THU News Summary: JFC to take up motion stripping items from Evers’ budget; Klobuchar town hall

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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. By AP, WMTV

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. By AP, WPR

Assembly GOP back pay increases for corrections officers
… vow from the 19 Assembly GOP members with prisons in their districts [including Vos] to address compensation rates mirrors a similar commitment previously made by Evers, suggesting an area of common ground in what has otherwise been a highly fraught budget process. … letter to Evers and Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr was prompted by their objection to Evers’ plan to provide $5-per-hour temporary raises for officers at some corrections institutions. … would be open to supporting a “sustainable solution” rather than providing temporary raises. Baldauff for Evers: “The governor is committed to addressing these and other serious issues in our criminal justice system that Republicans have ignored over the past eight years.” By Vetterkind, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL [see Editorials]

‘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 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.” By Glauber, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

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. By Damask, BEAVER DAM DAILY CITIZEN


– PolitiFact: Yes, small businesses account for 99% of all Wisconsin companies … based on the federal definition of a “small” business — is … True.

– John Nichols: The DCCC’s Plan to Punish Democrats for Backing Primary Challengers Is Sparking Major Backlash, This attempt to protect incumbents will tamp down on the energy and diversity the party desperately needs. … [DCCC] has announced that it will not grant contracts to pollsters, strategists, and communications specialists working with Democrats who mount primary challenges to incumbents in 2020. … “This runs counter to anything that would be considered democratic in a small ‘d’ sense,” says Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan (D-WI). … Pocan is a well-regarded campaigner who has worked closely with the DCCC over the years. Yet, he says the latest move by the campaign committee “does nothing positive toward … electing more Democrats to the House.” … working with CPC co-chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) to get the DCCC to reverse course. But, so far, DCCC chair Cheri Bustos (D-IL) has refused to bend. “We’ve got a policy that the caucus supports, the leadership supports, and it plays the long game,” says Bustos. Jayapal counters that “It is not playing games for the Democratic party to be inclusive of all its members’ perspectives.”

– De Pere [Council resolution] asks state to close dark store loophole

– AG’s office sues farmer [Knutson] for wetland filling

– Wanted: Digital Whizzes to Work in Agriculture

– [Oneida-Vilas] Transit flap raises issue of meeting minutes as public records

– Thompson analysis: Is State a Leader in “Economic Freedom”? So says a Cato Institute report. There’s reason to doubt this. … [several scatter graphs] … The use of “freedom” to describe a set of economic policies has two troubling implications. One is that it is used to sugar coat a set of policies whose result is greater economic inequality in American society. … A second is the resulting trivialization of freedom at a time when democratic norms are under attack globally and in United States. If, as suggested by Cato’s report, freedom means being able to carry a concealed gun, buy cheap cigarettes and beer, and to ride without a helmet, how can it be a serious value?

– Jennifer Cheatham to teach at Harvard, will leave Madison superintendent 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.” … Her last day will be Aug. 30. 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.

– Leaders from UW-Stout, state praise chancellor’s legacy: Meyer retiring after 32 years.

– ‘Right in the pivot point’: Pundits say Wisconsin will be pivotal in 2020 election: GOP operative Gilkes, Dem operative Bjork, MU Law pollster Franklin at WisPolitics forum. 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,” said Franklin. 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 tierDems are biggest fundraisers: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris. Franklin sees Buttigieg as sleeper.

– The unlikely story of how Wisconsin became the first state to help American women get the vote … For a state known as a bastion of progressivism, whose motto is “Forward,” Wisconsin had been neither progressive nor forward-thinking in its treatment of women. Numerous attempts to grant Wisconsin women full voting powers over decades all went down in flames. Until the morning of June 10, 1919.

– Six Wisconsin women played key roles in the suffrage movement: Theodora Youmans, Carrie Chapman Catt, Ada James, Olympia Brown, Jessie Jack Hooper, Laura Ross Wolcott.

ENERGY ^top^
– Where’s Wisconsin on the Green New Deal? Supporters praise its potential; detractors say it’s not feasible: WI Conservative Energy Forum’s Coenen: “It’s sort of a top down approach. If you want to see the radical change that’s kind of envisioned in the Green New Deal, you’d almost have to nationalize the utility sector. You’d have to do some unprecedented things that the United States has never done.” Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Mitchler, Clean WI’s Blankman, former dairyman Goodman support. Dairyman Peterson, frequent business flier Wheeler open to discussion. Real-estater Arnold skeptical. Rehash Duffy dubbying it “elitist.”

– Enbridge protest changes Great Lakes Elementary activities: kids kept inside in morning due to protester traffic

– DNR: No Buck-Only Counties For 2019 Deer Season, DNR Plans To Present Season Structure To Board On May 22 … [said] no county deer advisory council requested such a designation.

– Smith: Buffalo county wanted antlerless-only hunt to reach deer quotas. DNR said no.

– 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.

– 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 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.

– Karmenta Center nursing home in Madison closes amid statewide shutdowns … among 30 to shut down since 2016, according to LeadingAge Wisconsin … An additional 27 of the state’s 350 or so nursing homes are in receivership, a process similar to bankruptcy. … Low Medicaid payments and a shortage of qualified workers, along with a shift in demand from nursing homes to assisted living facilities, are key factors in the closures and financial problems statewide, said [LeadingAge’s] Sauer … “If we keep going the way we’re going, there will be a significant access issue to quality nursing facilities.” Karmenta’s Kenyon did not respond.

IOWA ^top^
– Elizabeth Warren caucus operation reaches early to Iowa campuses

– Wisconsin Assembly Plans Vote On Victims Amendment … Both the Assembly and Senate passed the victims amendment, known as Marsy’s Law, in 2017. The Assembly expects to vote on it for a second time on May 15. If the amendment passes the Senate this year the earliest it could appear on the ballot would be the April 2020 election. … Victims would have the [constitutional] 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

– 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, the affidavit says. … 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.

– More ‘felony lane gang’ activity suspected in southern Wisconsin

– ‘Cancer in the culture:’ Military sexual trauma is ‘getting worse, not better,’ offering limited justice to survivors … Part three (below) examines the phenomenon of “military sexual trauma” as well as Plunkett’s often frustrating efforts to maintain consistent medical care and legal representation. Part four (to be published online on Friday, May 10) describes the Guard’s final — and at this point, unsuccessful — effort to strip Plunkett of military benefits even after she was in the process of getting a discharge for medical reasons. … The VA even uses its own term for it: military sexual trauma, or MST. … One expert said that the Guard is particularly ill-equipped to investigate and prosecute sensitive sexual assault cases in part because its legal staff is part-time and not well-trained. On top of that, there is little federal oversight and much variation from state to state in how cases are treated. Here’s how the process works. … “Every state Guard is different. There are some that are more progressive than others; it’s all about local leadership,” said Ellen Haring, a retired Army colonel, adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University and CEO of the Women’s Service Action Network … Maj. Robert Brania, the sexual assault response advocate for the Guard, said he sees … “less a Wisconsin National Guard problem and more a cultural problem living in this state and this country. … “It is in our organization’s best interest to have service members that are healthy and ready to deploy,” he said. “Anyone who suggests that we would benefit by having people victimized by any crime, it’s a little off base.” … Everyone is looking for justice, right? While the allegations are credible, the process is going to come to a conclusion the victim may not be satisfied (with), the perpetrator may not be satisfied (with),” [NG legal counsel] Dziobkowski said at a media roundtable held by the Guard last month. “The adherence to the process is very important. We do take the victim’s interests into account every step of the way. There is no taking sides. We just follow the process and where the evidence leads to, we take the appropriate course of action. Now, could there be improvements? I am sure there could be,” he said. … “We would never cover something up,” said Jackie Halverson, the Guard’s spokeswoman. …. The average sexual assault case takes about 500 days from report to action, [Protect Our Defenders’ Christensen] said, adding that: “It’s very likely the SVC you start with is not the SVC you end up with at the end. It’s not good. It’s not good at all.” … Plunkett’s friends, boyfriend and mother said she is not who she was before she entered the National Guard…. As Plunkett struggles with the aftermath of her time in the Guard, she wants to see its system of justice changed. It inherently disadvantages victims, she said.

– Vietnam Moving Wall on display in Holmen

– Arsenic levels at Oakwood Elementary over 17 times higher than state allows

– Health director [Giese], legislators endorse bill to eliminate waiver on vaccinations

– Record? Multiple wildfires burn Saturday, at least one may have been set by arsonist … fire that has been labeled as “incendiary” was near Blomberg Lake northwest of Siren, off of Highway D.

– Snyder shifts focus from ‘tiny’ to ‘small’ homes for the homeless

– Superior CBD business expands to Duluth’s Lakeside neighborhood

– Ashland grad [on Dartmouth team] wins NASA competition, goes to Mars

– Milwaukee Has $5.7 Billion Tourism Impact, One in four state tourism dollars generated by metro Milwaukee.

– Tourism increases in Rock County

– Visitor spending surpassed $237 million in 2018, Department of Tourism figures show

– Electric Scooters Could Return This Year, Bill working its way through state Legislature to legalize electric scooters. Assembly bill sponsored by Reps. Mike Kuglitsch, Duchow, Brandtjen, Kitchen, Myers, Neylon, Novak, Ramthun, Sanfelippo, Sinicki. Senate version sponsored by Sens. Kooyenga, Cowles, Carpenter, Larson, Stroebel.

– Xcel Seeks To Build New Transmission Line In Northern Wisconsin, Utility Seeks To Add Second [34.5 kilovolt] Circuit To Bayfield Peninsula … The Bayfield County board passed a resolution earlier this year in favor of the proposed east route, which the utility’s application states would cost around $35 million.

– WSJ editorial: Scott Walker unconvincing as national spokesman for gerrymandering … We don’t expect Walker to embrace the Iowa model, given he’s now paid to defend gerrymandering. But the rest of Wisconsin should strongly support Iowa’s good-government model.

– RJT editorial: All state corrections officers should get a raise, not just some

– Dave Zweifel: Make America great again? No, let’s make it pay again

– Patrick Testin: Shield the Vulnerable Act seeks to end discriminatory abortion

– Minority Leader Katrina Shankland: Support efforts to clean up Wisconsin’s water during National Drinking Water Week

– JFC Dems: Wisconsin Needs a People’s Budget, Polls, public hearings show support for more K-12 education funding, Medicaid expansion, medical pot.

– Paul Boyle: Under new job advertising rule, Americans need not apply

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