WED News Summary: Evers signs first bill into law; Supreme Court restores 82 Walker appointees

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Evers visits Oak Creek to declare Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month
… at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers delivered a proclamation designating April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month during a Tuesday morning visit to the temple. Almost seven years after the tragedy here, Sikhs are working to enhance their national visibility … “I am honored to be here with you to present a proclamation that the State of Wisconsin is committed to better understand, recognize and appreciate the rich history and shared experiences of Sikh Americans,” Evers said. By Sadowski, RACINE JOURNAL TIMES

Evers Signs First Bill Into Law
Law Replaces ‘Mental Retardation’ With ‘Intellectual Disability’ In State Rules … “Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and dignity and empathy and respect every day, and that includes making sure our laws and codes that govern our state reflect those values,” Evers said. … Fifteen-year-old Abigail Kaiser, a Madison resident with Down syndrome, introduced the governor at the bill signing … “People with disabilities deserve opportunities to have real jobs,” she said. Rehash Evers scooping GOP lawmakers using an EO to accomplish their bill. By White, WPR

Evers Says He Has Clarity On Foxconn Project
… Chairman Terry Gou was reportedly at the White House Tuesday discussing the company’s Wisconsin manufacturing project with President Donald Trump. … Evers said he didn’t mind that he wasn’t extended an initiation. “Terry Gou might be talking to Donald Trump about how to win a presidential election [Gou reportedly running for prez of Taiwan], that’s a discussion that’s way above my pay grade. … Whether the company creates 1,000 jobs or 100,000 jobs, it’s still more jobs than we had before,” Evers said Tuesday, speaking to a group of journalists at the Milwaukee Press Club. Guv urged Vos and Fitzgerald to set aside the rhetoric, “They were here when the thing was created. I understand the skittishness about things being changed. Well they did, by golly, and it’s not me that changed them. Foxconn changed their business plan, which I do respect. We all care about Foxconn,” concerned about tax investments made by Racine County and Mt. Pleasant, “I want to protect local taxpayers and local officials. I can’t stand here and say Foxconn won’t use all of that land. I’m not saying I’m concerned about that, but I want to make sure the state is vigilant about that issue so local taxpayers are not on the hook.” Evers, whose daughter is an OB-GYN, said Trump’s false statements about abortion in GB rally are a distraction from the serious maternal health issues, “If Republicans are so damn interested in making sure that moms and babies are well, they should really get behind my Medicaid expansion bill.” Evers has vowed to veto the “born alive” bill. By Hess, WPR

WI Guv blasts Trump’s baby execution comments
… “To say that doctors in the state of Wisconsin are executing babies is just a blasphemy,” Evers said at a Milwaukee Press Club event in response to questions from reporters. “It doesn’t happen. … That is just a horrific thing to say. … The president is the president,” Evers said of Trump. “He’s going to do this kind of crap as long as he is president.” … [CDC] recorded 143 instances nationwide in which live births were caused by an attempted abortion between 2003 and 2014, an average of just 13 a year across the entire country. … [DHS] doesn’t track such births because Wisconsin bans non-emergency abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, well before [Roe v. Wade ruling crucible of 24-28 weeks.] … has no data on how many of those babies survived [emergency] abortion. National GOP push for “born alive” bills, vetoed in NC and blocked by Dems in US Senate. By Bauer of AP, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

WI Supreme Court restores all 82 Scott Walker appointees
… “The 82 appointees shall immediately be allowed to perform the duties of their respective positions in the same manner as they were performing those duties,” the court said. … The 4-3 order … three liberal members dissented … affects 15 of the appointees Evers had not reappointed after a lower court said it was legal for him to essentially fire them. … could create confusion if Evers were to appoint replacements, the court said. Evers had not named any replacements as of Tuesday. … three dissenting justices said the majority ignored the harm of allowing potentially unconstitutional laws to remain in effect. … Fitzgerald said in a statement. “I’m glad to see that the Supreme Court has ended this unnecessary constitutional crisis and enforced the return of these individuals to their rightful positions.” By Bauer of AP, WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL


– Evers calls Trump’s accusation that doctors execute babies ‘blasphemy’

– Center Stage: Trump puts on a show in Green Bay, but can he win Wisconsin again? WSJ editor Milfred, cartoonist Hands host 25:56 audio

– How Taxpayers Covered a $1,000 Liquor Bill for Trump Staffers (and More) at Trump’s Club, A top-shelf, closed-door drinking session. $546-a-night hotel rooms. A special government credit card for Mar-a-Lago. Taxpayers foot the costs — and the president profits. … [April 2017, after Trump-Xi dinner] a group [including Priebus] repaired to Mar-a-Lago’s Library Bar … Secret Service guarded the door … bartender wasn’t allowed to return. … group began pouring themselves drinks. No one paid. Six days later, on April 13, Mar-a-Lago created a bill for those drinks, tallying $838 worth of alcohol plus a 20% service charge. … bill was sent to the State Department, which objected to covering it. It was then forwarded to the White House, which paid the tab. … In response to questions from ProPublica, the State Department asked for and received the documents described in this article. State Department officials promised a detailed response, but then declined comment. … the agency had to go into some contortions to make Mar-a-Lago’s $546 nightly room rate square with its rules on competitive bidding … State Department also broke with protocol regarding taxpayer-funded travel and applied for a Citibank travel card just for Mar-a-Lago visits. … Several experts contend the State Department is exploiting loopholes in government spending rules to facilitate official gatherings at Mar-a-Lago. … “Mar-a-Lago wanted to have the government money without the government rules,” said [UB Law prof.] Tiefer

– John Nichols: Bernie Sanders Is Hitting Donald Trump Where It Hurts, Bernie is slyly trolling the president in battleground states, calling out GOP lies about saving jobs.

– Dave Cieslewicz: Impeach Trump? … Liberals of the Rachel Maddow ilk didn’t help themselves by overselling the Mueller investigation. … Now that same left wing can’t help itself. It’s demanding impeachment because… because… because it’s the right thing to do! In a legal, maybe even moral sense, it probably is the right thing to do. But in a political sense it’s precisely the wrong thing to do. For the sake of the country, for the sake of getting this cancer cut out of our system as soon as possible with as little damage to the healthy tissue as possible, let’s not do it.

– [WPF] Report: Gov. Tony Evers’ Marijuana Proposal Goes Further Than Other States … “Instead of seeing this as a path toward full legalization, we’re perhaps getting the worst of both worlds,” [WPF’s] Henken said. “We are, for all intents and purposes, legalizing possession of small amounts, but we are not creating the mechanism under which Wisconsin could actually benefit from a revenue perspective from being able to tax the sale of marijuana.” … faces long odds in the state Legislature. … [Vos, Fitzgerald] oppose it. … Evers has also argued his plan would help combat racial inequities in the criminal justice system. … [federal, non-profit reports] in recent years have outlined Wisconsin’s disproportionately high incarceration rate of African-Americans and other individuals … of color for offenses including marijuana possession

– Evers says immigrant driver’s license proposal common sense

– Evers says he doesn’t expect pot decriminalization proposal to pass

– Evers signs 1st bill into law: ‘Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and dignity’

– Evers’ first bill-signing removes ‘r-word’ from administrative code

– La Crosse division chief facing child porn charges to retire in June

– GOP legislators propose UW dairy hub … Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Travis Tranel are sponsoring a bill that would give the University of Wisconsin System $7.9 million fund annually to create and fund the UW Dairy Innovation Hub at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls.

– WFU’s Darin Von Ruden: ‘More exports’ mantra isn’t getting job done

– [Petryk-Bernier] Proposal Would Allow Public Employee Pensions To Be Garnished In Embezzlement Cases: inspired by Eau Claire treasurer case

– ‘Day Without Latinxs’ rally to draw thousands to Capitol in favor of immigrant driver permits [‘Latinx’ is a gender-neutral term preferred by rally sponsor Voces de la Frontera] … Thousands of people [from 17 WI cities being bussed] to march Wednesday in Madison in support of Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. … part of the nationwide Day Without Latinxs and Immigrants, held each May 1 … [Voces’ Neumann-Ortiz touts] More than 150 Wisconsin businesses pledged they will close Wednesday in solidarity … [Evers, Mayor Rhodes-Conway] said Tuesday they believed the provision for driver’s licenses in the state budget was a common-sense reform. “They want to make sure they have a chance to get to work, they want to make sure they’re not ending up being deported because they’re driving illegally,” Evers said … thinks the Legislature will remove the driver’s license provision from his proposed budget, but he hopes to introduce a separate bill for licenses if that happens. … “I think we’re ready to jump off that cliff.” “Like Gov. Evers, I support your efforts to secure a state driver’s license,” Rhodes-Conway said. “It makes our roads safer, and it makes our community safer, when people can drop off their children at school and drive to their place of work without fear.” … Neumann-Ortiz said she appreciates the support of Madison police for the rally and for the driver’s license policy. Chief Michael Koval previously advocated for the measure and will speak at the rally Wednesday. Rehash Evers campaign statement. Rally was last held in Madison in 2016, in Waukesha 2018, Milwaukee 2017.

COURTS ^top^
– Waukesha judge will challenge Lisa Neubauer for seat on Court of Appeals … Paul Bugenhagen Jr., a circuit judge since 2015 … running because “Wisconsin deserves a judge who will uphold the rule of law and defend our Constitution — including the religious liberties of all Wisconsinites.” … Bugenhagen, 39, was 34 when he upset 12-year incumbent Linda Van De Water in 2015 after stressing character issues in the campaign.

– Roggensack re-elected as Wisconsin Supreme Court chief … The result was public, but the vote was done in secret and the breakdown was not announced. … Roggensack replaced Justice Shirley Abrahamson as chief justice in 2015 after voters approved a constitutional amendment giving justices the power to elect the chief justice. … Roggensack [in her second term] says in a statement that she is honored to continue serving as chief justice. … also serves as the administrative head of Wisconsin’s judicial system.

– Roggensack Re-elected As Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief

– WI Supreme Court Sides With GOP In Dispute Over Walker Appointees

– WI Supreme Court restores appointments made by Scott Walker

– Supreme upset: Last-ditch Republican effort leaves Wisconsin liberals in the dust — again.

– Appeals Court Expands Legal Searches, Suspected drunk driver’s car can be searched for other drugs. Hagedorn joins ruling. … It is not unusual for a driver’s impaired condition to be caused by a potpourri of substances–some legal, some illegal, some easily detected, some not–sometimes including alcohol, sometimes not,” Appeals Judge Mark D. Gundrum wrote. “All such substances are relevant to proving that the driver is in violation of …(state statute) due to driving while impaired by either drugs, alcohol, or both.” … joined in his opinion by Appeals Judges Paul F. Reilly and Brian K. Hagedorn.

– Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Gun Website Is Not Liable In 2012 Fatal Shooting, Shooting At Suburban Milwaukee Spa In 2012 Ended In 4 People Dead … Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote for the majority in the 6-1 decision. “This would significantly impede the free exchange of information over the internet.” Gun control advocates are disappointed in the ruling.

– Court of appeals rules against Carlin Club Properties, Latest in a series of setbacks … Partners in the business to include Trig Solberg have been trying for a few years now to bottle and sell water from a well on its Carlin Club property in Presque Isle.

– How Sleepy Oak Creek Became a Boom Town

– Renovation brings major changes to WITC Superior campus

– Industrial math students tackle complex problems

– UW-Madison dean’s handling of sexual harassment case under scrutiny in provost search … position of provost requires “experience in dealing with grievances, complaints and crises,” according to the job description. … Two women [Jacobs accusers Christoph, Reynolds] questioned dean John Karl Scholz at his finalist presentation Tuesday afternoon about how he responded to complaints regarding Harvey Jacobs, a former UW-Madison professor whom students and staff accused of inappropriately touching, staring and commenting as part of a pattern going back years. … Jacobs retired in May amid a university investigation into his behavior. He categorically denied all allegations substantiated by an investigator in a 2018 report. … Within days of the State Journal’s [Fall 2017] report, Scholz acknowledged a failure to provide a safe environment for victims to come forward. Confronted by the professor’s accusers Tuesday, Scholz said that he uses every tool available as dean to address these problems … “Having said that, it’s not enough. … The challenge is every administrator operates in an environment constrained by policies and procedures, by legal requirements, by HR norms and by precedent.” … Scholz declined to address specifics of the case on Tuesday, as well as a follow-up question by Christoph … and whether he reached out to any of the women making allegations. … Scholz thanked the women during the presentation for their questions and for their courage … tried to talk to them afterward but they declined, saying he had years before the presentation to do so. … declined to talk to a reporter at the event. The other two finalists for provost are women: Cornell’s Ritter and MSU’s Croson.

– New School Board addresses recent string of reported sexual assaults at Madison high schools

– [US News] New report ranks top Minnesota, Wisconsin schools

– Bruce Murphy: Average UWM Student Debt Rose 194%, New study shows Wisconsin has more students in debt than 44 states. Any solution?

– Bars might stay open until 4 a.m. during Democratic National Convention, according to report … Wisconsin Restaurant Association is requesting the change in state law,

– Bar-closing time of 4 a.m. during DNC in Milwaukee?

– Voters tab former Barca aide to fill 64th Assembly District seat … McGuire captured 4,424 of the total votes cast compared to the 2,677 cast for Stalker

– McGuire wins special District 64 Assembly election

ENERGY ^top^
– Madison schools adopt [non-binding] resolution calling for 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 [in stages] … also calls on MMSD to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy sources into the district’s facility planning. … organizers said they still plan to push MMSD to take steps to meet the stated energy goals.

– GOP senators warn of rising costs of state land purchase program … [Sens. Tiffany, Stroebel] said in an op-ed released on Tuesday [see Columns] that the Legislature must re-evaluate a [Stewardship] program created in 1989 that has protected more than 650,000 acres. … has “accumulated far too much land, has incurred staggering debt and has resulted in decreased funds for vital state needs…. Among the concerns … [Stewardship land] can’t be developed by the private sector. … accruing interest of more than $500,000 a week. … “We must ask ourselves when is enough enough?” … a different chord from those put forward by Assembly Republicans on April 22 — Earth Day. … On stewardship, Rep. Adam Neylon of Pewaukee said last week that after two years, his Republican caucus would consider whether to extend the program again. … Evers, a Democrat, has proposed extending the [twice reauthorized] program until fiscal 2021. … create a task force to make recommendations about the future of stewardship. … After Evers’ balked at proposing another 10-year round of funding, a coalition of more than 50 groups [including Ducks, Munies, Realtors] said they supported long-term financial support for the program. Gathering Waters’ Carlson noted tourism benefits [DNR estimate $18M/yr], noted largest purchases in recent years have been logging easements, which could affect papermakers.

– Demand for Recyclable Materials Is in Decline, Wisconsin officials look for ways to make recycling efficient and profitable

– Report: Foxconn CEO Gou visiting the White House to discuss Wisconsin facility … Reuters reported Tuesday it’s unclear whether Gou will be meeting with the president but that the visit is related to his “Wisconsin investment.”

– Trump’s Foxconn Promise, So Far Unfulfilled … last summer, the agreement with Foxconn started to crack. [Foxconn shrunk the factory, Walker lost election] … Then, over the winter, another shocker — the company said it might not build a manufacturing plant after all. Trump hurriedly intervened, and within days he got Foxconn to recommit to building the facility, he says. … new Democratic governor, Tony Evers, says he doubts Foxconn will ever create the 13,000 jobs that were promised by 2032. … “It’s a smaller footprint. It’s a different type of job,” Evers told news reporters in Milwaukee last week. “But we’ll see. I mean, if they create 1,000 jobs, that’s 1,000 jobs we didn’t have.” [Hill tweeted Evers doubt, Foxconn’s Yeung tweeted, “Calm down. Probably fake news 😂 Who has the crystal ball �”� to predict if 13,000 jobs will be created by the year 2032? Esp in April ’19 �” �–😀😎”] … “So, I think we need to take a deep breath and say tax credits are important. But we don’t make decision solely based on tax credits,” Yeung told reporters. [Gou reportedly going to White House. Foxconn construction ramping up.] A lot of the ground is bare. Foxconn has put up only one building, what it calls a multipurpose structure. Earth movers, sometimes in groups of three or four, are hauling around piles of dirt. … [Co. Exec.] Delagrave says he is happy with the pace of construction. “Look, you can see the transformation happening. And, it’s really … I think a great thing for us, ” he said. But some residents here [Jeff Loken] remain skeptical that the jobs will ever come. … uncertainty among Wisconsin business leaders … [MMAC’s] Sheehy says it’s time for some real benchmarks to be met. … [at Trump rally in GB, spokeswoman said] she doesn’t know why the state’s governor isn’t more “optimistic and hopeful” … encouraged him to work with the president and company to “make sure those jobs come here.” But with up to $3 billion in state tax credits on the table, officials and residents across Wisconsin are still looking for the jobs that money was supposed to lure.

– Charles Pierce: Walker’s Foxconn Deal Is on Its Way to Becoming a World-Historical Debacle, Expect Donald Trump to wash his hands of this completely.

– Bipartisan Bill Would End Use Of ‘Personal Conviction’ Waivers For Immunization In Wisconsin … especially amid a measles outbreak that’s reached 22 states. “It’s just a matter of time, given the declining vaccination rate, that we have our own public health crisis in Wisconsin,” [sponsor] Hintz said. “So it’s time for the state to be proactive and do everything possible to get that number up so we have herd immunity and can protect folks.” Co-sponsors include Reps. Tyler Vorpagel, R-Plymouth, Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, Jonathan Brostoff, D-Milwaukee, and LaKeshia Myers, D-Milwaukee, as well as state Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee.

– Amid measles scare, WI legislators seek to end ‘personal conviction’ vaccines waiver

– As Meth Use Surges, First Responders Struggle To Help Those In Crisis

IOWA ^top^
– Looking back at Joe Biden in Iowa ahead of his visit … Biden made his first visit to Iowa as a 2020 contender on Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, where he touted his campaign goals and highlighted working-class issues. … “He’s expected to win — he has led in the polls. Anything short of that is considered a defeat,” [UI prof.] Yepsen said. “He immediately becomes a target for other Democrats, and the scrutiny on him will be intense. He has shown a propensity to say and do goofy things at times, and some of that is just Joe Biden, but his scrutiny will be quite high.”

– Inmates sentenced to life in prison as teens sue Wisconsin in bid to get chance at parole … [ACLU-assisted suit] seeks to build on a string of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have found juvenile offenders are fundamentally different from adult offenders and must be given an opportunity to reduce their time behind bars … inmates, now between 38 and 46 years old, are seeking to make the case a class-action lawsuit that would apply to all prisoners who were sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. More than 120 inmates fit that bill, according to an estimate by the plaintiffs.

– Oshkosh fentanyl dealer [Desmond Burns] gets 20 years in prison in Fox Valley overdose deaths

– State Behind The Times on Pot Laws? Most states have less severe penalties. And black state residents more likely to be arrested. … “White people are doing as much marijuana as non-white people,” [Ald.] Kovac said. “They’re just not getting arrested for it.” … co-sponsored an ordinance in 2015 that would reduce municipal ticket charges for first-time possession offenses from $250 to $500 to $0-$50. … passed the Common Council, 10-3 and it is now in effect.

– Young black men given harsher sentences than any other Wisconsin demographic, per UW-Milwaukee study … “Our justice system is supposed to be blind right?,” said Tina Freiburger, UWM Professor who conducted a study to see if a fair sentence is separate from race, age or gender. Here’s what she says her study revealed, “Young black men were more likely to get jail than probation. In fact, being young actually decreased the odds of all the other groups receiving jail over probation.” Her study also goes on to claim, “They had almost 20% less odds of receiving probation.” Community activist Raphael Mercado created Team H.A.V.O.C. [Together Everyone Achieves More Helping Another Volunteer or Cause] … shares how he chose a wrong path as a child, “I’ve been in juvenile, state, federal. In the inner city we all suffer with mental health issues. You got that going on, it’s easier to say ‘I just want to get this over with. I’m guilty.'” Some beneficiaries tout City Champs Foundation. … Professor Freiburger tells us her 2017 study on Milwaukee county is not unique. She says she found the same results in a study she conducted in the state of Michigan.

– Student Activists Call On Lawmakers, MPS To Break School-To-Prison Pipeline, About 50 Students Met With Lawmakers To Demand End To Harsh Punishment, Police In Schools

– Four proposals for Dane County Jail rebuild cost twice the originally approved price tag … was supposed to cost $76M … When [3-to-1 consolidation] price tag came in at $148 million, the board approved a study costing $180,000 to look at three other options that hadn’t been considered before. All have different trade-offs but would cost even more.

– Dane County Jail construction options prompt community meeting

– Mass Casuality Incident Training at Wessman: video

– Superior Police and Fire Department hold mock drill

– Bretting acquires Spooner tool business

– RJT editorial: Making Wisconsin Lottery winners anonymous would open door to fraud

– ND alum Andrew Smith: Paul Ryan will not educate our students … Paul Ryan proved time and time again that he’s intellectually bankrupt — a man who weaponized “fiscal responsibility” against Democrats and abandoned it for Donald Trump, the most transparently ridiculous and dishonest president this country has ever seen. He pretended to be a compassionate conservative while advancing policies that, at best, abdicated responsibility towards the poorest among us. I would recommend current students follow the lead of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and not listen to a thing he says.

– JFC Sens. Tom Tiffany and Duey Stroebel: Wisconsin’s hidden debt

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