TUE News Summary: GOP bill would fund electric car charging stations; Evers says he won’t endorse in prez primary

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Thursday: WisPolitics.com luncheon with JFC co-chairs

Join WisPolitics.com for lunch at The Madison Club, 5 East Wilson St., Madison, on Thursday, April 25, with the veteran Republican co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, will discuss Gov. Tony Evers’ budget plan and GOP budget priorities.

See more on the co-chairs:
Nygren: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/89/nygren
Darling: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/08/darling

Check-in and lunch begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program going from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

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This luncheon is sponsored by: Husch Blackwell, American Family Insurance, Xcel Energy, Walmart, AARP Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

To register, visit: https://eventbrite.com/e/wispolitics-with-alberta-darling-john-nygren-tickets-56595231862



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GOP Bill Would Fund Electric Car Charging Stations
… Neylon said the most logical place to start the program would be along Wisconsin’s Interstate-94 corridor, from the Illinois border in the south to the Minnesota border in the north. “That’s where the highest traffic is and that’s also where a lot of our tourism comes from,” [Rep.] Neylon said. … “close to the freeway and it’ll give them a fast charge so they can get in, charge up and be out and on their way in less than a half hour.” … would be paid for in part by unused funds [about $10M] from Wisconsin’s share of the multi-state settlement with Volkswagen. … with retailers picking up the other half. … [GOP package] would also partially offset [half] the cost of renewable energy for [subscribing] consumers and fund training [from DWD] for people who install solar and wind energy systems. By WPR

Evers [with Barnes] visits Greenleaf [Brickstead Dairy] farm for Earth Day
… met with farming and environmental leaders to learn more about farming’s impact on local communities. … “I believe that good environmental stewardship is a Republican and Democratic issue. We want our farmers to be successful, we want them to have good crops, and also encourage them, and they are doing it on their own frankly to be good stewards of the land,” Gov. Evers said. 6:08 video. By WBAY

DOT chief: State ‘reinvigorating’ study of improvements to Madison Beltline
… Thompson also pitched Evers’ plan to provide a $600 million infusion into roads, bridges and transit — primarily by increasing the gas tax — as vital to shield Wisconsin’s infrastructure from further decay. … “getting the (Beltline study) moving again” … spoken with prominent local business owners who … “really believe that lack of mobility is the one thing that could cap economic development on the Isthmus in the Madison area,” Thompson said. … [since leaving WTDA] his view has partly shifted on a DOT plan to rebuild [I-39-90/Beltline] interchange he previously deemed a “monumental waste of taxpayer dollars.” … Like Evers’ other picks to lead Cabinet agencies, Thompson has not yet been confirmed … estimated if a Senate confirmation vote were held today, he’d have support from between 26 and 29 senators … Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, didn’t directly respond. … provided a statement saying some GOP senators have asked him to call a vote to reject Thompson’s confirmation. By Sommerhauser, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL

Evers won’t endorse in prez primary, even as the state stays in the political spotlight
… “I will not be endorsing in the primary,” Evers said in [100-day] interview. “I will be with people if they want me to be with them to introduce them. I think Wisconsin is in a good place to play a huge role in one of the premier, democratic — small ‘d’ — events and so I don’t want to weigh in.” … [not endorsing in part due to field of 20+] “Somebody got in today that, I hate to say, I hadn’t even heard of him,” Evers said, referring to [US Sen. Moulton] … won’t be encouraging Trump to come to the state. [or] welcoming Trump to the [GB for rally] … “I haven’t been asked.” … hadn’t reached out, either. “And I don’t think he wants me to reach out,” Evers said. “What would I say to him? ‘Welcome to Wisconsin, Mr. President.’ ” … [only acted on one bill] “Some of it is just everybody getting used to divided government” … [met recently with Vos and Fitzgerald,] “They talked about the way when Gov. Walker was in office and, you know, they’d meet regularly to strategize and plot. You know, that’s not going to happen. Can we find common ground? Sure, but strategizing against myself I’m not going to spend a lot of time doing.” Blamed sour relations partly on lame duck laws, declined to say what Foxconn changes he mulled. By Barley and Meck, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

Evers will veto GOP ‘born alive’ abortion bill
… legislation [mandating medical care after failed abortion] came the same week North Carolina’s Democratic governor vetoed a similar proposal and as Republican lawmakers nationwide are sending their liberal-leaning governors similar bills that could energize conservative voters — especially heading into 2020 in swing states like Wisconsin. … If a doctor or nurse fail to do so, and fail to admit the infant to a hospital, he or she could face felony charges and up to $10,000 in fines. Health care providers “intentionally causing the death of a child born alive” as a result of a failed abortion, could face life in prison. Majority Leader Steineke: “[D]octors have the responsibility to care for that child as they would for any other person who was living and breathing.” Evers sees it as bill “to create division … those protections already exist. … to pass a bill that is redundant seems to be not a productive use of time,” affirmed his believe in women’s health care choice. Sponsor Sen. Roth said Evers’ pre-veto shows “he has gone farther to the extreme than I imagined. My bill simply removes any ambiguity that a health care provider must care for the life and health of a baby. How could anyone be against that?” Bill mirrors federal bill blocked by Senate Dems in February, which they say mirrors the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002. UW ethicist Charo: “Bills such as these are pure inflammatory rhetoric … to create the false impression that abortion providers practice infanticide … Any baby born alive is granted equal protection.” UW prof. Downs: “If indeed this is redundant, then there’s no need for it, but I don’t know what the previous protection is. The law protects you when you’re born — you’re a person.” Stanford Ob/Gyn Conti: “They are trying to essentially pull at people’s heartstrings. (To) envision this scenario that never really happens.” WRtoL’s Weininger said bill clarifies care mandate, “I work closely with people who have been born alive after failed abortion attempts. To say it hasn’t happened simply isn’t true.” Also, Testin-Dttrich bill would ban aborting a fetus after learning its race or disability, banning “selective abortion stemming from discrimination.” American College of Ob/Gyns’ McEvoy said abortions are too “emotionally complex” to find a single decisive factor. Baldauff for Evers said the bills are “a transparent attempt to distract from The People’s Budget.” WAWH’s Finger said GOP could really help women’s health by expanding Medicaid. Vos opposed to funding Planned Parenthood. MU Law poll showed bills would appeal to conservative voters. By Beck, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL


– John Nichols: Elizabeth Warren’s Constitutional Read of the Mueller Report Led Her to Call for Impeachment, The presidential candidate’s bold embrace of checks and balances is what leadership looks like.

– John Nichols: What Mueller report reveals about meddling with Wisconsin elections

– Brennan: Budget would help local governments provide vital services, DOA secretary says administration will make transparency a priority

– At 19, Wisconsin’s youngest lawmaker aiming high … When all the meetings are over, Rep. Haywood is a college sophomore with homework to do. “It’s kind of lonely,” he said. “Because who can I go have lunch with? There’s nobody there my age. I stay in my office a lot.” … Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett once attended a groundbreaking for a property owned by Haywood’s father, Kalan Haywood Sr., who runs the real-estate development company Haywood Group. Seeing Barrett step out of an SUV with men in trench coats, the younger Haywood thought being mayor “was the coolest thing.” In fourth grade, when former President Barack Obama first took office, Haywood had another thought: “Maybe if I work hard enough I could be Obama.” … summarized what’s important to him like this: “To break the cycle of poverty. That’s the overall theme.” … Sen. Lena Taylor, another Democrat Haywood admires, said she’s seen him tackle his inexperience by seeking out mentors and not being afraid to ask questions. … [Haywood has befriended Risser] calling his 91-year-old colleague an “inspirational guy. 70 years from now, there’s no telling what I can do,” Haywood said.

– Rep. Steil to host meeting on North American trade agreement [USMCA] … U.S. Department of Agriculture, Small Business Administration, Wisconsin Farm Service Agency and “industry experts” will speak, while local residents may submit written comments, at a hearing set for 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Burlington Police Department Courtroom

– Inside The Plastic Heart Of Congress, A new book from the authors of Politico Playbook promises an inside glimpse at our congressional leadership during the time of Trump. … seven pages of this book fall under “Paul Ryan’s retirement and fundraising” in the index … “The Hill To Die On” takes you inside Ryan’s disappointed lectures about the farm bill, and efforts to cut off the [DREAMers] discharge petition. “What he really didn’t want,” the authors write, “was to pass an immigration bill that essentially gave Democrats the floor. That wasn’t what the speaker did. Convention would dictate it was bad political practice.” Ryan (first introduced as “smart,” “strong,” and “vibrant”) ultimately put two bills up for a vote, one to placate each side of his party. Everyone knew they would fail, and they did. Well, it doesn’t matter anyway! Ryan, who portrays himself in this book as a passive actor upon whom power falls like weather, who failed to deliver on almost anything he espoused over his decades in Washington, has left Capitol Hill. … Before Ryan went, he “even relaxed his longtime ban on fundraising in the Hamptons.”

– Hamilton, Donovan Ask DA To Consider Prosecuting City Employees … over lead program problems.

– ‘Tragic dysfunction’: Two Milwaukee aldermen ask DA to consider prosecuting health officials over lead crisis

– Rennert won’t seek Racine County register of deeds post: ex-clark pulls name from Evers consideration

– Dane County grants would pay farmers to prevent pollution by switching from corn crops to grazing … The $750,000 pilot program is designed to convert 300 acres for 15 years to protect the county’s rural character and prevent flooding. … switching from row crops to pastures or wildlife habitat, or by planting grassy buffer zones … could slow … rainwater … run off … carrying contaminants and overwhelming lakes and streams. Exec. Parisi touted crop replacement grants to prevent “heartbreaking stories … about farmers across the state and beyond having to walk away from their dreams of continuing to work the land.” … Lands already planted with cover crops may be eligible for funding. A county statement quoted town of Dunkirk farmer James Amera saying that conversion to livestock grazing means reduced expenditures and potential for increased profits.

– Hemp growing in the Mitchell Park Domes? Advocates say it could save county facility from the wrecking ball … Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, who requested a study about the feasibility of growing hemp at the Domes, encouraged using one of the Domes to grow hemp “clones” in order to help save the facility. … But the study raised questions about costs associated … such as grow lights and additional staffing needs.

– Douglas County Board raises forestry fees: first hike in 9 years

COURTS ^top^
– Widow of Sun Prairie firefighter [Cory Barr, who died in the fire] is sued over business destroyed in July explosion … Ski and Ski LLC, the former owner of the business … filed the suit against Barr House LLC and Abigail Barr on April 12. … [Cory and Abigail Barr] had entered a four-year agreement to buy the business, then known as Ski’s Saloon, in September 2016 for $170,000, according to the suit, but made a series of late payments and stopped making any payments after Oct. 1. Ski, ski atty. Bruni declined comment, Barr atty. did not respond.

– A Wisconsin DUI case in which police drew blood from an unconscious man is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court … Wisconsin v. Gerald P. Mitchell, will be argued Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Outside groups ranging from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to the Cato Institute have filed briefs on both sides. … Libertarians, civil rights advocates and defense lawyers … think [the] case from Sheboygan will be the chance for the U.S. Supreme Court to rein in “implied consent” laws in Wisconsin and elsewhere that they say violate the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures, and represent one of most serious invasions of privacy.

– Census: Eau Claire County ranks in top 10 in state population growth

– WI Corrections reentry summit to encourage businesses to hire former prisoners … On Tuesday, April 23, the DOC and Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin will host “Unlocking Potential: Reentry — A Workforce Development Initiative” at the Sheraton Madison Hotel

– Silver Star Brands to lay off 62 people [in Oshkosh] in June due to outsourcing … 30 are sales consultants and at least 24 are customer service

– Some see less funding as CDBG grants fall, emphasis goes on housing … program run by Western Dairyland Community Action Agency that aids budding entrepreneurs with their start-up businesses got $5,800 in federal grants through the city in 2018, but that’s proposed to drop to $0 this year.

– [ex-UWW chancellor] Kopper says investigation report is ‘rampant with speculation’ … Investigators wrote they found no direct evidence Kopper knew about her husband’s repeated sexual harassment of at least seven–and possibly as many as 10–students and employees. But they wrote “at best” it existed in a “blindspot” for her. … Raymond D. Cotton, a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in higher education, on Monday mailed The Gazette a four-page response letter dated March 29 and signed by Kopper. … In response to the report saying deans would “regularly” leave meetings when Kopper was in an “emotional state,” the letter says, “The Deans did not report to Chancellor Kopper, were not a part of her Cabinet, and did not have any regular meetings with her.” Cotton told The Gazette there is “no question” this is an instance of a woman being blamed for her husband’s alleged conduct. … “beyond unfair, it’s unreasonable.” … Kopper is on paid leave on her chancellor’s salary of $242,760.

– Felony charges dismissed against current, former Mercer school board members … Judge Patrick J. Madden issued the ruling on Monday when the five appeared in Iron County Circuit Court … [on] charges of falsely exercising a function of public office.

– Why Refugees Don’t Go to College, The system creates many hurdles, lost opportunities.

– Taxes, cooking, childcare: Specialized NFDL class bridges gap between school, adulthood

– Chomsky: By Focusing On Russia, Democrats Handed Trump A “Huge Gift” And Possibly The 2020 Election

– On Earth Day, the Brewers have eliminated plastic straws at Miller Park

– Tia Nelson and Roy Thilly: On Earth Day, let’s commit to a Wisconsin Climate Action Plan … Here are 10 components that should be part of the plan, playing off the foundation already laid out by the [Doyle] task force nearly a decade ago

– Paul Smith: On Earth Day, a reflection on Aldo Leopold, the land ethic and hunting

– Gov. Evers, Rep. Vos agree Foxconn project will proceed, but not on same scale … [on Capital City SUnday] disagree on the ultimate size of the project. … Evers said he personally has not spoken with Foxconn representatives, but the company is in regular communication with his chief of staff Maggie Gau, Wisconsin Department of Administration staff led by Secretary Joel Brennan and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) led by CEO Mark Hogan. … “I certainly am optimistic they’re going to meet their goal as they have never backed away from 13,000 jobs,” Vos said. … not concerned about Foxconn chairman Terry Gou’s candidacy for president of Taiwan impacting the Racine County project. Regardless of who leads the company, Vos said he anticipates they will “become an integrated part of the economy of Wisconsin.”

– Five Ways to Fix Wisconsin’s Factory Deal With Foxconn … Foxconn’s deal with Wisconsin would probably undergo material changes without Gou at the helm. … 1. Figure out the real economic impact … 2. Reduce corporate subsidies … 3. Increase monitoring and metrics … 4. Encourage Foxconn to buy locally … 5. Introduce reasonable penalties … As sensible as all this may sound, Foxconn likely won’t agree to such measures. Nor is it likely to ever be presented with a bipartisan plan under the divisive political atmosphere in Wisconsin, something Gou probably realized when he finalized the original deal. Gou should fit right in to a life in politics.

– Recovery House For Opioid Addicts Opening In Dodgeville, It’s First Of 4 Homes For People Recovering From Opioid Addiction To Continue Healing

IOWA ^top^
– Elizabeth Warren proposes student-debt cancellation, free tuition

– Investigation underway after inmate dies at Milwaukee County jail … [autopsy scheduled yesterday on] 49-year-old Milwaukee man … pronounced dead shortly after 4:30 a.m. … at least the ninth inmate to die in the jail since 2016 and the first under the new … Sheriff Earnell Lucas.

– Dane County sheriff [Mahoney] wants jail services consolidated

– After 13 OWI arrests over weekend, sheriff [Schmaling] calls for stricter penalties

– Samardich takes over as sheriff of Iron County

– Harley-Davidson profit falls, Trump threatens trade war

– Fort HealthCare named winner of SE Wisconsin Top Workplaces 2019 Award … based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage

– WI governor to speak at Superior Veterans Expo … at UW-Superior Tuesday around 3:20 p.m.

MINING ^top^
– Neighbors sue two Trempealeau County frac sand mines over pollution, nuisance complaints … In four separate complaints filed Monday by the same attorney, neighbors of Hi-Crush mines in Whitehall and Blair allege ongoing air, water, noise and light pollution from the mines.

– Weakened Levee On Wisconsin River Causes Evacuation, Flood Warnings, Watches In Effect Along Waterways Across Wisconsin: DNR’s Culhane, NWS’ Baumgardt comment.

– Wisconsin River receding as residents survey flooding damage in Columbia, Sauk counties

– Mississippi River forecast to crest again this week in La Crosse

– Bad River rising

– La Crosse board OKs pumping water into streets while it determines long-term solution

– WI Home Sales See Sharp Drop In March, Extreme Weather, Decline In Supply Lead To More Than 14 Percent Sales Drop: MU prof. Clark comments on Realtors’ data.

RETAIL ^top^
– ‘There were memories here’: Shopko store where business was born ends 57-year run

– Superior tech company [Fasetto] launches software

– Assembly GOP propose $10M build-out of electric-vehicle charging stations

– Assembly GOP on Earth Day back plans for electric vehicle charging stations … Cudaback [for Evers] criticized Republicans for loosening environmental standards and making cuts to the stewardship fund in recent years but said Evers “looks forward to having Republican support” for measures like his plan to invest in charging stations. … Fitzgerald [spokesman] said [his caucus] haven’t yet discussed the Assembly proposals.

– BDN editorial: It can be secret. Question is, why? There might be something citizens can learn from open elections of officers.

– BDN editorial: What’s next after Mueller? Get focused on protecting election integrity, so the people can decide if Trump stays or goes.

– Mike Huckabee: Resurrect fiscal sanity … As Walker … national honorary chairman of the Center for State-led National Debt Solutions … takes up the challenge advanced by his predecessors, he will be facing an entirely different fiscal landscape. The $1 trillion in federal debt that prompted the Senate to take action in 1982 is roughly equivalent to the amount Congress now borrows every year to fund its deficits … Walker realizes that, on its current path, this nation doesn’t have 40 more years of stability to make up its mind. Whether proposed by Congress or the states, timing has now become critical for constitutionally mandated fiscal reform.

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