THU AM Update: JFC executive session, Pence visit; DC Wrap

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— The Joint Finance Committee is meeting today to continue taking up agency budgets.

Among agenda items today:

*Department of Financial Institutions
*Higher Educational Aids Board
*Wisconsin Technical College System
*Department of Military Affairs
*Secretary of State
*Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
*Labor and Industry Review Commission

See the full agenda:

Follow updates in the Budget Blog:

— Vice President Pence is visiting Eau Claire and Ft. McCoy today, his first stops in Wisconsin this year.

After landing in Eau Claire late this morning, Pence will visit an industrial supplier and distributor in the area to tout the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact the White House is trying to get through Congress.

During the stop at J&D Manufacturing, the vice president will participate in a discussion with local business leaders before speaking on the impact the trade deal would have on Wisconsin, according to the White House.

Following the event at J&D Manufacturing, which produces ventilation system products for dairy, swine and poultry barns, Pence will visit Ft. McCoy, about 90 miles southwest of Eau Claire. There, he will meet and greet soldiers and their family members.

— Gov. Tony Evers and AG Josh Kaul will make an announcement at the Capitol this morning.

— The latest version of our DC Wrap takes a look at U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s push to standardize the collection of sexual violence data at the federal level.

It also includes a mention of a bill from U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan that aims to curb harassment and bullying on college campuses.

See more in this week’s DC Wrap and sign up for direct delivery:

DC Wrap: Johnson looks to standardize federal data surrounding sexual violence in new bill


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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State to collect $753M more in revenue than projected
… most of it during the current fiscal year … Evers said in a statement he will pay down $53 million in state debt … request an additional $15 million for worker training, $18 million for the Wisconsin Technical Colleges System and transfer the rest to the state’s budget stabilization, or “rainy day” fund [about $291M, as required by law, bringing balance to $616.5M.] DOR Sec. Barca memo to Evers credited federal tax law, “This shifting of revenue, as opposed to an increase in economic activity, is the driving force behind the large corporate tax collections; other states have had similar increases.” Vos said his caucus considering tax cut, rainy day deposit, debt payment, “Now is not the time to go on a spending spree with one-time revenues.” JFC co-chair Nygren called for it all into rainy day fund, “It’s not fun, but it’s the reasonable and responsible thing to do.” Leader Fitzgerald likes tax cuts, “smart investments in infrastructure,” could support bill bypassing rainy day deposit. Minority Leader Hintz: “Republicans chose to rack up debt on the state’s credit card and favor corporate tax breaks over investing in the people of Wisconsin. It’s refreshing to see a governor act in the long-term best interest of our state.”

Assembly Passes ‘Born Alive’ Bill
… that has passed in other states and President Donald Trump has touted. … with a vote of 62-35 Wednesday, with all Democrats and [GOP] Rep. Chuck Wichgers of Muskego, voting against it. Two abstained. … would require abortion providers to care for babies who survive abortion attempts or face prison. … [Senate] expect to vote on the bill next month. … Evers has already promised to veto the proposal. Opponents said bill presumes a fantasy scenario that law and ethics already covers. Rep. Kolste called them “false facts and false premises.” Majority Leader Steineke denied it is an abortion bill, “This is simply saying if a baby survives and takes its first breath, we have to make the baby safe and comfortable.” Minority Leader Hintz said GOP are “following the same playbook” as conservatives in other states, noted ob-gyns oppose, “If we are serious about reducing infant mortality, we should support Medicaid expansion. There is no health benefit to things we are seeing today.” Rep. Jagler admitted his ban on abortions based on race, gender or disability is “hard to enforce; you can’t get into people’s thoughts,” but it passed with same 62-35, as did bill related to chemical abortion. Bill banning Medicaid funds for abortion-provider Planned Parenthood passed 64-32, with three abstaining.

Assembly passes ‘born alive’ bill; Vos backs rationale behind six-week abortion bans
… Iowa lawmakers recently adopted a ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. “Do I believe that once there’s a detectable heartbeat, it’s a baby? I do,” Vos said. … comments come as lawmakers in Alabama sparked a national firestorm Tuesday by passing a near-total abortion ban … signed Wednesday. … meant to spark a review by the U.S. Supreme Court of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Minority Leader Hintz said package was “introduced to distract from an agenda that’s overwhelmingly supported by the people of Wisconsin.” Sponsor Steineke: “Children who miraculously survive abortion shouldn’t be treated any differently than anyone else in this state,” would not say if he agreed with Trump statement that docs are “executing” babies, cite PA case of Dr. Gosnell, who was convicted of murdering three infants who were born alive during attempted abortions. There are multiple laws that appear to prevent the bill from having any effect. Steineke said his bill is a backstop if those laws are repealed. Rep. Taylor said ‘born alive’ protections “already are the law of the land. What isn’t already the law of the land is Medicaid expansion, and you’ve made darn sure that no lives will be saved under that.” Details of other abortion bills, Marsy’s Law.

Supreme Court’s Conservatives Sound Skeptical On Lame-Duck Case Arguments
… [LOWV, et al.] contends the entire session was unlawful because the state constitution doesn’t explicitly allow legislators to meet in what’s known as an “extraordinary session.” As [LOWV] attorney Jeffrey Mandell stood, conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley interjected, “Don’t you find it extraordinary that nobody has raised this issue before this court in over four decades?” Justice Kelly later noted Constitution gave lawmakers, guv authority to say when and how often the Legislature should meet, “a great big potential door” to hold session like the one in December, “How do I get around that?” CJ Roggensack less aggressively noted court’s 2011 decision upholding Act 10 gave the Legislature broad leeway to decide its own process. Conservative Justice Ziegler, liberal Justice Abrahamson did not speak during arguments. Liberal Justices Walsh Bradley and Dallet noted no explicit constitution authorization for extraordinary sessions. Dallet suggested Legislature could have passed a law allowing for “extraordinary sessions.” Constitution only allows for the Legislature to meet “at such time as provided by law” or in guv-called “special” session. “Special sessions” have been called almost from the outset, but the first “extraordinary session” was called in 1980. GOP atty. Tseytlin argued “respect and comity” should prevent Court from over-ruling the Legislature on grounds it used the wrong name for its December session. After arguments, Mandell rejected the idea that conservatives had pre-decided, “the law and the world are more complicated than that. … “It’s still at the end of the day a constitutional question … of how the government exercises the limited power that the constitution gives it from the people.” Rehash Niess ruling, Evers rescinding appointments, Supremes staying Niess ruling, SEIU suit, 2 federal suits.

Legislature Approves Crime Victim Rights Measure Known As Marsy’s Law
[27-5 and 82-15] … will now be put before voters for final approval in the April 2020 election. … Marsy’s Law largely duplicates existing victim protections, but goes further … [granting] Victims … the right to be heard at plea, parole and revocation proceedings, the right to refuse defense attorneys’ interview, deposition or discovery requests and the right to attend all proceedings in their cases. … [sponsor] Wanggaard was the only senator to speak in favor … Opponents like Sens. Risser and Miller cited Article I, Section 9, which enumerates several victim privileges and states: “This state shall treat crime victims, as defined by law, with fairness, dignity and respect for their privacy,” noted amendment isn’t specific to Wisconsin. Risser: “This doesn’t do anything for victims. It doesn’t give them more money. It doesn’t give any more rights than they currently have or we could give them by statute.”, which both Miller and Risser both discussed. ACLU said WI in 1980 became the first state to adopt a crime victim bill of rights.

Could WI’s voter turnout be higher than ever in 2020? All the ingredients are there
… presidency of Donald Trump is shaping up as a spectacular mobilizing force for both the right and the left. One national expert, political scientist Michael McDonald of the University of Florida, says 2020 has the potential to be a “100-year storm” for turnout, largely because Trump “inflames passions.” … “We should expect exceptional voter turnout in Wisconsin in 2020,” says University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Barry Burden, another turnout expert. … [2019 MU Law poll found] about two-thirds of voters say they follow what’s going on in politics “most of the time.” That number has never been higher in a non-election year. … Democratic pollster Paul Maslin said he expects turnout to be “as high as humanly possible.” … Democratic strategist Tanya Bjork said her party will pour resources into Wisconsin in 2020, something it failed to do in 2016. … [GOP strategist Graul, Franklin, Burden comment on] What conditions were in place to produce Wisconsin’s peak turnout in 2004?

WI Dairy Groups Warn Continued China Trade Tension Will Have Lasting Impact
… Chinese government announced this week it would place tariffs on $60 billion of United States products. … a response to President Donald Trump’s decision to place additional tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods last week. American dairy producers have faced increased tariffs from China since July. … dairy exports to China has fallen by 43 percent since increased tariffs first went into effect. Professional Dairy Producers’ Mayer said hikes hit processors hardest but hurt producers, suppliers, said Trump’s promised aid won’t cover lost profitability, “You’re going to work every day, but you’re paying your employer to be there. And someone says ‘I’ll tell you what. I’m going to give you some money to get on the bus.’ That bus ticket is probably equivalent to the aid. … Europeans and others will fill those orders. That could have a long-term, lasting ripple that could have a negative impact on rural America.”

‘Struggling to tread water’
Dairy farmers are caught in an economic system with no winning formula, Family farms are at the mercy of trade wars, economies of scale and a complex pricing system. … Wisconsin lost nearly 700 last year — almost two a day — as even dairy farmers used to enduring hard times called it quits in a downturn now headed into its fifth year. … More than 300 Wisconsin dairy farms called it quits between Jan. 1 and May 1 … “We milk 350 cows and we’re going broke,” she said. “And I am tired of being told, as a farmer, that I just have to tighten my belt and be a better business person. I cannot make a living if I have to interact with a market that’s stacked against me.” … There is little consensus on how to reform the system. … “It’s simple economics. We’ve been producing too much. … The production per cow is amazing. Cows that were exceptional 50 years ago — today they’d be called ‘hamburger,'” [NFO’s] Bylsma said. [in part blames production incentives like Walker’s] … average age of the American farmer is now 57. … The Mess family said the [Trump] payment they received didn’t even cover 10% of what they had to borrow to remain in business. “We want trade, not aid.” … “It’s make-or-break time for a lot of people. Many farmers are backed in a corner now and are being told ‘Which way do you want to lose your pants? One leg at a time or all in one shot?’ ” … “I think the part I will miss the most is being self-employed. I am happy here,” she said. Minneapolis Fed’s Wirch, UW Center for Dairy Profitability’s Stephenson, UW ag profs. Bernhardt and Mitchell, dairy farmers Harris, Breitenmoser Jr., Mess, Lloyd and Drinkman, cheesemaker Crave, NFO’s Bylsma, Vita Plus’ Sipiorski, WFU’s O’Connor and Von Ruden, WFBF’s Gefvert, NFU’s Johnson, ex-USDA sec. Vilsack, livestock broker Flood, dairy supplier Stroinski, UW-Extension’s Halopka

Lutheran pastor from Racine and her husband are in detention after their DACA recipient daughter was arrested
… [ICE] Officers took [Paula Hincapie, married to deployed soldier, sponsored for citizenship] and her daughter back to her home in Chicago, where they arrested her mother, a part-time pastor at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Racine; her father; and a cousin who was in the home. On Wednesday, ICE told Hincapie that they wouldn’t try to deport her at this time, but her parents, who were denied their petition for asylum and issued a notice of removal years ago, remain under ICE’s custody in Kenosha County.


– 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Milwaukee 7’s Third Annual Economic Development Forum. Keynote speaker is Jon Roberts, principal and managing director, TIP Strategies. Attendees are also to hear from Gov. Tony Evers, Waukesha County Exec. Paul Farrow and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The event also includes a panel discussion with regional executives and a series of presentations on economic development.

– 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Professional Women’s Development Network breakfast. Speaker is Mary Dowell, founder and chief executive of MJ Dowell & Associates LLC.

– 10:30 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Rural Development informational hearing. The committee is to hear testimony related to broadband internet access in the state.

– 10:30 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment informational hearing. Members are to hear from invited speakers on integrated employment.

– 2 p.m.: PSC hearing.

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