THU AM Update: Klobuchar pledges to not leave the Midwest behind during Milwaukee town hall

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— U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar pledged during a Fox News town hall to not leave the Midwest behind as she pursues the Democratic presidential nomination and the White House.

“I do think as we look in the last few years at some of the national campaigns that the Midwest got forgotten,” the Minnesota Democrat told the audience assembled Wednesday evening at the Grain Exchange in Milwaukee’s downtown area.

She recounted how her husband’s parents would have their six kids count off before leaving roadside stops while on vacation so no one got left behind.

“We are not going to leave, with me in the lead, we’re not leaving the Midwest behind at the gas station,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar said it’s important to run on a positive economic agenda and issues that matter to people.

“And if you think that doesn’t work in Wisconsin, I have four words for you: former Gov. Scott Walker,” Klobuchar said. “Because that is what your new governor did. That is what Tammy Baldwin has done, your great senator. Running on things that matter to the people of Wisconsin.”

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— The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is projecting the state will get about $5.3 million less in tribal gaming payments over the next two years than what the Evers administration had expected.

Those payments — now expected to be $107 million — are based on the tribes’ net revenue after subtracting winnings from gross receipts.

In a paper prepared ahead of today’s Joint Finance Committee executive session, the LFB noted its calculation was based on more recent data and a revision of expected growth rates. The LFB and Evers administration also have different methods for calculating the expected payments.

In 2018, tribes reported net gaming revenue of more than $1.2 billion in 2018, an increase of 1.4 percent. That followed increases of 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2016.

The projections for net gaming revenue over the next two years can’t be released publicly, according to LFB.

Today’s JFC agenda also includes the guv’s proposal to increase county and municipal aids by $15.1 million in 2020-21 to give each of them a 2 percent increase. The aid would climb to $768.1 million under the proposal.

The LFB paper notes that following cuts in 2004, 2010 and 2012, county and municipal aids were 20.7 percent lower in 2019 than in 2003.

See the notice:

Follow today’s action in the Budget Blog:

— Gov. Tony Evers will proclaim tomorrow Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

The guv is hosting the Office of Children’s Mental Health as part of the announcement to highlight children’s mental health needs and gaps in service.

— One Assembly committee and three Senate panels are exec’ing today on a series of abortion-related bills after the legislation received public hearings earlier this week.

Members of the Senate Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection are planning to vote this morning on two of the bills — one that would require physicians to tell women considering taking an abortion-inducing drug the process could be reversed and another that would bar Planned Parenthood from getting money under the Medical Assistance program.

Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety and Health and Human Services committees are voting by paper ballot on the “born alive” bill and another that to ban abortions on the basis of a fetus’ race, gender and other qualifiers.

The Assembly Health Committee is voting on all four of those bills this morning, in addition to a second version of the MA program bill from a different set of GOP co-authors.

— UW System President Ray Cross is addressing the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee today for its informational hearing.

Also speaking are Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna Foy and Wisconsin Independent Colleges and Universities President Rolf Wegenke.

See more in the calendar below.

— The latest version of our DC Wrap takes a look at a new bill from U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin aiming to combat chronic wasting disease.

It also includes U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s opposition to a Dem-backed House Judiciary Committee resolution to hold AG William Barr in contempt of Congress.

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

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WI Legislature voting Thursday to scrap Evers’ budget priorities
… [JFC today with pull out Medicaid expansion, other Evers items as they begin crafting their own budget.] Evers and Democrats remain defiant, saying the public is on their side in support of expanding Medicaid [a campaign promise they credit with 2018 wins]. Polls also show broad public support. … [GOP] leaders aren’t bending from their long-held opposition, even as some GOP lawmakers have publicly talked about trying to find a compromise.

Republican Lawmakers Send Evers Letter Complaining About Prison Raises
19 Assembly Republicans Signed On To Letter … saying the raises [at only 6 institutions] aren’t fair and compensation should be addressed through the state budget. Evers’ state budget calls for spending an additional $23.8 million to set up a pay progression system for corrections workers. Days before the audit was released, Evers’ administration gave temporary raises of up to $5-an-hour to workers at Columbia, Dodge, Green Bay, Taycheedah, Waupun and Lincoln Hills. Baldauff said Evers is trying to fix problems Republicans have ignored.

Evers tours Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus
… [with Tourism Sec. Meaney, Destination Madison’s Archer] to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week. … “Come on in, folks,” Evers said. “Retail is a part of tourism in Wisconsin. People come to Sassy Cow from around the state and the Midwest to buy their products. … For every $1 spent on tourism, it has a return of investment of $7.” … Evers and Meaney also visited La Crosse Tuesday and planned to stop in Milwaukee Wednesday. Meaney credited local tourism leaders, argued $5M budget boost “will give us an opportunity to reach new audiences and new geographies to reach more people about Wisconsin as a destination. … We’re being outspent by our neighbors to the east and west and that puts us at a disadvantage,” said creating an outdoor recreation office would improve the state’s tourism strategy. Owner Baerwolf said Evers’ visit “really is a big deal … It means a lot to us.” Evers bought chocolate milk, cheese and a pint of Orange Chocolate Bliss ice cream to go.

Report: Medicaid Expansion Would Make Opioid Addiction Treatment More Affordable
… Citizen Action … found [Medicaid-expansion-eligible individual] would pay as much as 72 times more for opioid addiction drugs [including buprenorphine-naloxone] on the ACA marketplace than through Medicaid. Citizen Action’s Kraig at Capitol presser: “If you raise financial barriers for people to get basic health care, preventative health care or treatment, like vital opiate addiction treatment, then you actually deny care to people and you make our public health much worse and you risk the lives and the livelihood of those individuals needlessly and only for political reasons,” will continue fighting for Evers’ Medicaid expansion, “Until the governor signs a budget, it’s not final … I think this is going to be a long debate.” Recovering addict Galey comments.

‘It feels a little bit like being a Viking fan’ at Lambeau Field.
Amy Klobuchar details presidential plans in Fox News town hall … Wednesday night on Fox News during a town hall at Milwaukee’s Grain Exchange … For 60 minutes, Klobuchar answered questions from the audience and Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum … banking on performing strongly in the Midwest, including Iowa and Wisconsin, where the primary is 11 months away. “I am someone, I think you can see this, who believes we need to move together as a country, who believes the heartland is very important to our country. It’s not just flyover land,” said Klobuchar. Argued AG Bar should appear before the House Judiciary Committee, said Middle East tension shows the US should “get back into the Iran nuclear agreement,” wouldn’t cozy up to Putin and Kim, “important to run on an optimistic economic agenda, and if you think that doesn’t work in Wisconsin I have four words for you: former Governor Scott Walker,” said she is “a proven progressive. … I believe in Roe v. Wade … making contraception available,” pushed her $100 billion plan to improve mental health care and combat addiction, said her alleged mistreatment of staffers “is going to be for other people to decide,” would encourage other Democrats to go on a Fox News town hall, “You’ve got to reach people where they are. … got to talk to the whole country, and it’s all about uniting the country.”

‘Right in the pivot point’: Pundits say Wisconsin will be pivotal in 2020 election
Operatives Gilkes-R, Bjork-D, MU Law pollster Franklin at WisPolitics forum. Franklin: if the rest of the electoral map remains unchanged, Democrats need all three states [WI, PA, MI] in 2020. “Either way you look at it, we at the moment are right in the pivot point.” Bjork: “Wisconsin, for presidential politics, at least for Democrats, is always a key state. And we learned that, unfortunately, in 2016 by not focusing on Wisconsin the way we should have. That’s not going to happen again, I assure you.” Gilkes sees Wisconsin more as one of a Big 10 lineup of competitive Midwestern states like OH, MI, PA, IA, MN, “Those are the states that are going to decide the president of the United State next go-round.” Bjork said top tier Dems are biggest fundraisers: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris. Franklin sees Buttigieg as a sleeper.

Russ Feingold to work with group promoting global biodiversity
… Campaign for Nature seeks to help communities, indigenous peoples and nations conserve 30% of the planet in its natural state by 2030. … Feingold, who has served as special envoy to the Great Lakes region of Africa … will in his new role work with African leaders who have an interest in expanding protected areas … “There’s a feeling of urgency,” Feingold said, adding that threats to biodiversity can be as troubling as those of climate change. … Campaign for Nature seeks to help communities, indigenous peoples and nations conserve 30% of the planet in its natural state by 2030.

Jennifer Cheatham to teach at Harvard, will leave Madison supt. post at end of August
… Flanked by community leaders, district staff and the majority of the Madison School Board, Cheatham officially announced her resignation Wednesday … “On the most challenging days, I have loved this job,” Cheatham said at a news conference at the North Side’s Mendota Elementary School. “I have never had a more fulfilling job.” … Despite in March having described this school year as “trying,” Cheatham said … high-profile controversies this year … “is absolutely not my reason for leaving.” … Cheatham said the district … is on an “upward trajectory academically with accelerated growth for students of color.” [DPI showed black grad rate rose from 52.8% to 65.6% during Cheatham’s tenure.] … When asked whether Cheatham was actively seeking the new position or if it was offered to her, she said: “I was exploring a single opportunity, and this is the one that came together. I’m ready to make a larger impact on the education field,” Cheatham said. MSD Board Pres. Burke praised Cheatham, no details on choosing interim supt. Boarder Mirilli, ex-boarder Mertz, United Way’s Moe comment.

Former Milwaukee Ald. Willie Wade charged with wire fraud in strip club talks
… [allegedly] collected $30,000 in cash by claiming that he was negotiating on behalf of a current Milwaukee alderman [Rainey] to accept a bribe in exchange for a vote in favor of approving licenses for … Silk Exotic … third case tied to Silk clubs in recent years. … council approved the deal in a 10-5 vote. … Wade at one point said a payment of $15,000 would result in a “done deal” but then sought to increase the amount of the purported bribe … Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Wednesday that he was “shocked to hear of the allegations” against Wade. … Wade has been working at Employ Milwaukee since leaving office. Barrett picked him to lead the jobs agency in July 2018.


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– 10 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Health executive session on a series of abortion-related bills.

– 10 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection public hearing on AB 147, relating to caller ID spoofing; and AB 186, relating to allowing minors to operate temporary stands without a permit or license.

– 11 a.m.: Joint Committee on Finance executive session on first budget items.

– 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Tech Council Innovation Network luncheon with developers of drug to offset menopause effects.

– 11:30 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities executive session on AB 51, relating to the minority teacher loan program.

– 11:30 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities informational hearing. Members are to hear from UW System President Ray Cross, Wisconsin Technical College System President Morna Foy and Wisconsin Independent Colleges and Universities President Rolf Wegenke.

– 1 p.m.: Assembly Committee on Rules executive session on the calendar for May 15.

– 6 p.m.: Millennial Action Project Red and Blue Dialogue: Water Quality in Green Bay.

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