MON News Summary: Budget negotiations stall; Evers, Republicans spar over working with women

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June 13: luncheon: The future of transportation funding in Wisconsin

Transportation funding has become one of the key debating points in the two-year state budget making its way through the Legislature. Gov. Tony Evers proposed an 8-cent-a gallon increase in the gas tax plus while getting rid of the minimum markup on gasoline — something the administration said would more than wipe out the increase. Republicans have removed the minimum markup provision and left in the gas tax increase for now. Where will the debate lead and will it result in a long-term solution?

Hear details from some of the key players in the debate at a issues luncheon set for Thursday, June 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at UW-Milwaukee’s Waukesha campus just off I-94.

Panelists for the discussion: Wisconsin DOT Secretary Craig Thompson, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, state Rep. Debra Kolste, D-Janesville and a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee, and state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin and a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee. subscribers and members receive discounted pricing for WisPolitics luncheons of $20 per person, including lunch. Price for the general public is $25 per person, including lunch.

This event is sponsored by: Kapur & Associates, UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin Academy of Global Education and Training, ELEVEN25 at Pabst, Milwaukee Police Association, The Firm Consulting, Medical College of Wisconsin and Spectrum.

The Waukesha County Business Alliance is an event partner.

For more information and registration, visit:



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No progress apparent between Evers, GOP lawmakers as budget nears key juncture
… linchpin of Evers’ $83.5 billion plan … is to give K-12 school districts a $1.4 billion increase [most for poorer districts, special ed] … Republican lawmakers say they expect to increase school funding but by substantially less … [JFC] is set to take up the schools budget Thursday. [before sending revised budget to the Legislature] … Both sides acknowledge budget talks have been scarce and strained. … “These are missed opportunities,” Baldauff [for Evers] said. “Republicans don’t want to work with the governor.” … [Vos] pointed the finger at Evers in a recent press conference, saying the governor canceled “several” recent meetings … Evers, Vos and Fitzgerald are scheduled to meet Wednesday, according to Baldauff. Rehash leaders at RPW convention blaming Evers, Baldauff for Evers blaming GOP aversion to women. GOP vow to pass on-time budget. JFC-er Marklein said ed funding talks ongoing. Leader Fitzgerald touted $639M FY17-19 school funding boost. JFC-ers LeMahieu doubts it, Tiffany likes it, but prefers incremental hike, not “a big increase, then ratchet them down,” understands Evers “wish list … But there’s a lot of other needs out there.” Rehash Evers budget items removed. Vos on Evers meeting: “if it’s going to be repeated discussion of things that we are never going to support, I would hope that he would re-think that strategy,” noted no full-budget vetoes since 1931. Evers pushing for “affordable and accessible health care … increases in resources for our education system, and fix the damn roads.” Rehash Guv veto powers. Tiffany: “I don’t know what’s going on between our leadership and the governor. All I know is we’re going to create a good budget. … I hope Governor Evers signs it.” By Sommerhauser, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL

Republicans, Gov. Evers spar over working with women
At RPW convention, Vos called Evers “out of touch” and Fitzgerald … “There’s a real disconnect on all different levels with this governor,” noted he and Vos have only met with Evers twice for five minutes since January. Baldauff for Evers said boss “has communicated repeatedly to GOP leadership that they should work with his chief of staff, just like they did under the previous governor. That directive wasn’t confusing to them when the chief of staff was a man. … Vos and Fitzgerald are clearly uncomfortable or simply unwilling to work with a leadership team made up entirely of women.” Fitzgerald statement denounced “completely asinine” accusation, “The most powerful senator on the budget committee is a woman, and perhaps they’d know that if someone from the governor’s team was actually engaged in budget negotiations.” Vos tweeted that his chief of staff, communications director and policy director are all women, “Evers staff – Clueless,” later lambasting Evers’ camp’s resorting to “name-calling,” adding, “An elected official negotiates with an elected official,” and Medicaid expansion “will be over our dead bodies,” needs to be “continually evaluated” because terms of accepting the federal money is a “moving target,” said Evers’ “wacky” and “crazy” state budget never stood a chance with the GOP. About 650 attended RPW conventions hearing Congressmen supporting Trump, including Steil praising Trump’s direct messaging bypassing MSM. Johnson dubbed Biden a congenial company sales manager, “He’s a likable guy,” but Trump will win on the issues. Justice-elect Hagedorn told conventioneers they’d “saved the Supreme Court,” showed that Justice Kelly will win in 2020 despite Dems’ confidence in high turnout from 2020 presidential primary. BY Bauer of AP, TORRINGTON REGISTER CITIZEN

Federal lawmakers seek more accountability with sexual assault allegations in Wisconsin National Guard
… In April, following a request by Gov. Tony Evers and Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the National Guard Bureau, confirmed … Investigators have begun to collect and examine Wisconsin’s Guard records. Their review is scheduled to take six to nine months and include surveys of climate and morale in Guard units and interviews with soldiers and airmen and airwomen. … Sen. Ron Johnson said he will also push for more accountability. … introduced a [with Ernst] … that would streamline and standardize how federal agencies, including [DOD] collect data on sexual assault and harassment. … Pocan, D-Madison, said it is “clear that the (National Guard) officers responsible for dealing with these issues have acted inappropriately.” Kraus for Baldwin comments. BY Ferral, CAPITAL TIMES


– Blog: Decision made to not release details of Pence visit before official announcement

– Lou Dobbs rips Republicans not supporting Trump more on immigration: Like ‘the ghost of Paul Ryan’ still lingers

– GOP leaders say they aren’t sexist; Evers’ aide says they won’t work with women on governor’s team … Fitzgerald and Vos regularly met with Eric Schutt, the chief of staff under former Gov. Scott Walker. They have said they were able to work through Schutt because of years of trust they built up with him and Walker. Vos tweet: “Chief of Staff – Jenny Toftness (woman). Communication Dir – Kit Beyer (woman). Policy Director – Heather Smith (woman). Evers staff – Clueless.” Baldauff tweet: “Calling women “clueless” is not a great response to claims of sexism.”

– Ron Johnson doesn’t support Alabama law, says abortion issue should be up to states … Johnson has proposed a nationwide ban on abortions [after] 20 weeks … in line with Wisconsin law. … Roe v. Wade ruling legalized abortion nationwide until a fetus is [viable] outside a woman’s uterus. Johnson said he wishes the court had … “let that process play out democratically state by state … you allow it that way, if you don’t like the result in the state you currently reside, you can move. … [does not support AL’s near total ban, or fetal-heartbeat ban at 6 to8 weeks, “That’s pretty early in the process. I may personally support that, but in terms of public policy … what you really need to do is gain a consensus of voters, where will we eventually end up in this country I can’t really predict.” … said “born alive” legislation in New York, Virginia and in Congress … “energized” Republicans. Speaker Vos, also speaking at the convention, defended GOP efforts to limit abortions in WI, “We are always trying to push the envelope because we all stand to win.”

– Johnson opposes new Alabama law banning abortion after six weeks

– WI abortion rate lower thaN most

– As states pass restrictive abortion laws, questions surface

– Sen. Johnson [at RPW] says wife’s preference is he not run for third term … promised in the 2016 election that it would be his last, but after Republican Gov. Scott Walker lost in 2018 Johnson has backed off the pledge. … Johnson is the only Republican in statewide office in Wisconsin … not ruling out anything in 2022, including a run for governor. … focus now is on the 2020 presidential race. … Walker has also talked about running again in 2022. As for the possibility they would both be running for office that year, Johnson says “anything’s possible.”

– Congressman announces ninth baby, wife says ‘We’ll take AOC’s carbon footprint for ourselves’ … Duffy himself joked about the number of children he will soon have, telling his podcast listeners, “I’m hearing a lot of references to baseball teams.” As Bedard wrote, Duffy’s parents had 11 children. Campos-Duffy later joked that the family was “helping to keep the human species going. We’re also doing our part to bring in the Republican vote, hopefully, to keep these anti-socialist messages going and the Hispanic Republican vote, which you know we need to do that,” Campos-Duffy, who is Latina, added. In response, Duffy said: “I think we own that now in Wisconsin. The Hispanic, conservative vote is driven by our family.”

– Kyrsten Sinema and Mike Gallagher [18:37] are still the fastest members of Congress
Arizona senator and Wisconsin rep repeat in ACLI Capital Challenge … The race, in its 38th year, pits members of Congress, high-ranking political appointees and judges, and members of the media against each other in a 3-mile race to see who’s the fastest — and fittest — in D.C. … Rep. Sean Duffy showed up to support his staff. Duffy’s chief, Pete Meachum, who has “the best hair,” according to his boss, was running on behalf of the “Duffy Crew,” a team name Meachum whipped up in a matter of less than a second when I put him on the spot. “We don’t have shirts. Next year we will, though,” Duffy promised.

– Milwaukee County launching own investigation into former Register of Deeds
John La Fave retired amid FBI investigation … FBI has [reportedly] subpoenaed Iowa-based Fidlar Technologies for records related to La Fave and his … agency’s connection with Fidlar — who has almost $300,000 in contracts with Milwaukee County for 2019 — is in question … This week, the Milwaukee County Board’s Finance and Audit Committee voted to launch its own audit and legal analysis … full board will vote Tuesday on launching the investigation. Chair Lipscomb said “the audit is a necessity for public confidence to be restored. And for the new register of deeds to have the information of how that department has been functioning to be able to start with a clear slate.” On May 10, Gov. Evers appointed long-time litigator Israel Ram–n to fill out the La Fave’s term, whose next election is November 2020. County Comptroller’s Office has been working with the FBI. County audit chief Folliard: “if there are any recommendations we can make, we will try to pursue that.”

– Madison leaders face possible ‘subsidy’ for unique city golf program [see Columns]

– Wausau mayor’s ‘Welcoming’ committee faces unwelcome backlash

– New survey data finds many Wisconsin fields treated with disputed herbicide … A California court awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claim the herbicide [glyphosate] caused their cancer. It’s the third case decided against Bayer, the parent company of Roundup-maker Monsanto. UW agronomist Proost said glyphosate is used sparingly due to cost, would hurt if it was taken off the market, “Can we live without it? Yeah, but it’s going to change things a lot.” UW prof. Werle: “in Wisconsin we have diversified crop rotations and tillage is a common practice, farmers in our state here, they tend to use less herbicide. … I think farmers are realizing that managing weeds with herbicides alone won’t be a sustainable strategy, particularly because we haven’t had a new herbicide in 30 years.”

– The Equality Act passed the House. Here’s what happens next … Leader Mitch McConnell has said he has no plans to bring the Equality Act, which has 46 bipartisan cosponsors, up to a vote. Even if the Senate did decide to vote … [cloture needs] at least 13 Republican members … (barring no Democrats defect). US Sen. Baldwin: “I think you don’t just give up before you’ve engaged. We hope we can have a debate on it in the Senate. And then, we use the large coalition of civil rights organizations — over 200 that have endorsed the bill — we all work together to talk about how necessary it is. … I do believe that a lot of folks, not only across America, but even within the LGBTQ community, who think that once the marriage equality case was decided that formal equality was achieved. And so, educating around the fact that [a majority of] states still lack full protections is a key to advancing this.”

COURTS ^top^
– Speaker Robin Vos gets temporary reprieve from appeals court in Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case … In their brief order, the judges [GOP appointees Kanne, Rovner and Sykes] wrote that they were suspending the requirement that Vos testify and turn over documents until they further study the case. Vos had been scheduled to testify on May 29.

– This time, 7th Circuit takes a pass on giving Mark Jensen a new trial in the antifreeze poisoning death of his wife

– Appeals court: Judges can redact tenants’ names from CCAP records of failed evictions … Though some judges around the state have been ordering online redactions in dozens of similar cases since 2017, the new decision could serve as a green light for all courts to follow suit. … Legal Action has encountered other judges reluctant to order changes to the Consolidated Court Automation Program — the state’s online courts records system commonly known as CCAP — without specific statutory authority or an appellate court ruling, which now exists.

– Bauer steps down as presiding judge: Pfitzinger taking over District 3

– Stuck in detention: For immigrants without lawyers, justice is hard to find … Analyzing data compiled by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), Wisconsin Watch found that of Wisconsin residents whose cases began between 2010 and 2015, those who had lawyers were more than six times as likely to be allowed to stay in the country as those without. Nearly 55% of those with lawyers were allowed to stay compared to 9% of immigrants without lawyers. … Since President Donald Trump took office, the immigration court’s “active backlog” has grown by nearly 50%, reaching a record high of 869,013 as of March, according to TRAC data. … In response, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas has announced that he will no longer alert federal officials of the immigration status of people in the county jail, stating that “it’s the right thing to do.” … Fabiola Hamdan has seen the impact too. She works as the immigration affairs specialist for Dane County, a position created after Trump was elected. Hamdan said the psychological effects of detention can be severe. The sudden detention and then absence of a parent can “traumatize” children, she said. … “When you get a bond that is $20,000 for a family whose breadwinner is in detention, how are you going to pay that?” [UW Law’s] Barbato said. “A normal family, regardless of how much money — you don’t have an extra $20,000 sitting around.” … Ninety-five percent of immigrants enrolled in ICE’s Alternatives to Detention program showed up to their final immigration hearings, according to an analysis by the Government Accountability Office of data from fiscal year 2011 to 2013. The GAO estimates the cost of such supervision to be around $21 per participant per day — less than one-seventh of the estimated $158 daily cost of detaining an immigrant. … Olivarez and Barbato are the only two local attorneys who routinely represent detained immigrants at no cost to the client. … “The whole system is set up so people don’t have lawyers,” Sovern said. “The first thing they do is try and get you to sign away your rights.” Focus on Gamboa-Roman family of 5 in Milwaukee.

– Wisconsin is losing people in their prime working years. Are more foreign workers the answer? Wisconsin has 150,000 fewer people ages 25-54 than a decade ago, which has broad implications for the state. Could a ‘heartland visa’ fill the gap?

– Evers: ‘Economic development will grind to a halt’ if Wisconsin doesn’t embrace diversity … “I can tell you that if this state doesn’t actively and proactively and with great vigor embrace diversity and inclusivity, economic development will grind to a halt,” the Democrat said at [MadREP/Urban Leaugue’s] sixth annual Madison Region Economic Development & Diversity Summit at Monona Terrace

– Economists Remain Worried About Slow-Growing Middle Class

– The Seton network vowed to transform Catholic education in Milwaukee. Four years later, troubles mount. … It lost its extracurricular activities and more than a fourth of its teachers. There’s no library and no playground equipment. Kids play on a grassy lot that is checked for used condoms and needles, parents say, after they complained last year. Enrollment is down. And the school dropped a grade on its latest state report card, leaving parents fretting about their children’s high school prospects.

– Lawmakers introduce bill to protect students from ‘lunch shaming,’ legislation would block school districts from throwing student lunches out due to lack of funds … Tauchen … has garnered multiple Democratic and Republican cosponsors. … would bar school districts from dumping student lunch trays or requiring students to work when accounts are in arrears. … require districts to communicate only with parents about lunch accounts and would bar schools from adding collection agency fees to student bills.

– [GTC Pres.] Albrecht: Employers might be searching in the wrong places for workers … “If you’re looking for employees, they are out there. You just have to know where they are,” he said. “If you establish that commitment, build your own pipeline.”

– ‘It’s more than just coding’: Chippewa Falls club exposes young female students to technology

– Andrew Hitt is the new chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin

– After losing 2018, Wisconsin Republicans vow to do better with key voting groups, just as Democrats did after 2014

ENERGY ^top^
– Pioneered by UW professor, microgrids enable energy independence, resiliency

– Mount Pleasant approves two projects in Foxconn area

– WisCOntext: Why is Wisconsin sending hundreds of children out of state for mental health care?

– Capping a stunning political rise, Chicago to inaugurate Lori Lightfoot as mayor

– Lawmakers seek to strengthen Wisconsin’s drunken driving laws, first OWI could be criminalized … [Ott, Darling] introduced the bill and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has said … “I think we have to do something different and I’m looking forward to (Ott’s) bill,” Evers said at a Milwaukee Press Club event in April. “We can’t afford to lose lives because of drunk driving in Wisconsin. I’m committed to doing something. Rep. Ott seems to be moving in the right direction to get the support he needs. I support his honest work on this issue and I hope to be able to help him out.” … Both Minnesota and Illinois, and 30 other states, now require a breathalyzer to be installed into a person’s vehicle after they’ve been convicted of drinking and driving. “There is too much drunk driving in Wisconsin. Too many people are injured. Too many people are killed. Too many wrong way drivers. Too many people are being smashed into,” Ott said.

– Public encouraged to line procession route for funeral of Appleton firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard

– Many questions remain unanswered in Appleton police shooting at Valley Transit Center … Among the questions yet to be answered: What was Houston’s medical emergency? How did Houston recover sufficiently to engage in a gunfight with police? What caused the situation to escalate into gunfire? Who shot whom? Who fired first? How many shots were fired? Thomas said Friday that Biese and Christensen fired “at least one round each.” A nearby store manager told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin that he heard 15 to 20 shots. What was captured on body camera video, squad car video or surveillance video? All Appleton police officers are equipped with body cameras. [APD chief] Thomas cautioned that the information he provided was preliminary. … Green Bay Police Department is investigating the shooting, and its findings will be reviewed by the Outagamie County District Attorney’s Office.

– Baldwin introduces bill to help create jobs for veterans … The Boosting Rates of American Veterans Employment or BRAVE Act … would let the VA give preference to businesses that employ a high percentage of veterans when awarding government contracts. Baldwin announced the legislation while visiting Green Up Solutions in Butler on Friday, which is run by a member of the Army Reserves. … “We still persistently have had issues where veterans who have served our nation, worn the uniform, gone into harm’s way, and there’s a gap, and the transition is not what it needs to be,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) Wisconsin said. Green Up’s Wiens: “Any time that we can reach across the aisle and come together is good for vets. I don’t know that being supportive of veterans should be a partisan thing ever.”

– Nass to unveil tax credit bill for volunteer firefighters and EMTs

TAXES ^top^
– PolitiFact: Have 1M Wisconsinites “voted to raise their own property taxes”? … It’s not necessarily fair to blame construction-related referendums on funding levels — those are heavily determined by building condition and enrollment trends — but narrowing the focus to referendums for ongoing spending still shows more than 900,000 votes in support. … Half True.

– Legislature passes Bewley bill to end tax breaks for businesses leaving state

– As utilities embrace clean energy, some lobby for a more democratic solution

– CT Editorial: False ‘facts’ and false premises threaten women’s health

– RJT editorial: Wisconsin needs a state-funded pro-vaccination campaign

– Dave Zweifel: Are our family farmers on road to extinction?

– city golf pro Sue Shapcott: Madison golf courses enhance community

– DATCP Sec. Brad Pfaff: Wisconsin dairy needs to expand its markets worldwide

– Police Chiefs Pres. Sean M. Marschke: Wisconsin must pass death benefit legislation for families of fallen officers

– Steven Walters: Uphill fight for lame-duck session challenges

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