MON News Summary: Evers may look at lowering Foxconn job creation goals; new DATCP head says upping dairy exports is top priority

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Thursday: luncheon with JFC co-chairs

Join for lunch at The Madison Club, 5 East Wilson St., Madison, on Thursday, April 25, with the veteran Republican co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, will discuss Gov. Tony Evers’ budget plan and GOP budget priorities.

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Check-in and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program going from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. subscribers and members as well as Madison Club members and their guests receive discounted pricing for WisPolitics luncheons of $19 per person. Price for general public is $25 per person.

This luncheon is sponsored by: Husch Blackwell, American Family Insurance, Xcel Energy, Walmart, AARP Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

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Evers floats lowering job creation goals for Foxconn
… “Maybe those goals are too expansive,” Evers said Sunday in an appearance on WKOW’s “Capital City Sunday.” “Whether it’s 1,300 jobs or 13,000 jobs, any governor of the state, including me, wants them to be successful and create as many jobs as possible.” In 2018, the company was required to create 260 jobs in order to receive any tax credits — a goal they fell short of meeting by 82 jobs. [job-creation req] grows each year by hundreds. Evers said because Foxconn has “changed their footprint” in Wisconsin, “we need to take a look at how we can all benefit from that … it’s premature to talk about how we’re going to get there but the fact of the matter is they have made a business decision and we’re working with them and discussions are happening to consider changing the deal.” Speaker Vos appeared separately on the show, said Foxconn is becoming a part of WI’s “ecosystem,” stands by 13K jobs because Foxconn stands by it. Leader Fitzgerald unavailable. By Beck, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

DATCP Secretary: Increasing Dairy Exports Is Top Priority
… After four years of low milk prices, more farmers organizations have considered or called for managing the supply of milk. WFU continued calls, WFBF ended 2018 switching stance to consider supply management option. DATCP Sec. Pfaff: “We are flush with milk, without a doubt. But I will also say there is a tremendous demand for our product. … We want to make sure that dairy products here from Wisconsin are a choice for national consumers and as well as international consumers. … We want to be able to have a level playing field to make sure that consumers, may they be in southeast Asia or may they be south of the border in Mexico, have an opportunity to enjoy Wisconsin dairy products and Wisconsin agriculture products. That is something that almost all of us can agree upon.” … [$750K WEDC] grant will establish a Beverage Innovation Center for small businesses to test and develop new beverage products. Pfaff on clan water: “Each county is unique. Each watershed can be unique. We can put more specialists, more technicians at a local level, at a county-based level, to work with our landowners, may they be farmers or may they be suburban or rural or urban residents,” hoped Evers budget’s increased producer-led watershed protection grants could win bipartisan support from lawmakers. By Kirwan, WPR

WI’s protections against new drinking water pollutants slowed under Walker
… Under a 1984 state water-protection law and more recent statutes, it can take more than a decade for state agencies, the governor and the Legislature to create enforceable limits for hazardous pesticides and industrial contaminants in groundwater, which is the state’s … During Walker’s administration, the process ground to a halt for several years as the governor’s appointees withheld approval to trigger the extensive toxicological review … Walker is the only [guv since 1984] whose administration never initiated the setting of health-based standards for new pollutants. … [despite Evers clean water declaration,] state toxicologists are facing a backlog of 67 pollutants needing review, including a large new class of contaminants being detected in state waters. … [DHS] will recommend 27 new and revised groundwater pollutant standards this summer, and then begin evaluating a list of 40 other pollutants. LOCV’s Giegerich and other conservationists concerned about adequately funding groundwater programs, more quickly protecting the public, stiffening pollution regs. Reviews long process of DNR listing chemicals to test, forwarding to DHS to study, set limits which DNR writes into code. Retired DNR’s Jonas could not get approval from then-sec. Stepp to forward the 2013 list, “I thought there must have been some discussion going on in the administration. We had no way to know if this happened in a purposeful way or if they had other things on their plate or if it was something else.” Jonas’ cohort Vollbrecht said they reminded Stepp deputy THiede monthly but never got response. Walker, THiede could not be reached. Roman for Stepp: “Cathy is not aware that this was ever raised to her office. Any time a public health issue was brought to her attention she acted on it. … Cathy cares about the health of Wisconsin residents.” Jonas’ successor Elmore said Stepp’s replacement, Meyer, finally forwarded the list, perhaps motivated by heightened awareness of PFAS. Review PFAS. DHS’ Miller, DATCP’s Senger comment. By Verburg, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL [see Public Health and Safety]

GOP, Dems should start transpo talks now, former Gov. Thompson says
… “Communication is foremost. It’s not Einstein logic. It’s just basically common sense,” Thompson said in an interview Friday. … “I don’t see how the heat of summer is going to make it any easier,” he said. “I think the sooner they start talking, the sooner they’re going to be able to find that path forward. … I think they should have been able to work it out last time. And I think they should be able to work it out this time.” Thompson Center conference on the issue Friday at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, will feature panel discussions on road funding, public transit and freight hauling, appearances by WisDOT sec. Thompson, ex-sec. Gottlieb, Sen. Petrowski. TGT said roads need more funding, but not fair for him to say how, panel will consider tolls, “I don’t know if Wisconsin is ready for it — that’s a different question,” said unpopular gas tax hike may lead to better roads, “but the poll was pretty emphatic that the people were saying no, so you’ve got to take that into consideration.” By Marley, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL


– Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton joins 2020 presidential race

– John Nichols: AOC, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib Make the Necessary Call for an Impeachment Inquiry, After reviewing the Mueller report, the congresswomen recognized a demand for congressional action.

– Brennan: Budget would help local governments provide vital services, DOA secretary says administration will make transparency a priority

– Ryan visit moves Taiwan-US relations in right direction but further action needed, The Taiwan Travel Act is having an effect but Taiwan should push relationship to next level … His speech while here was flattering to his hosts and while he flirted with a verbal attacks on Communist China, Ryan never quite crossed the line. Comments like, “Taiwan is a democratic success story, a reliable partner and a force for good in the world” and “We want the rest of the world to be more like Taiwan,” will rile China, but are unlikely to provoke serious repercussions. … If any country currently has the economic power and political will to stand up to Communist China, it has to be the U.S. Taiwan has got friends in the right places. But it is time to try and take that friendship to the next level.

– Appeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers … controversy began in 2015 when Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) invited Barker to serve as a guest chaplain. Barker filed the suit in 2016, when Republicans, under former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), sided with Conroy. … [FFRF’s Barker claimed] his rights were violated when Conroy said he could not serve as a guest chaplain. … [Judge Tatel wrote,] “even if, as Barker alleges, he was actually excluded simply for being an atheist, he is entitled to none of the relief he seeks. We could not order Conroy to allow Barker to deliver a secular invocation because the House permissibly limits the opening prayer to religious prayer. Barker has therefore failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted.”

– USDA paid over $15 billion to ag and dairy subsidy recipients in 2018

– Rep. Steil backs bill to help cannabis industry … “In March, I supported a bill in the (House) Financial Services Committee to clarify that businesses legally selling cannabis products in accordance with state laws are allowed access to banking services,” Steil said. “This bipartisan legislation, the SAFE Banking Act, is meant to address safety, tax compliance and even money laundering concerns.”

COURTS ^top^
– Supreme Court justice [Dallet] urges girls to achieve … at the Today’s Dreamers, Tomorrow’s Leaders” event held Thursday evening at the Eclipse Center.

– Condemnation lawsuit decision a ‘win’ for Madison, city attorney says: A jury decided Madison will pay $153K for property the city acquired to build McPike Park.

– Why American Family Insurance is becoming a big name in Milwaukee: In < 2.5 years, AmFam has agreed to sponsor Summerfest Amphitheater, bought 15-year naming rights sponsor for Miller Park, started planning for metro Milwaukee high-tech innovation hub, helped rescue the financially orphaned July 3 lakefront fireworks. AmFam CEO Salzwedel touted good business sense, “sets the stage for the next 90 years … It’s not an either-or, Madison or Milwaukee — it’s an and. We think they complement each other very well. We’re really excited about our partnership and what we see on the horizon in Milwaukee,” as the world rewards brand recognition, geography, innovation, products and distribution channels, direct online insurance buying. MMAC’s Sheehy: “No company expends resources without a good idea of the return on investment … as it grows both its brand and its recruitability.”

– Black women say the stress from ‘living while black’ in Dane County contributes to poorer health, birth outcomes

– Racine among five in nation chosen as ‘Smart City’ … [by] Smart Cities Council … last week at its conference in San Diego

– WI needs more families with children to aid workforce, study says … [Counties’ Forward Analytics noted 30K drop in child migration, birthrate at 40-yr low,] says Wisconsin doesn’t have enough young people to take over jobs from baby boomers set to retire in the coming 10 to 15 years. “We’ve got to figure out how to turn that around and we’ve got to do it fairly quickly because baby boomers are nearing retirement,” said [Forward Analytics’] Knapp. Walker marketed state to millennials, but Knapp suggested luring families, noted successful lure of 30-50 year-olds around 1990, “So we have to figure out what makes us different, what makes us more attractive than Iowa, Illinois, Indiana or Minnesota, so we can attract those workers. Our long-term economy really depends on it.”

– [UW LaFollette] Study: Wisconsin would see $1.1 billion benefit with medical marijuana legalization … analyzed how factors such as administrative costs and consumers purchases would be affected by the legalization of medical marijuana.

– After Columbine attack, Wisconsin native Rick Kaufman became face of the school district: Kaufman directed media relations for the Jefferson County Public School District, which includes Columbine, but his WisDells paramedic training served his first role in the attack — triaging multiple gunshot victims.

– [SHEEOA] Report: Wisconsin higher ed funding drops amid national hike

– Four Corners teacher [Tersteeg] earns state PTA award

– After Democrats Surged In 2018, Republican-Run States Eye New Curbs On Voting … In Texas, state lawmakers are considering adding criminal penalties for people who improperly fill out voter registration forms. Arizona Republicans are proposing new voting rules that could make it more complicated to cast an early ballot. In Tennessee, GOP lawmakers are considering a bill that would fine groups involved in voter registration drives that submit incomplete forms. … laws were criticized by voting rights advocates for adding obstacles to casting a ballot that would particularly harm nonwhite and poor voters, although a recent academic study suggests the laws have had “no negative impact on registration or turnout.”

ENERGY ^top^
– Wisconsin wind turbine project pits brother against brother, clean energy against rural vistas: re: EDF’s 65-megawatt Sugar River Wind Project

– Neubauer: We need a ‘popular uprising’ on climate change … “We actually need a popular uprising of people who care about and are working on this issue,” [Rep.] Neubauer said [at Sierra Club forum Thu.] “It’s still not a priority to work on this at the state level. … The budget is not only the place where we allocate resources for the two-year cycle, it’s also the place where often the most substantive policy is passed and in particular, because we have divided government, it’s likely one of the only places where we’ll see real bipartisan cooperation over the next two years. There’s much less incentive after the budget passes for Republicans to pass any of these priorities,” noted Vos “is the most important person in the Assembly … So if you’re in his district, you are in the most important district in the entire state. … It does feel like there’s a real moment for us right now to gather that energy and to direct it toward a policy platform that actually addresses this crisis with the urgency that we need. I think we can do this.”

– These States Are Not So Chill About Air Conditioners’ HFCs … California led the way last year when it passed a law limiting HFCs, and Washington state is expected to pass a similar bill this year. … states such as Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Vermont and Washington are looking to follow suit. … Most states are focusing first on large, commercial refrigeration units such as those that cool supermarkets and office buildings.

– Foxconn’s legal issues: Two lawsuits could shed light on how the business operates … On March 8, Microsoft sued Hon Hai [Foxconn parent, for] breaching its agreement … failing to pay royalties … has been attempting to settle the dispute for months, but the lack of success led the company to take legal action against Foxconn. [Foxconn issued rare statement:. “We will continue to honor our contractual obligations while maintaining the absolute trust of our customers, as well as protecting the confidentiality of third party information. We remain confident that the current legal matter will be resolved swiftly. Further updates on this matter will be provided in due course, as appropriate.”] … another suit … [Waukegan’s] JST Corp., a electronic interconnection manufacturer based in Waukegan, Ill. In January, JST filed suit against Hon Hai, Foxconn, several subsidiaries and TE Connectivity … alleging the companies knowingly received stolen [JST] proprietary information regarding an electronic connector. JST attys. Sendek allege JST customer Bosch brought it to Hon Hai seeking a lower price for “exactly the same” design, “There’s no chance they didn’t know it was JST.” Foxconn filed for dismissal because “they would be required to defend this action in the United States legal system.” On April 12, ITC CLJ Bullock ruled that Foxconn and Bosch committed unfair trade. Foxconn, Hon Hai, Bosch declined comment.

– Transit app rolls to finals in Foxconn [Smart Cities–Smart Futures] competition … Of 325 ideas submitted, 88 survived the first cut. Then 30 second-round winners, with eight honorable mentions, were announced on March 13. … As many as 16 Round Three winners will receive $5,000 awards, and Foxconn has pledged up to $1 million in cash and in-kind technical support in awards over the next three years. The winners will be announced by the end of this month.

– Months of resident concerns were not shared with panel before KR widening vote

– Opoien analysis: Discussion, negotiations could benefit state’s Foxconn project … Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, described the two parties’ new relationship as an “arranged marriage.” … The governor’s attitude is encouraging. Regardless of whether he would have chosen to strike the deal, it’s now up to him — and Foxconn, of course — to make it a success. … Vos and Fitzgerald are right, of course, that Evers shouldn’t unilaterally pledge to change the terms of the agreement. But so far, that’s not what’s happening. … Those goals can still be achieved, and further discussion, collaboration — and yes, maybe negotiations — can help make them more attainable.

LABOR ^top^
– UW campuses’ [roughly 300] unionized trades employees pursue long, hard fight for a raise … frustrated … fighting for a 2% inflationary raise. … in an unusual [Act 10] twist … will likely result in a lower pay boost than what other nonunion university employees receive. … earlier this month, the UW System Board of Regents approved the raise … [effective Jan. 6, not retroactive 6 months to when negotiations began, as done previous 3 years]. UW’s Lucas said negotiations began in July 2018 but offer was not ratified by union until Feb, 2019. And contract still needs legislative, guv approval. Union rep Branson: “They’re frustrated by the whole system because their raises take so long to get. And when raises come later and later each year, they’re falling further and further behind.” UW Prof. Nack studying post-Act 10 unions, “You’re always behind the 8-ball. You never catch up to where you should be in bargaining.” Evers rep did not respond. UW’s Pitsch did not directly answer several questions including this years lack of back pay, “Because negotiated contracts are subject to legislative approval, coordinating such agreements to be compatible with budget and policy considerations is critical.” Regents approved 3% for UW-ers, still need JCOER, Evers approval. Union still waiting for this year’s raise to get JCOER approval, with no hearing scheduled. More analysis. Unionites Dowd and Emery, Badger Inst’s Jahr comment.

Police: Woman taken to hospital after jumping [into river] from State 441 overpass in Little Chute

– Tesla is investigating the apparent explosion of a parked car in Shanghai

– DNR Investigating Dogs Killed By Poison … in several counties in northern Wisconsin, including Florence, Marinette and Bayfield counties. … on public lands, including those managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Goodman Timber Company. … a veterinarian … suspected Ava may have been poisoned by fly bait. “It was mixed in with hamburger and thrown in the woods,” said Cate. “Everybody’s surmising that it was put out to kill wolves.” … “But, we can’t put any validity to it yet,” said [Warden] Zebro. … [DNR/USFWS] suspect it’s the pesticide carbofuran. … [Warden] Lundin said they’re aware of three dogs that have died, as well as several coyotes, a raccoon, a wolf and a weasel.

– Scientists Dig Into Hard Questions About The Fluorinated Pollutants Known As PFAS … Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances … are resistant to water, oil and heat … nonstick qualities make them useful in products as diverse as food wrappers, umbrellas, tents, carpets and firefighting foam. The chemicals are also used in the manufacture of plastic and rubber and in insulation for wiring.

– State Lawmakers Propose Vaccination Bill Amid [20-state] Measles Outbreak … [Testin-Kurtz bill] would allow trained pharmacists to give shots to younger children with a doctor’s prescription. … could immunize all ages against any diseases on the [CDC] Immunization schedule without a prescription. … [DHS says] Two thirds of the state’s counties are medically underserved … Pharmacies say with their expanded hours and multiple locations they can provide preventative care people who might otherwise skip things like vaccines. … According to America’s 2018 Health Rankings, Wisconsin doesn’t meet state and federal prevention goals on a number of vaccine-preventable diseases. … Twenty-seven states allow pharmacists to vaccinate people of all ages, said Danielle Womack of the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. Testin, pharmacist Bender comment.

– Counties keeping an eye on rising waters amid flood alerts

– $33 million investment powers Redox, a Madison health technology company … launched by three former Epic employees five years ago

– JG editorial: Steil has the right priorities. Can it last?

– Treasurer Sarah Godlewski: Evers’ budget will restore resources for fiscal watchdog

– Dave Zweifel: Uber IPO classic case of rich get richer

– RUSD Board VP Mike Frontier: Let’s agree to fund our schools

– Chris Walker: Suicides Up Since Gun Waiting Period Ended, In 2015 Walker, Republicans repealed law requiring 48 hour waiting period to buy guns.

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