TUE News Summary: GOP eyes $400M middle-class tax cut; judge approves Foxconn water diversion

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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. By Vetterkind, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL

Foxconn gets approval for 7-million-gallon water diversion
After more than a year of back-and-forth and hundreds of public comments, a Wisconsin judge has approved a Lake Michigan water diversion of up to 7 million gallons per day to Mount Pleasant, most of which is expected to be used by the Foxconn Technology Group for its planned manufacturing campus. The court decision, which was published Friday, affirmed the decision made in April 2018 by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Environmental advocates challenged the DNR’s decision in May 2018, claiming that the water diversion for Foxconn’s planned factory shouldn’t be allowed because of Foxconn’s interests being primarily economically focused. Brian K. Hayes, the Wisconsin administrative law judge who heard the case, disagreed. In his decision, Hayes cited laws which stated that businesses can still benefit the public and thus are able to enjoy the same benefits via the Racine Water Utility as residential users. … “Our treatment plant is able to provide 7 million gallons a day additional without any issue,” Keith Haas, the general manager of the Racine Water Utility, said. “7 million gallons a day is the ultimate maximum … which could take 30 or 40 years to achieve.” … The petitioners — which included the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and the River Alliance of Wisconsin — claimed that, since Foxconn is “primarily an economic development project” and not a “residential customer,” it shouldn’t be allowed to have such a diversion. … Mount Pleasant Village President David DeGroot praised the court’s decision in a statement. By Rogan, RACINE JOURNAL TIMES

100 years later, WI celebrates ratification of amendment giving women 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.” By Reilly, CAPITAL TIMES

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. By Samuels, THE HILL


– Rep. Mark Pocan on Impeachment. 13:26 audio

– U.S. Rep. Pocan (D) Discusses Impact of Tariffs on Wisconsin. 2:55 WisEye video

– Sen. Ron Johnson [on Fox News Sunday]: Trump Used Tariff Threat “Brilliantly” To Get Leverage With Mexico

– Walker pushes for border wall in tweet from Israel … posted pictures on twitter Friday morning of the Israeli West Barrier wall in Israel’s west bank. … “Traveling around Israel was yet another reminder that a wall works to keep citizens safe,” Walker said in a Twitter post. “All the more reason we should build the wall in America!”

– John Nichols: Trump’s Conservatives Without Conscience Are Rattled by John Dean, Today’s Republicans hate the former Nixon White House counsel because he exposes the authoritarian mindset that chooses rank partisanship over patriotism.

– WI GOP Plan $400M Income Tax Cut, Fitzgerald: GOP Planning To Include Middle Class Tax Cut In State Budget

– Evers gets his revenge. 21:31 podcast with WSJ’s Milfred and Hands

– Moore analysis: JFC’s transportation package would more than double title fees, Democrats and some conservatives balk at plan

– Liberals fight their own party over drug prices, Progressives vent that many of their rank-and-file are in the dark about where leadership is heading. … “People have not been included,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “There has been no process up to now.” … “We just want to make sure that everyone is brought on board,” Pocan said after the session, which was billed as a drug pricing roundtable aimed at new members. “What I’m really afraid of is we set the whole cause back and we wind up having nothing done.”

– Sen. Ron Johnson to Democrats: ‘Work With Us’ on Out-of-Control Border Crisis: on Fox News Sunday

– Duffy: Democrats ‘Haven’t Done Anything On The Kids’ At The Border

– 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.”

– Ryan laments ‘unfinished business’ of immigration reform

– 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.

– Racist GOP lawmaker [King-IA] will have Diamond & Silk help him introduce his new anti-immigration bill … This is not the first time that Diamond and Silk have given their stamp of approval to a white Republican with a history of racism. In 2016, they personally endorsed Paul Nehlen, a white supremacist who at the time was running as a primary challenger against former Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Nehlen turned out to be such a toxic personality that he was eventually kicked off of Gab, an alternative to Twitter that has embraced members of the alt-right.

– Janesville City Council tables possible limits to public comment

– Douglas County stable financially … Wipfli CPAs and Consultants issued unmodified opinions

– State-mandated services tear hole in Douglas County budget … “It’s not just this county,” Supervisor Doug Finn said. “It’s other counties and I don’t know how much the state is … looking at to try to alleviate this. It shouldn’t fall on local property taxes. It should be statewide.” … It is an issue the Wisconsin Counties Human Services and Wisconsin Counties associations have been working to address, [HS dir.] Schanen said. … Evers budget proposal included $15 million for social workers and to offset placement costs in each year of the biennial budget, half of what the associations were seeking to address the current crisis.

COURTS ^top^
– John Nichols: Justice Shirley Abrahamson set the record straight

– Baldwin on advancement of LGBTQ rights, says ‘visibility’ replaces ‘myths’

– Millennials Who Say Baby Boomers Are To Blame For Economic Despair Are Right, Author Argues, Boomer Fiscal Policies, Crippling Debt And Future Payouts Make The Case That Millennials Have It Worse Off … “I think that the baby boomers and millennials really have started talking past each other on a lot of these economic issues,” said [WallStJnl columnist] Sternberg, an older millennial himself. … In his recent book, “The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future” … [argued] It’s true that Millennials have come of age with comforts and conveniences unknown to previous generations … but it’s also true … they were traumatized by the Great Recession in 2008, they’re saddled with student debt and can’t afford a house. … “I think that a lot of people still assume that since they have been making contributions into the system during their working lives, that money is sitting around for them when they retire, and that’s not actually true,” Sternberg said of the boomers. “Most people are going to take out far more from the system than they’ve ever put in.” … Plus, once more millennials get elected to Congress and perhaps the presidency, their scopes will be limited by autopilot policies that sweep 70 percent of the federal budget into entitlement programs.

– Target expands family-focused benefits amid tight labor market

– ‘The writing is on the wall’: UWM officials cautiously optimistic for new chemistry building

– School Board member floats proposal for bigger wage bump for Madison teachers … During an Operations Work Group meeting Monday, Madison School Board members weighed in on Cris Carusi’s plan to increase the base wage for district employees by the highest amount allowable under state law — 2.44% — in the 2019-20 school year.

– Madison School Board narrowly passes contract to keep police officers in high schools: In under five minutes and with no discussion … on a 4-3 [Mirilli, Muldrow, Vander Meulen] vote.

– Kids in Crisis: Bullying is everywhere, but data on it isn’t. Could tracking help?

– Waterloo waives impact fees: for new school gymnasium and facility upgrades

– Governor And First Lady Promote Women’s Suffrage Event At Capitol, Public Invited To Kickoff Event Monday Recognizing Wisconsin As The First State To Ratify The 19th Amendment

– Wisconsin celebrating 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment

– Janesville march celebrates women, 19th Amendment

– [$500K] Shipyard cleanup funds among of two EPA brownfield grants awarded to city … also awarded the city a $300,000 Brownfield Assessment Grant that can be used to identify site contamination on potential redevelopment sites.

– Phragmites impacting Great Lakes ecosystem; learn how to control it

– 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.”

– Foxconn-related development could push enrollment up at some Unified schools

– Committee denies funding for Douglas County mental health, substance abuse program, A program designed to help Medicaid-eligible people with mental health or substance abuse issues was denied funding because of the ongoing crisis in human services.

– Proposal to offer up to $160,000 to handcuffed man kicked by Milwaukee cop advances

– Inmate dies in Green County Jail, no cause given

– Commission approves plans for [Bio Fab] stainless steel fabrication facility in LakeView Corp. Park

– BCI Burke Co. continues to grow on Peters Avenue

MEDIA ^top^
– Capital City Sunday: DOT Secretary-Designee, Congressman Pocan & Rep. Loudenbeck

– Greta Van Susteren talks Appleton upbringing on the UW alumni podcast

– Priebus commissioned into Navy

– Priebus officially joins Navy Reserve

– Former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus joins the Navy

– Priebus, Donald Trump’s Former Chief Of Staff, Joins The Navy

– Priebus joins Navy as reservist

– Coaxing Veterans Into Treatment to Prevent Suicides

MINING ^top^
– Transportation Budget Blocks Local Control Of Quarries, Local Governments Wouldn’t Be Allowed To Restrict Blasting, Set Air And Water Quality Standards Beyond State Regulations

– Duluth hires Code Compliance Officer to help enact ESST [earned sick and safe time] policy

– Some Minnesota families in need to get monthly aid boost: cash grant boost beginning Feb. 2020

– Jefferson County health official wary of measles

– Health, hygiene products sought to help kids get ready for school

– Waterloo approves cell tower

– Horicon Marsh auto tour under construction

– Parts of state trails in Sauk, Juneau counties still closed for repairs

– JFC Approves Funding To Expand Rail Service Between Milwaukee, Chicago … 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.”

– Lawmakers divided over transportation plan: GOP-ers Loudenbeck and Nass, Dem Spreitzer, Baldauff for Evers comment. Ringhand could not be reached.

– EC Council to vote on roundabout

– Superior mayor rides along city councilors to find problem areas … “The streets department will generally just look to repair the most damaged streets or the ones most in need of repair, but we want to also look at how neighborhoods in the community work at large,” Paine said.

– BDN editorial: Good planning for legalized pot, Along the border, Illinois marijuana decision will pose many issues. … Ground Zero for pot almost certainly will be in South Beloit. Investors looking to make a bundle quickly will realize the South Beloit exit right at the state line offers a very lucrative location to sell both to Illinois residents and Wisconsinites in search of weed. … obvious questions: What about the morality? What about impaired drivers? What about the potential for damage to people and families from drug use? … there may not be many good answers. As for morality … doesn’t grant objectors the right to make moral decisions about legal products for others in a free country. … There’s no point in preaching or wringing hands. Good planning is required.

– US Rep. Sean Duffy and Kathleen M. Schmainda: Stop Funding Research Using Fetal Tissue From Abortions, Besides the ethical problems with selling body parts from aborted children, research using those body parts has never led to a single successful clinical treatment despite decades of trying.

– Rep. Mike Rohrkaste: What $231M more for caregivers means for your loved ones

– Cameron Sholty: Barnes’ uncomfortable joke worth discussion, not offense

– WSTA’s Bill Esbeck: Broadband has bipartisan support in Congress

– Chris Walker: Republicans Bash LGBTQ Flag Over Capitol, Lawmakers say it’s not a “unifying symbol.” But is it really so controversial?

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