TUE AM Update: JFC to take up taxes, capital budget today

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From WisPolitics.com …

— The Joint Finance Committee kicks off its final sprint with an agenda today that includes taxes and the capital budget.

The full agenda for the committee, which is scheduled to convene at 1 p.m., includes:

Appropriation Obligation Bonds
Building Commission
Building Program
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
Natural Resources –Conservation and Recreation
Juvenile Corrections
Veterans Affairs
General Fund Taxes–Income and Franchise Taxes
General Fund Taxes –Sales and Use Taxes
General Fund Taxes –Excise Taxes and Other Taxes

Follow today’s committee action in the Budget Blog:

— Gov. Tony Evers will be in Green Bay today for a coastal grant announcement.

He also plans a visit to the Milwaukee Children’s Hospital.

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, is again urging the Trump administration not to close a Northwoods jobs center that has served disadvantaged youth since 1964.

The Trump administration has decided to close nine of the 25 Civilian Conservation Centers within the U.S. Forest Service. That includes the Blackwell Job Corps Center near Laona.

Baldwin has also introduced legislation that would prevent the closures.

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, has also urged the administration not to close the center, which employs 54 people.

Read the letter:


Free event: June 17: Navigating the New Economy: The booming border

–Sponsored by WAGET, the Wisconsin Academy of Global Education and Training in partnership with WisBusiness.com and the Kenosha News —

Even if the Foxconn development doesn’t reach its full promise, the southeastern Wisconsin border economy is booming. But that brings issues in the areas of workforce, housing and transportation. A panel of experts weigh in on how to navigate the issues and make the most of the boom.

When: Monday, June 17, 8 a.m. with breakfast served. Program from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Where: The Civil War Museum, 5400 First Avenue, Kenosha, Wis. 262-653-4141

What: Panel discussion featuring Wisconsin Revenue Secretary Barca; economics Prof. Cassie Lau of Carthage College; Heather Wessling, vice president of economic development for the Kenosha Area Business Alliance and former president of WEDA; plus area state Reps. Ohnstad and Kerkman.

Cost is free, thanks to the WAGET sponsorship.

Register in advance here:


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GOP eyes $400M middle class tax cut as part of state budget
… similar to the one the Legislature passed in January. That … would have cut $170 in taxes, on average, for nearly 2 million qualifying, mostly middle-income tax filers. [but cost $490M and was paid for with $400M in surplus, prompting Evers’ veto] … “We’re conscious of the idea that at the end of the day, we want to hit that tax cut number,” [Senate Leader] Fitzgerald said [will not resemble Evers’ budget tax cut] … Speaker Vos statement: “We look forward to working with the Senate to enact a middle-class tax cut, and hopefully this time Governor Evers won’t veto this bipartisan goal.” Baldauff for Evers statement: “The governor’s sustainable plan puts the needs of farmers and working families first, while Republicans are fighting to protect millionaires.” Fitzgerald said UW System’s building projects is the largest capital budget item still in flux, “We’ve got to determine what our tolerance is.” UW leaders last week urged lawmakers to approve their renovation/repair of aging campuses, stop “kicking the can down the road.” Rehash JFC, Evers budget highlights.

JFC Approves Funding To Expand Rail Service Between Milwaukee, Chicago
JFC included $35M [$10M less than Evers’] in their roads budget for the $195M project, would provide matching funds for federal transportation grants to complete road improvements needed before service could increase from 7 round trips daily to 10. WisDOT’s Rao said agency also seeking outside matching funds, “This was a very important step. We needed the state matching funds to leverage federal funding to get the additional frequencies. Without the matching funds, we could not move forward.” WisDOT’s Knowles: “SC Johnson, Miller-Coors, Johnson Controls, CNH Industrial and other companies in this corridor, are very interested in this service expansion.” Amtrak’s Magliari: “The action is important, but it is not a conclusion. We’re a ways from knowing where this is going to end up.” Hiawatha ridership has doubled since 2003 when it began 7 daily round-trips. In February, WisDOT got $5M CRISI grant to construct a second platform at the Hiawatha station located near Mitchell International, allowing both tracks to be used at the same time; 7 projects remain before Amtrak can add trips, including holding tracks in Glenview and Lake Forest, IL, which IDOT Sec. Osman said his agency wouldn’t pursue federal dollars to build. IDOT statement: “The department is a strong supporter of passenger rail service on this line and will be working with the lead agency on the project, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, on other possible solutions to improve service.” Knowles said the agencies and Amtrak will continue to meet to “determine the path forward to add the trains.”

I-41 six-lane expansion from Appleton to De Pere moves a step ahead in budget
… recommended $4 million in the first year of the 2019-21 state budget and $2 million the second year for environmental review and interchange studies. The [23-mile] I-41 expansion has been pushed by local and state officials to address concerns about road congestion and a high crash rate around the Fox Valley region. WIsDOT’s Kantola said recent analysis found “capacity expansion is warranted.” … [beyond signing, WisDOT] will have to complete a series of reports and a federal environmental review process before construction can begin. Rep. Murphy “hopeful Governor (Tony) Evers will recognize the importance of signing the I-41 budget enumeration into law. As the freeway continues to be inadequate, the Fox Valley will lose economic growth opportunities. The lost time during commutes and the crashes are costing our community dearly.”

100 years later, WI celebrates ratification of amendment giving women the right to vote
… Hundreds of attendees … gathered at the state Capitol Monday … led by First Lady Kathy Evers, featured the unveiling of the original signed 19th Amendment document and a bipartisan group of speakers who stressed the historic nature of the moment and encouraged continued activism going forward. Justice Walsh Bradley: “Success is not yet at hand. There’s much, much more to do.” 36 women in Legislature [27%]; record is 37. Rep. Stubbs applauded WI’s “radical vision for a more inclusive democracy,” but noted the suffrage movement was largely white and often excluded women of color, who won voting rights in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “We can do better because in Wisconsin, we know better. We must uplift all women and exclude no woman. No woman left behind.” Ex-lt. guv Kleefisch told of WI racing IL to be first to ratify 19th, “Wisconsin beating Illinois became a tradition because of women’s right to vote — two years before the Packers and the Bears ever played each other.”

Judge rules in favor of Racine’s bid to provide water from Lake Michigan for Foxconn
… [ALJ] Hayes on Friday found that Racine’s plans to sell water [7M gals/day] to the Village of Mount Pleasant, which in turn will be selling most of the water to Foxconn, met requirements of the Great Lakes Compact. … said the compact also allows for diversions for industrial and commercial users. … “statute’s intent is to allow a system serving many kinds of customers as a public water supply purpose.” … [enviros argued] diversion must be for “public water supply purposes,” serving a “group of largely residential customers.” … victory for Foxconn, Racine, Mount Pleasant and [Evers’] DNR. … “We are in support of the decision, as that is our position,” DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye said. MEA’s Kamp disappointed, “we stand by our interpretation of the ‘public water supply purposes’ requirement.” Mount Pleasant Pres. DeGroot hailed “diversion will support broader I-94 corridor development, creating even more Racine County jobs, patrons and residents.”

Ryan says entitlement and immigration reforms were his biggest ‘unfinished business’
… in a rare public address at an electric utility industry conference hosted by the Edison Electric Institute. “Our politics are not letting us solve those problems. Our politics are vicious right now.” … was asked by Edison Electric Institute President Thomas Kuhn whether he would run for president in the future. [Ryan] did not answer the question directly, instead discussing Republicans’ “unfinished business. … One thing I regret the most is we did not get a debt reduction plan in place. If you don’t get these entitlements under control, we will have a debt crisis in this country. Immigration has been plagued by politics. If we solve the immigration problem, which is totally solvable, and our debt problem, which is totally solvable, we are going to be great.” … warned that “our democracy is facing a stress test,” citing moves by “illiberal countries” such as China and Russia … “We had a remarkable record of success,” Ryan said. “More people know about the tweets of Donald Trump. The ‘Twittersphere’ is really what captured the attention of the public.” … noting the president is a “mile-a-minute” person who is “always thinking, always moving” and didn’t always appreciate the methodical nature of Congress. “He came in thinking this should work like a business,” Ryan said. “It doesn’t.” … “[US’] carbon footprint is clearly dropping far better than anyone else in the Paris [Agreement],” Ryan said. “Gas is a great bridge. Coal is cleaner. We should never give up on nuclear,” Ryan added. “We need to keep investing in the research of nuclear.”

Romney says Donald Trump’s re-election is ‘not a sure thing’
… [at Romney’s annual E2 summit on June 7] … A relaxed Paul Ryan, the retired Wisconsin congressman who served as U.S. House speaker and as Romney’s vice presidential running mate, declined to talk to the Deseret News, saying he was “enjoying not giving interviews.” Later, a statement released about the summit identified Ryan as the chairman of the summit, replacing Romney, who is participating “in an honorary capacity” now that he’s a U.S. senator.

Priebus officially joins Navy
… on Monday … following a commissioning ceremony led by Vice President Pence. … commissioned as an ensign, the junior rank in the Navy, following a months-long application process. … expected to serve as a human resources officer. Several lawmakers and fellow Wisconsinites attended the ceremony and shared photos after its conclusion. “It was an honor and privilege to attend @Reince’snaval commissioning ceremony this morning. Congratulations and thank you for your service Ensign Priebus!!!” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) tweeted. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) also attended. Ex-WH comm chief Spicer also attended. [twitter pics from all.] Rehash Priebus application, inspiration.


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– 9 a.m.: Assembly Committee on Transportation public hearing on AB 283, relating to requiring a local referendum to impose a wheel tax, and other bills.

– 10 a.m.: Elections Commission. Members are to hear an update on election security and consider approval of the sale and use of updated voting equipment.

– 10 a.m.: PSC hearing.

– 11 a.m.: PSC hearing.

– 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Veterans Chamber of Commerce: “Veterans in the Skilled Trades Workforce.” Panelists include: Bob Zillman, Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council; Michael James, Department of Workforce Development; John Jacobs, IBEW Local 494; Darrel Cappetta, Department of Workforce Development Veterans in Piping Program; Jason Young, Price Erecting; Tom Kelley, Local 8 Iron Workers and Chad van Nuland, Fox Valley Technical College.

– 1 p.m.: Assembly Committee on Ways and Means executive session on AB 251, relating to requiring marketplace providers to collect and remit sales tax from third parties and reducing individual income tax rates based on the collection of sales and use tax from out-of-state retailers and marketplace providers.

– 1 p.m.: Joint Committee on Finance executive session. Members are to consider the following budget items: appropriation obligation bonds; Building Commission; Building Program; Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Board of Commissioners of Public Lands; Natural Resources (Conservation and Recreation); Juvenile Corrections; Veterans Affairs; general fund taxes (income and franchise taxes, sales and use taxes, and excise taxes and other taxes).

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