By Torres, RACINE JOURNAL TIMES

Foxconn Struggles to Put Wisconsin First
Progress is slow on promises to create jobs and support business in the state … according to a review … of Foxconn supply chain and budget documents covering much of 2018. … look at the early challenges Foxconn has faced in trying to deliver on its promises to the state. … raise questions about public-investment returns on large-scale government incentive packages. … [diagram shows] Wisconsin suppliers represent just 27% of 200 total vendors — 26 purchases totaling $7.6M. Trump predicted a Foxconn transformation in WI. White House, Speaker Vos did not respond. Rehash Foxconn downsizes, target misses, Yeung “crystal ball” tweet. Foxconn’s Woo in Jan. touted > $200M invested in WI, 95% to WI contractors, though WEDC documents [shared by a source who claims Foxconn is failing to invest more in local businesses and state workers] show $99.2M in 2018, $92.7M toward land acquisition. Foxconn said $200M figures includes non-contractual spending. WEDC’s Lietz said they only confirm contractual data, “Foxconn is not incentivized on supply chain and has no affirmative obligation to make a certain supply chain investment.” Foxconn’s 155K-square-foot Experimental Training Center is assembling TV displays labeled “Made in Mexico” despite Trump saying they would be “Made in the USA.” 2 person familiar say Foxconn is slow to approve new suppliers, few WI suppliers can work to Foxconn scale, they choose based on tiny price differences, would take US suppliers years to match their Asian suppliers. Foxconn listed 13 expenditures from February 2018, totaling $884,936, for factory machinery from “Hon Hai Precision.” $4.8M for production line robotics and installation from Swiss ABB Group, which has several WI offices though the purchased robotics come from MI factory. ABB declined comment, but ABB project manager for Foxconn account was not “confirming or denying” whether Foxconn paid ABB the $4.8M. Foxconn first said “All companies designated as ‘Wisconsin-based’ are designated based on WEDC definitions,” but owned the designation after WEDC denied having such “definitions.” Critic, Minority Leader Hintz: “Certainly the spirit of what has been sold to the public on this project was not about a supplier having a P.O. Box and Foxconn calling that a Wisconsin-based investment.” WI vendors on Foxconn’s list include Milwaukee’s Capitol Stampings, Waukesha’s Next Electric, Racine’s Days Inn and various Foxconn subsidiaries. Rehash Foxconn issue in Walker-Evers race. Evers did not respond. By Carr, BLOOMBERG


– Paul Fanlund: Don’t get distracted by Donald Trump’s Wisconsin lies

– Evers remains steadfast in commitment to Medicaid expansion … Shortly after an impromptu meeting in Milwaukee with Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, Evers and members of his staff arrived in Kenosha to outline the importance of [ACA] Medicaid expansion and its potential … [to] give an additional 82,000 people access to affordable health care. … “One of the reasons I’m sitting as governor is because of this issue. … We travel all across the state, and this is what people are telling us. We feel an obligation not to just roll over and play dead because Republican leadership has decided to ignore at least 70 percent of the people in the state that want to make sure we have good health care.” … Thirty-seven states participate in Medicaid expansion. … A total of $63 million is designated for Kenosha County. … An estimated 2,637 Kenosha County residents would participate in Medicaid expansion at a cost of $23.1 million. … remaining funds would … expand health services and programs and increase funding for hospitals and physicians. DHS Sec. Palm: “what is way more important is what we can do for the entire health care system with that $1.6 billion.” Vos said Medicaid expansion will not be part of their budget, “Gov. Evers and his allies are not telling the full story. They do not explain to people that if we chose to accept the Medicaid expansion that would take over 40,000 people out of the private sector health market, where they’re paying the rates that actually help keep a hospital door open. … We don’t want to raise costs, and we, most importantly, don’t want to put the Wisconsin taxpayer at risk. … There are good things in Tony Evers’ budget that we are going to support. The things he’s chosen to highlight … were non-starters the day Gov. Evers introduced his budget. I don’t know why he would somehow think when none of the facts have changed, our opinions would.” Evers said he and GOP leaders “meet regularly, and we’ll continue to do that. There’s no personal animosity, at least not from my angle. I’m too old for that,” said VOs is “used to having Scott Walker as governor, and they strategized together. I have a different view of the world than he does in many ways.”

– Evers not giving up on Obamacare expansion, slams GOP over campaign fundraiser … Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh said [GOP] argument is false, pointing to a 2016 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Democratic President Barack Obama showing such expansions lower premiums for everyone — including in the private sector. … Vos accused Evers of “throwing partisan barbs to try to drive people apart” with his criticism of the GOP fundraiser at the offices of lobbying firm BGR Group. He said Republicans announced their plan as soon as they got a memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau about nonfiscal items contained in Evers’ budget. “This is another bit of the naivete — Gov. Evers is just getting his sea legs. He’s got to understand the process,” Vos said. “The fact that we were out meeting with our congressional delegation in Washington — which is how I spent the entire day yesterday — is something I would assume people want us to do,” he said.

– Evers says he’ll ‘fight like hell’ on Medicaid expansion

– Governor presses health agenda, believes GOP can be swayed

– Vos accuses Gov. Tony Evers of ’empty rhetoric’ for Medicaid expansion

– The Governor, House and Most Senators in Kansas Want to Expand Medicaid. So Why Did It Just Fail? The debate is likely dead until next year.

– Meyers to hold budget listening sessions … in Iron River and Cable Tuesday.

– Pocan: I support marijuana legalization … About 50 people packed the Reedsburg Recreation Center to hear Second Congressional District Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, at town hall April 25.

– Pocan: New Congress marked by diversity … Pocan spoke with Beloit residents Saturday at the Merrill Community Center while a rare spring snowstorm was covering the ground outside.

– [FBN’s] Trish Regan: Democrats’ chicken stunts are beneath dignity of Congress: Q&A with US Rep. Duffy

– Mayor Paine announces museum access, new development

– Pilot Program In Dane County Gives Aid To Farmers, Curbs Runoff, Continuous Cover Program Taking Applications Through May 31

– Fearing an undercount, states prepare for 2020 census push

– Milwaukee Mayor Announces Plans For Streetcar Extension, City Hoping Expansion Will Be Ready For 2020 DNC Convention

– 11 Key Facts About Streetcar Extensions, Love the idea? Hate it? Either way we have all the details.

– Former Gov. Scott Walker Explains The Wisconsin Electorate: Walker appears by phone in 10:15 video

– States Want Trump to Release His Tax Returns. What About Governors? Democrats are pushing legislation to require presidential candidates to release their tax returns. The same rules don’t apply for most statewide elections — but that could change.

– AG Kaul, GOP lawmakers stake out opposing views in two key environmental cases … Both cases involve a 2011 law [that] … prohibited agencies from putting conditions on those they regulate that went beyond what is explicitly written in state laws and state rules. … [re:] Kinnard dairy farm … where pollution problems tied to farms have generated sharp controversy. … [other] focuses on whether the DNR must take into account the cumulative effects on local water bodies as it reviews applications for multiple high-capacity wells that could negatively harm other water resources. Kaul said in his motions he was seeking to file briefs that are opposite from Schimel’s. Leader Fitzgerald: “Yet again, Attorney General Kaul is refusing to do his job and is siding with liberal special interest groups attempting to reverse existing state law.” Supreme Court recently agreed to hear both cases in the fall, when Hagedorn makes 5-2 conservative majority. Clean WI atty. Feinauer: “our ultimate focus has been on protecting the environment and public health in both of these cases, and that will continue to be our focus as we go before the Supreme Court.”

– Can We Have Hope If The World Is ‘Doomed’? Journalist Roy Scranton Reflects On Living In The Age Of Climate Change … His book “We’re Doomed. Now What?” is a hard-headed — often terrifying — look at how climate change could transform our planet, and how that impact might shape our daily thoughts and experiences. … “(Either) we have to completely rebuild our energy infrastructure and the way we organize human life on earth,” Scranton said, “or catastrophic global warming is going to bring so much instability and stress to the systems we live within that there is no good reason to hope that those systems will be resilient enough to withstand that stress.”

– Foxconn CEO held first meeting with Tony Evers Thursday … Vos, R-Rochester, at a news conference Thursday at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport … “My hope is that we’re turning a corner, that perhaps today Gov. Evers finally has accepted the fact that Gov. Walker and the Republicans negotiated a really good deal for the state of Wisconsin,” Vos said. … A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Fitzgerald has no plans to meet with Gou. WEDC rep said CEO Hogan has panned meeting with Gou, “no different than the discussions he has with company officials on a regular basis.”

– Evers walks back doubts about Foxconn after meeting with CEO Terry Gou … “The fact that I said that they may not have 13,000 (jobs), it could be less, it could be more, to me it doesn’t matter,” Evers told the editorial boards of the Kenosha News and Racine Journal Times. “I’m not doubting their word, I’m just saying that we want as much clarity as we can going forward and we talked about what they’re doing right now as far as building.”

– Foxconn CEO meets with Trump, Wisconsin governor [Bauer of AP]

– Evers Meets With Foxconn Head

– 170-Year-Old Wisconsin Abortion Ban Still On The Books … [1849 law] makes it a felony for doctors to provide an abortion and contains no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. … hasn’t been enforced because of the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade … Over the years, there have been unsuccessful attempts to overturn … Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health and National Institute for Reproductive Health started Monday with billboards in Madison and social media. “Wisconsin is not recognized as having some of the harshest abortion laws, but we’re right up there with Texas and some others who do have that reputation,” said [WARH’s] Finger … Five abortion bills have been introduced by Republican state lawmakers this year. Rehash “born alive” bill, Evers veto vow, Trump remark, expert comments, 20-week abortion ban, 24-hr wait. Majority Leader Steineke sees nat’l milieu as ripe, “If expanded abortion laws can take hold in places like New York or Virginia, there’s no doubt that Gov. Evers and his allies won’t try to do the same here in Wisconsin.”

– The last campaign: Former Gov. Schreiber takes on ignorance of Alzheimer’s disease … At 80, Marty Schreiber’s back hunches, and there are days when he limps from a spinal condition that radiates pain from his ankles to his knees. Yet when the state’s 39th governor is invited to speak, he seldom says no. … In 2018, he gave 141 talks on caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, the passage he has been navigating with his wife, Elaine, these last 14 years and counting. … described in his 2016 book, “My Two Elaines” … This campaign is different. There’s no opponent to debate. “You cannot argue with this disease,” he says. So he travels from town to town, battling what he calls “the ignorance of Alzheimer’s,” using skills acquired from a lifetime in politics. … He tells the [Stritch] students that after four children,13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, his wife no longer recognizes him. And he is at peace with that loss. “She does not have to know who I am for us to share a loving experience,” he says, transitioning into a story. … Elaine’s diaries [recording the disease’s progression, which he found accidentally] have come to figure prominently in Marty’s book and in his talks. More life stories, 48:06 audio.

– Family Welfare Caps Lose Favor in More States: Since the 1990s, nearly half the states have denied additional cash assistance to low-income mothers who have more children while receiving welfare. But in recent years, so-called family cap laws have fallen out of favor. Last week, Massachusetts became the latest state to repeal its family cap … joins New Jersey, which effectively repealed its cap last year … Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming — have repealed their family caps since 2002 … Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia still have family caps in place

– Report shows little change in Milwaukee police use-of-force incidents

– Evers’ administration gives $5-an-hour raises to officers at six Wisconsin prisons … From now until at least June 2020, officers and sergeants will get the additional pay for shifts at Columbia, Dodge, Green Bay, Taycheedah and Waupun … Lincoln Hills School for Boys … will now pay new workers $21.65 an hour … Veteran employees at the six institutions will also get pay boosts of $5 an hour. … “This ‘plan’ was not well thought out and is representative of top-down thinking,” Redgranite Correctional Institution officer Paul Mertz said … one of the thousands of officers who won’t get the bump in pay. … [suggested] broader solution … Otherwise, employees at other facilities may flock to the prisons with higher pay, worsening staffing shortages elsewhere. JFC Dem Sen. Erpenbach: “I’m relieved that we now have a corrections administration that understands that public employees, the officers, don’t need a raise in a year or two. They need the money right now.” DOC Sec. Carr memo: “The safety of our staff and the people we serve must be a priority, and severe staffing shortages threaten that safety. … To those who feel undervalued, please know that I see you, DOC leaders see you, and the governor sees you. We know that you are facing challenging work environments and are deserving of more public appreciation and competitive wages.” Rep. Schraa: “I’m glad they heard our pleadings, our cries. I’m still trying to absorb the effects it’s going to have on these other facilities, which is a concern of mine.” Rep. Tranel noted his “supermax” guards don’t get the raise, despite “dealing with the exact same prison population as these other maximum security institutions … To value their work as less than that of someone else who is doing the exact same job is reckless and irresponsible.” Other officers comment.

– Bruce Murphy: How Walker Wrecked State’s Prisons, Overworked staff, high turnover, rising overtime costs and violence plague the prisons.

– Body cameras on police officers are ‘sign of the times’

MEDIA ^top^
– Paul Nehlen, 2016 Republican Challenger to Paul Ryan, Banned From Facebook and Instagram

MINING ^top^
– 40 Trempealeau County Landowners Sue Hi-Crush Frac Sand Mines … Four separate lawsuits are directed at Hi-Crush sand mining and processing facilities in the cities of Whitehall and Blair. … say the company hasn’t done enough to mitigate its impact on neighbors. [dust, noise, cloudy well water, falling property values] … La Crosse attorney Tim Jacobson is representing the landowners … said for many of them, living next to the mines has been a “living hell.” Mine locations were permitted before annexation by Whitehall, Blaire and the City of Independence, so suit is only legal recourse. Hi-Crush’s Bell: “As a Green Tier company, we recognize the importance of environmental stewardship and being a good neighbor. We take these matters seriously and will present a vigorous defense based on the facts and the law.”

– Washington’s Biggest Lobbyist, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Gets Shut Out, Chilly relations with both the White House and congressional Democrats leaves the chief advocacy group for American corporations struggling to adapt: CEO Donohue never speaks of retirement, but “Several times over the past year, chamber officials approached former House Speaker Paul Ryan about the job.”

– Superior, Husky Energy Reach Deal To Treat Refinery’s Wastewater, More Stringent Phosphorus Standards Prompt Agreement

– Rock County introduces tool to rate nitrate risk in groundwater

– Kenosha area gears up for tourist (yes, tourist) season: KACVB’s DeChene comments.

– We Energies Has Capitol Clout, Its holding company spent $1 million on lobbying and $1 million donating to mostly GOP candidates.

– Environmental groups appeal proposed natural gas plant in Superior … The proposed 525-megawatt natural gas plant, Nemadji Trail Energy Center, would be jointly owned and operated by Minnesota Power and La Crosse-based electric cooperative Dairyland Power.

– Paul D. McNelis, S.J.: Ryan has been hired to teach at Notre Dame. He should think about studying there instead. … In this vein [Dangerfield in “Back TO School”], Mr. Ryan, already successful in one sphere, should be offered a scholarship to study rather than teach at Notre Dame. This would send a strong message that universities can play a role in helping everyone, even the most famous, transition to new careers–or perhaps, in the case of individuals like Mr. Ryan, return to more effective public service.

– Phil Anderson: Is it high time to legalize in Wisconsin? Yes … Legal cannabis will bring health benefits, racial justice and personal freedom.

– Van Wanggaard: Is it high time to legalize in Wisconsin? No … The harmful effects on health and society outweigh any potential benefits.

– Bill Kaplan: Congressional Oversight, Not Impeachment, Mueller report alarming. Much still needs to be uncovered, clarified on Trump and Russia.

– Matt Kittle: Free-Market Tony Evers, Or Bernie Sanders Lookalike?

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