Welcome back to another Weekly Insider.
This week will bring you news from the Capitol and around Wisconsin, circulating legislation, your weekly poll responses, an all new Weekly Member Poll, and another Property Taxpayer of the Week!
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NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL
AND AROUND WISCONSIN
COMMITTEE APPROVES EVERS' TRANSITION BUDGET
Without objection, the Joint Finance Committee last week approved $94,600 for Tony Evers' transition budget, covering everything from salaries and benefits for the transition team, to phones and office equipment.
In 2002, incoming Governor Jim Doyle received $87,500 for his transition, and Governor Walker received $82,723 in 2010. According to nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau director Bob Lang, Evers' $94,600 is on par for the previous governors' budgets when adjusting for inflation.
Among other key staff, Evers announced that his campaign manager Maggie Gau would now serve in the role as chief of staff, and his transition team will be co-chaired by five individuals; Chuck Pruitt of ABD Direct in Milwaukee; Amy Traynor, an Eau Claire middle school teacher; Kevin Conroy, CEO of Exact Sciences; Jan Allman, CEO of Marinette Marine; and, Veronica Gunn, CEO of Genesis Health Consulting.
GOV. WALKER SPEAKS TO REPORTS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE ELECTION LOSS
Governor Walker late last week sat down in his Capitol office to speak with reporters for the first time since he lost his bid for a third term in the November 6th election.
"We're not going to retreat. The State of Wisconsin is not going to go backwards," he told reports about the future of the state, and what he thought of the election results. He did not think the results were a mandate against his work, but rather the result of very high turnout in Wisconsin, citing the fact that 30,000 more people voted for him in 2018 than did in 2014.
Walker told reporters that he is open to the idea of changing the 2020 presidential primary date, uncoupling the nonpartisan election with the partisan presidential primary, which could help his nominee, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly win re-election to a full ten year term on the state's highest court. He said he has spoken to legislative leaders about their intentions and his team will assess their plans moving forward in the lame duck session.
The outgoing governor also spent time urging the State Senate to pass the Kimberly-Clark incentive package, which is currently being held up by both Democrats and Republicans alike. When asked if he had reached out to speak to Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling, Walker said he had not spoken to her, but did not think his call would help garner the votes necessary to pass the deal if labor unions couldn't already do the convincing.
Governor Walker also spent a good deal of the interview speaking about the reduction in taxes in his eight years in office, job creation, and economic growth. He said he would likely be known for his eight years of reforms.
"I may have reformed myself out of the job," Walker told reports, immediately recognizing the quotability of his words, and joking that he could just stop the interview at that point.
GOV.-ELECT EVERS "CONFIDENT" IN PLANS TO INCREASE K-12 SPENDING BY $1.4 BILLION
Governor-Elect Tony Evers told reports that he is confident that he will be able to increase K-12 public education funding by 10 percent in the next state budget, which comes out to $1.4 billion.
But GOP leaders, namely Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald do not share the same confidence, and told reporters that it would take massive tax increases in order to pay for such a large ticket item.
"It literally cannot be accomplished without either taking from some to give to another or a massive tax increase," Vos told reporters.
But on a stop at a vocational training center, Evers told reporters he's moving forward. "My foal is to go forward with the budget I have. It's property tax neutral."
Property taxes fund a little more than a third of public education in Wisconsin, so the more state aid that comes in, the likelihood of property tax stagnation or reductions becomes higher. In Evers' plan, K-12 education would receive a $339.8 million increase from current funding levels in the first year, and a $1.1 billion increase in the second year of the budget. That budget is expected to be introduced in February. The state's fiscal year ends on June 30th of each year, so theoretically, the budget should be passed by June 30th.
KIMBERLY-CLARK TESTIFIES, SAYS IT WILL REINVEST $500 MILLION
With the prospects of massive taxpayer subsidy growing more and more unlikely each day, Kimberly Clark testified in front of the Joint Finance Committee last week, and tried sweetening the pot to lure lawmakers to approve their $100 million tax handout.
The company told committee members that in addition to keeping the near-400 employees working at their Cold Spring Facility in Fox Crossing, they will also hire up to 52 new employees, and invest $500 million in physical improvements to the location.
Republican Senate President Roger Roth, who represents Appleton in the State Senate, heralded the "high number of family-supporting union jobs that are at stake," and urged his legislative colleagues to approve the bill. Roth acknowledged that the votes to pass the package in the full senate are nonexistent.
Under this deal, Kimberly-Clark would be able to receive tax credits for 17% of the wages for jobs created, and credits for 15% of their capital expenditure investments. If the company were to make good on their promise to invest $500 million, their tax credit would be $75 million. Additionally, the company would be exempted from sales and use tax for building equipment, materials and supplies.
U.S. HOUSE VOTES TO DELIST GRAY WOLF
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that would remove the gray wolf from federally protected status, and allow ranchers, hunters, and farmers to kill them if they became invasive. The legislation would mandate that the Fish and Wildlife Service end Endangered Species Act protections and prohibit all lawsuits that challenge delisting the gray wolf.
The bill passed narrowly with a 196-180 vote total, with Republicans carrying the most votes.
President Obama's administration was the first to determine that the gray wolf no longer need protection, and removed them from Endangered Species Act protections. But a lawsuit and subsequent federal court decision in 2014 struck down Obama's decision due to lack of evidence that the gray wolf's numbers had rebounded.
Landowners, farmers, and hunters in Wisconsin would be able to kill gray wolves, unless the legislature and governor would enact a state law protecting the animal.
HO-CHUNK MOVING FORWARD WITH BELOIT CASINO
A public relations representative for the Ho-Chunk Nation told reporters last week that his tribe is hopeful that their plans for a $400 million casino and resort in Beloit will be approved by the federal U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs after a public hearing in mid-December.
As such, the plans for the casino are still moving forward. The new establishment would go up on 73 acres at I-39/90 and Willowbrook Road, and would have 2,200 slot machines, 50 tables, a 300-room hotel, and 40,000 square foot indoor water park.
According to an economic impact study, the development would create around 1,500 jobs and generate income for its workers upwards of $83 million. Sales tax revenue for the county would be about $3 million, and the economic impact in Rock County totals $225 million.
If the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs grants their approvals, the final say would come from Governor Tony Evers, who told reporters in February that he would support the deal if the feds signed off on it.
WEEKLY MEMBER POLL RESULTS
Now that the election has passed, the Wisconsin Senate may convene to pass a tax incentive package for Kimberly-Clark, modeled after the same deal that Foxconn will receive. If you were a Senator, how would you vote?
Too much corporate elfare spent on the FOXCONN ... Con.
No one ever gave my business a tax credit.
No corporate welfare. The end.
I would put alot of restrictions on this tax incentive
No.Where does it end? Will we have 5 more companies wanting the same-10-15 20 etc?
They should get the same deal as Foxconn, only fair.
Why not give Kimberly-Clark a tax incentive to remain in Wisconsin? We have given tax incentives to other corprations to remain in Wisconsin in the past. Plus we have given Fox Conn several tax incentives to locate to Wisconsin.
Corporate welfare is worse than personal welfare. The state isn't going to pay any small business to stay in WI.
this will not save a failing corporation that has not kept up with modern demands, take taxpayer money and close in 3 years anyway
We are a high tax state for unemployment, work comp and income taxes - so giving a company a break to level the playing field is not a bad thing.
Help them, don't pay them.
This shipped has sailed, Tony Earl left them leave when he was governor by not keeping the corporate headquarters here.
they should sink or swim like any other company. no company should survive on government handouts
Give Kimberly-Clark a hand out today and who will be crying for a baleout next week?
Where do you stop. Should have never given them to Foxconn
The legislature may convene in the coming weeks to examine and potentially curb the powers of the executive branch before the new governor takes office, but no details on *how* have been given. Good idea or bad idea?
Intentionally HOBBLING the incoming administration.
This is the GOP's "have you no shame" moment. Despicable.
I feel here we go in paying higher taxes of what the new governor is talking about
The Governor should not have too much power,but if we are going to play that game every time the office switches parties- it will not be good and can nullify the "voice of the people". If the Repubs do it this time, the Dimms can do it in the future.
Do not care for the line item veto either.
At times the governor has had to many powers that result in disastrous results because of changing one or two words in a potential statute or budget items.
Governor has too much power with the line item veto. He can totally change laws with it.
a lot of media who ha, lets just see what happens I trust my representative to do whats best, we just had elected them
I think the executive branchs and state and federal need to be reined in a little. No executive should have the power to arbitrarily let prisoners out of prison. No one got to prison because they were just to nice of a person!
This is a good idea, if Evers plans on diminishing Act10, or any other of Walker's accomplishments by sheer executive orders or by means of his liberal buddy AG Kaul, pulling out of the state's lawsuit over Obamacare. Republicans did a poor job defending themselves for not taking the federal gov'ts take over of Badgercare. I think the conservatives that are still upset over Act 10 with Walker just shot themselves in the foot by being fooled by the unions that Walker ruined their lives if they were teachers or corrections officers. The state has one of the most viable retirement portfolios in the nation thanks to Walker, wonder what Evers is going to do to deplete it like Doyle did when he was governor.
Sounds like we are fixing the government that has become something that can too easily be pushed one way or another. I like it.
should be checks and balances
Maybe a good idea but seems pretty suspicious to do it now!!!
Are you hopeful that future Governor Evers and the GOP-controlled legislature will find common ground and work together?
I agree Evers doesn't have a mandate. Neither party does -- Wisconsin voted for divided government. At best, Evers will shave off the GOP's farthest right intentions.
I question that the new governor is going to be a lame duck governor
Act 10, Vouchers,Taxes areas of disagreement,I hope they can agree to fix the roads,but not let the road builders rob us. No more dumb roundabouts!.
I'm hoping they will work together, but I am sure it is only a dream. Especially when Evers wants to undo the majority of things Governor Walker has done to help the taxpayers in Wisconsin. Evers has made enough promises to the unions that our taxes across the board will be increasing for the next four years and he will do nothing but blame Governor Walker for the need to raise taxes. All I can say is look at the money you have now and watch it disappear quickly.
Hopefully they agree to fix the roads and road repair funding.
sad but politics is more important than doing the right thing, this is both parties
health care for residents and repairs to roads bridges etc.
I don't have a lot of optimism with governor elect. He in my opinion was a lousy administrator of our Education System. It was eith his way or not at all. Who knows maybe he will have a change of heart.
They will disagree on most topics
I'm hoping the legislature holds the line on any tax increase proposed by Evers
Maybe we can finally get a "sound" means to fund our crumbling roads across the state and not just in Milwaukee and Madison. I like Evers promise to drop my state income tax by 10 percent, it seems awfully high. Higher tuition increases at the universities so the liberal tenured professors can get their raises and the young democrats can start paying more for their liberal doctrination. Lower my property taxes and pull that 2/3 of public education funding by the state out of some hat so the teachers in public schools can continue to groom the up and coming democrats (don't tell me differently, it was pushed in public education in the 1970's everyday when I was in school in a quite conservative rural village)
I hope they figure out how to do what's best for WISCONSIN.
American businesses paid 50% more in tariffs in September than August. Has your business/farm been impacted by tariffs?
Import tarriffs on goods coming from China which cannot be purchase un the United States. Rich companies have Chinese goods sent to another country like Mexico and then shipped here with no tariff.
The Trump Tariffs have been killing our business.
Do to our prices of farm products
Soybean price is way down,President's payments help some. Don't know what to plant next year.
I am affected in a round about cost of products I purchase
Farmers don't have much extra money to spend now.
I am an accountant and my job is getting more demanding by the day.
We use steel everyday, costs have gone up, and will continue as supply is NOT keeping up demand. Common sheet steel and tube steel are on back order all the time, a little frustrating. Not sure if the US companies are that slow at starting back or what, but it is hindering expansion in our area. The ag economy is also a large part of our business and they are getting hit twice, as their prices are demoralizing, and then when they must to a repair, the materials needed cost them more. The republicans could have won Wisconsin, if they would have at least seemed to care more about the ag sector in the state, but it was pretty much "crickets" except for fast thinking Senator Baldwin, she ran her 2 year re-election campaign well. She started cozying up to the dairy farmers as soon as Ron Johnson was re-elected and knew just what she was doing
Costs keep going up up up up! And as they go up up up up, sales go down down down down.
Soybeans sales and prices have tanked
Thanksgiving is next week! Are you traveling for the holiday? If so, where are going? Do you generally have a large gathering for this holiday, or a small meal? Aside from the turkey, what is your favorite food on Thanksgiving? Share your plans and traditions here!
Going to a sibling's home ... She hosts Thanksgiving. Other siblings do Christmas & Easter
Dinner with friends. I usually take homemade cranberry relish and carrot cake. May try carrot pie this year. After dinner we like to play games if we're not too tired!!
Best sandwich ever: Toasted bread, turkey, cranberry sauce and a spicy mustard.
NO just a family gathering
All of our family comes to the farm (18 of us). Sing "We praise Thee O God Our Redeemer Creator" and say a prayer before eating our big Thanksgiving meal.Some of the women who have the national female disease shopping go shopping all nite.
Not traveling far, abt 3 miles, a family gathering, Pumpkin torte. I don't have to cook!!!!
I will be traveling to my daughter and her family residence in northwest Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. This will be both a family gathering along with some friends. We take a moment to remember all of departed family members.
No traveling, family is close by. Love the whole meal! Pumpkin pie with real whipped cream, yum!!
Sweet Potatoes are another favorite and tortes.
Staying home children are coming to our home for Thanksgiving! First time in a few years.
Cooking at home. Love turkey and dressing. Can't wait for the apple pie from Little Farmer!
Traveling a short distance by car (1hr 15min drive) small gathering, more about spending time with family. More of a reflection on how God has blessed us so richly once again for another year. It may not always be monetarily, but He always has our back and always works things out for His good!
Going to FL... it's an annual trip for us. We will have a small gathering with friends.
Yes, headed South, about 25 people will be there for dinner. Squash.
Not travelng, big meal with Turkey and beef tenderloin.
Traveling to sons house for Thanksgiving. Four couples and seven children. Roast Turkey with all the trimmings.
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