THU News Summary: GOP ed budget boost spending $500 million, falls $900 million short of Evers’ goal

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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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GOP school budget would spend $900m less than Evers
Assembly Republicans say they support an education budget that would spend an additional $500 million on schools … an additional $50 million for special education …
Evers called for a $1.4 billion increase … [including] $606 million increase in special education funding. … [GOP noted] the state had not increased special education funding for more than a decade. … plan … would fund two-thirds cost of K-12 [legal standard under TGT, later repealed]. Vos at presser with 40 colleagues: “This budget shows clearly that we can live within our means and that we can build on last session’s historic investment in K-12 education.” Walker added $600M in his final budget. JFC to vote education budget today. Evers: “The education budget won’t be decided tomorrow. It’s a long process,” no word on veto, “It’s hard to say. We have to look at any budget in the totality of it,” noted $606M special ed remained priority, “School funding should be around equity. Equality is not something that necessarily works in the real world or in the school world. If people need an extra lift, they should get an extra lift and sometimes that costs more money.” Fitzgerald on K-12 budget: “The caucuses in both houses seem to be headed in a very similar direction in crafting another pro-kid budget.” Fitzgerald, Vos and Evers also met privately Wednesday, though all declined comment. By Johnson, WPR

These four WI women [Farrow, Baldwin, Moore, Burke] broke through in politics.
Here’s what they want you to know about the path to power. … “I still to this day remember watching Geraldine Ferraro take the stage at the Democratic National Convention in 1984,” Baldwin said. “I was watching it on a tiny TV in an efficiency apartment, and I watched her and started to tear up and I said to myself, ‘I can do anything.'” … Margaret Farrow’s 27 years in public office began with two failed runs for the Elm Grove Village Board — she lost by more votes the second time she ran. … “I didn’t do any of that to be the first woman to do it,” Farrow said. “I hoped what I was bringing to that office would justify me being there whether I was a woman or a man.” … successfully navigating the state Capitol required leaving differences aside but not forgetting them. That included convincing men … “I’m not a threat to you. I’m a companion to you,” Farrow said. “I want to be a collaborator and not take over. … There will be a woman governor someday,” Farrow said. “It will come when people are in a meeting getting things done not even realizing there was a woman in their midst.” … “I was 38 years old when I first joined the state Assembly, and I thought my mission was to not look too womanly,” Moore said. “To go in there and be like the guys, you know, go in and be tough … I got there on the floor,” she said. “I think I was there all of five or 10 minutes before I realized, ‘Look, Gwen, you’re a woman, you’re a black woman. … it’s a legacy that I feel that I have to continue.” … First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. … Vel R. Phillips, Marcia Coggs and Farrow were also [Moore’s] role models. … “Growing up my dad was my role model, and he told me I could be anything as long as I worked hard,” Burke said. “My ambition was to be a business person, just like him. … the real reasons I ran [for Guv] were virtually no one else was stepping up to run and people encouraged me … remembers meeting Democratic strategist David Axelrod and telling him of the intense pressure that she felt to run. “His response was, ‘The jockeys always need a horse,'” Burke said. “I realized only then that I had been the horse.” … [Baldwin recalled 2012 DNC convention] “Somebody stops me and says, ‘I was at your speech this morning and I was standing beside a young woman who had to leave before she had the opportunity to come and greet you, but she said if I saw you, I should pass along this note.’ It was her business card, and on the back it said, ‘Tammy Baldwin, you are my Geraldine Ferraro.’ I can hardly say that without getting choked up.” BY SPicuzza and Beck, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL


– Assembly GOP wants $500M school funding boost, far shy of Tony Evers’ $1.4B plan … about $500 million more in K-12 school aid over the next two years … $50 million boost to educate children with special needs [28% reimbursement, up from 25%] … increasing state funding to districts for mental health services by $23 million and for high-cost transportation aid by about $5 million … “This will be the highest level of investment that we have ever made in our public schools in the history of Wisconsin,” Vos said. Yet the plan falls about $900 million shy of Evers’ … Senate Republicans are discussing increasing funding to school districts by about $200 per pupil in each of the next two years, in a way that would mirror the most recent budget … “That’s what we’re trying to figure out, is what the big number is,” said Fitzgerald, R-Juneau. Fitzgerald said Evers, during their meeting, stressed the importance of special education funding. [which Senate GOP want to increase, but won’t say how much]. Evers’ post-meeting statement: “Criminal justice reform, education and transportation seem like issues where we have a lot of opportunity to make progress. Wisconsinites elected us to work together so I hope we can get things done for the people of our state.”

– Assembly Republicans propose $500 million more for schools [Bauer of AP]

– PolitiFact: Claims that Democrats didn’t attend a hearing about the border are wrong

– Wisconsin AG opinion sought in Manitowoc County proposed sales tax … ad hoc committee drafted a resolution [based on Sheboygan plan] to bring to the full board in June that would enact a 0.5% sales tax in 2020. The county would keep 70% of the proceeds and 30% would go to the county’s cities, towns and villages. Seeking Kaul’s opinion whether the distribution must include schools. Schimel was asked in April 2018, but recused due to Brown Co. challenge.

– Former Dells bookkeeper tells court $350K embezzlement supported gambling addiction

– Teichmiller charged [by Oneida DA Shiek] for open meetings violation, Transit commission agenda lacked notice about discussion of donations

– ‘People are getting scared’ Farmers face plunging markets [China trade war] with no end in sight … “The atmosphere from everyone I’ve talked to is that there are a lot of people who are just getting scared,” said Doug Rebout, a Janesville farmer and president of the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. “The uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen is the worst part.” … Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said she supported “getting tough on China” through a bill with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., that would look to enforce fair trade policies against China. … In a statement, Sen. Ron Johnson said he was “well aware of the short-term pain being experienced by Wisconsin farmers and Wisconsin manufacturers.” … Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. In an op-ed published in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 17, Pocan said the he felt targeted tariffs were always an option, “but in the case of President Trump’s trade war with China, it’s clear his administration has no coherent policy.”

– Five people charged with forced labor of 14 Mexican workers on Wisconsin farms … trafficked 14 men from Georgia to Wisconsin in 2016 and threatened the victims, making them believe that if they didn’t work, they would suffer serious harm. … U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Wisconsin indicted Saul Garcia, 49; Saul Garcia Jr., 26; Daniel Garcia, 28; Consuelo Garcia, 45; and Maria Remedios Garcia-Olalde, 52, on conspiracy to commit forced labor, labor trafficking and five other labor-related offenses.

– Local beekeepers keep honey production flowing

– Your CBD shop to open in downtown Marshfield, offer CBD gummies, creams and more

– Fiserv suspends search for new headquarters site to focus on merger with First Data … “Before we bought First Data we were a different enterprise,” Yabuki said. “We’re going from $6 billion (in annual revenue) to roughly $15 billion. Many more employees — about 50,000 employees — different locations, and so we have to now analyze where does it make sense given the new company. But we’ll absolutely maintain a presence here at a minimum. We’ve been longstanding fans of Wisconsin and will continue to be.” … Fiserv, founded in 1984, moved into its three-story brick building at 255 Fiserv Drive in Brookfield in 1992. Yabuki has described the building as “bank-esque,” and said its location in the suburbs makes it more difficult to attract younger tech workers. … In Alpharetta, Georgia [“Technology City of the South,” near First Data], Fiserv consolidated six Atlanta-area locations, and its facilities there hold more than twice as many employees as the Brookfield headquarters. The Alpharetta site has room for expansion. … “We’re probably most excited about the partnership with the Bucks,” he said. “They have been fantastic to work with, and have really done everything they can to help us get the most out of this opportunity.”

COURTS ^top^
– Wisconsin trying to tempt lawyers to come north: Meet your client in jail, then walk through the giant musky … A Monday email from the State Public Defender’s Office in Spooner to lawyers as far away as Milwaukee carried the subject line: **We CoUlD ReALlY UsE YoUr HelP in SaWyEr CoUnTy – NEW DATES!** … adjustable to fit lawyers’ schedules, and it ends with … “If you have never been to Sawyer County, here are some top attractions as compiled by the Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce” with a convenient link. PD’s Kraft touts support for budget plan to hike rate to $70/hr, “We continue to get positive feedback from legislators about this proposal. This change will, in turn, significantly assist in addressing the issues we continue to see with clients, county budgets, jails, court calendars and victims.” Defense atty. Adams feels ethical obligation, has taken PD gigs in closer counties, but “the ten-hour round trip would net me $200 from the state public defender (travel compensation is $20 per hour), which is less than what I charge a private client for a single hour of my time.”

– State Supreme Court to hear Dennis Brantner drug case

– Census: Madison, suburbs top list of fastest-growing cities in Wisconsin

– Public Housing Authorities Reel as HUD Singles Out Immigrants

– Many UW-Eau Claire students face homelessness during finals … graduation planned for May 25, and leases on off-campus apartments set to expire at the end of May, landlords have arranged time for maintenance and cleaning to get their properties ready for new tenants on June 1 … “We have to be out Wednesday. And I still have finals on Thursday and Friday. I don’t have my apartment to live in. We might end up sleeping in our car at some point,” said UW-Eau Claire junior Jens Calderon. … cleaning apartments between leases is commonly known as homeless week in Eau Claire, and could affect up to 6,600 students who live off-campus.

– Madison students call for consent-based, inclusive sex education in wake of alleged assaults … [Supt.] Cheatham met with the Gender Equity Club at East during the first week of May to hear students’ concerns … committed to working with students on these issues, adding their input and leadership “will make the district’s work stronger.”

– 16 staffers retire in Watertown [school district]

– Grad ceremony requirement tied to school attendance dropped for Baraboo seniors

– School board votes to affiliate with Rural Virtual Academy, Trial membership will run during 2019-20 school year

– Liz Gilbert named executive director of 2020 DNC local organizing committee … [UW-Madison grad, DPW intern] Gilbert is currently the executive director of the New Jersey State Democratic Committee. … “Liz is an excellent choice,” said Mike Tate, chair of the state Democratic Party during the time Gilbert was an intern. “She has a breadth of experience that I’d argue is virtually unmatched. She knows Wisconsin. She is the best choice to lead the committee.” … Other host committee appointments include Shirley Ellis and Martha Love as senior advisers, Marcus Switzer as finance director and Alex Lasry as finance chair. … Joe Solmonese is chief executive officer of the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee … added Debra Alligood White as chief of staff; Jorge Neri as director of public engagement and Teresa Vilmain as a senior adviser. … Vilmain is a longtime political operative in Wisconsin and has significant national campaign experience, including serving as Iowa state director for Clinton’s 2007 campaign.

– Ranking the top states, many of the lowest ranked states supported Trump. Wisconsin was one exception.

– WDC: Outside groups co-wrote 47 state laws, special interest groups like ALEC created model bills for dozens of laws passed since 2009.

– DNR board OKs bear revisions, disallows hounds in new zone

– SSM Health moves $75 million redevelopment site away from grocery store property

– Sheboygan County child welfare impacted by drugs: ‘It’s just alarming,’ says HHS director … [JFC] is reviewing a $15 million or more increase … would go to the Department of Children and Families … “The overall state funding for child welfare has remained relatively stagnant in the last 10 or 15 years,” Strittmater said — it’s gone up a little bit, but the need has risen dramatically, leaving counties to make up the difference through property taxes. … DCF state average is 15 families per worker and 30 children per worker and Sheboygan’s average is 16.5 families per worker and 25 children per worker.

– ‘One try to become addicted’ — How illicit and legal drugs impact the Vilas County community

– Racine Alder John Tate II appointed to chair wisconsin parole commission … said his experience as a social worker who has already worked with inmates re-entering Wisconsin communities has given him a deep understanding of human development … “when we also look at who’s really in the prison systems, it’s often folks who committed crimes before their brain was fully developed.” … interested in increasing the number paroles … [which under TIS] means those that do qualify for parole have served at least 20 years in prison. … “Just tacking on time for the sake of tacking on time serves nobody. … especially when we’re having record unemployment. … Either we believe that people are redeemable or we don’t. Hardness or softness on crime should have no relevance on whether we believe that there is redemption for individuals.” Ex-Prisoners Organizing’s Ferber comments, Leader Fitzgerald did not.

– Prison guard who exposed informants with rat emojis has a new job and won’t be prosecuted … Robert Wilcox wasn’t fired [from Redgranite Correctional], as he worried he might be. And he wasn’t charged, as others thought perhaps he would. … consequence was a one-day suspension without pay. … has been hired by the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department. … “He’s been cleared criminally by our district attorney, he’s been recommended by the prison and we do know his family,” said [Waushara Deputy] Olson … Wilcox’s father was a 32-year-veteran of the department and Wilcox has other relatives with ties there and to the county, including an uncle who was a longtime judge … starts his new job at the jail Monday. … left [DOC] by his own will. “It was a peaceful separation,” he said. “It’s going to be better for me and my family.” … “I find it completely absurd that a law enforcement agency would hire an individual who has conducted himself in the manner that Sgt. Wilcox has,” [Redgranite Capt.] Wilke said. “My hope is that Sgt. Wilcox does not jeopardize further lives in his new capacity in law enforcement.” … also disturbed by the large settlement the department paid to Joseph Benson, the informant who sued. … reportedly was plotting to have him killed. “Now he’s got more money to put on my head,” Wilke said.

– One dead in police shooting, [Ashland] police mum on details

– Police: One dead following officer-involved shooting in Ashland

– Dane County committees approve building downtown jail tower

– [US Rep.] McCollum asks feds to complete study on mining near Boundary Waters … introduced language into a [Interior] funding bill … that would force the U.S. Forest Service to finish the study. … launched as part of a proposal in the waning days of the Obama administration that imposed a 20-year mining ban on more than 200,000 acres of the Superior National Forest within the Boundary Waters watershed.

– Westfield monkey sanctuary aims to give research primates ‘the dignity they deserve’

– Proposed bill would offer grants for private wells with high nitrate levels … [Testin] bill would create a $10M [DHS] pilot program … that would give eligible homeowners up to $2,500 in grants for well testing, installing a filtration system or paying to repair or replace an existing well. … “We know it’s a huge problem,” Testin said. “Certain areas of the state are more susceptible … so districts like mine that are concentrated primarily in the central sands region where those wells are more susceptible.” [DHS] estimates at least 10 percent of private wells in Wisconsin are contaminated with nitrate levels above [EPA std.] 10 parts per million. In southwest WI, a recent survey found 16 percent of private wells had excessive nitrate levels. DNR has well compensation fund but only for wells over 40 ppm. Nat Resources chair Cowles: “this isn’t going to be fixed in one year, five years, this is going to take a continual effort.” 2 other Senate bills would address short-staffing in permits and create a pollution credit trading system. Cowles: “There’s wind at our back. I think people are seeing this as very much a bipartisan issue and I think we’re gonna make significant advancements.”

– Kwik Trip veggie trays again linked to foodborne illness, 3 people in Wisconsin, 1 in Minnesota have salmonella infection after eating Del Monte Products sold at the stores

– [Marinette Water, Wastewater] Commissions receive update on PFAS levels … Operations Manager Warren Howard said the wastewater treatment plant is working with local fire suppression system manufacturer Tyco Fire Protection Products/Johnson Controls and a coagulant supplier to test the PFAS levels in the biosolids. … would reveal how much PFAS was in both products of the de-watering, which will determine how the city disposes of the de-watered biosolids and filtrate.

RETAIL ^top^
– Dollar General creates waves as it wades deeply into Wisconsin’s small towns

– In the driver’s seat: CVTC grad planning to open mobile car care business

– Get ready for Brat Fest with a look at last year’s hot weekend festival

– Construction, congestion await travelers

– CT Editorial: Ron Johnson is packing federal courts with unfit nominees

– John Nichols: Sanders does not need to apologize for opposing wars, he was absolutely right to oppose the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, and he is right to now oppose war with Iran.

– ‘The New York Times’ vs. Bernie, Amy Wilentz on media bias, plus John Nichols on Ilhan Omar and Karen Greenberg on government secrecy.

– Dave Zweifel: America is waking up to its income tax inequities

– DATCP Sec. Brad Pfaff: Dairy task force highlights the need to build connections

– SOS Doug La Follette: Don’t politicize the water crisis

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