Everything you need to know for the week ahead.
NOVEMBER 26, 2018


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!

We hope you find this weekly report to be interesting and informative. If there are ever any issues that you would like to see included, or if you ever have any questions or comments, please reach out to us at info@wptonline.org.

Have a great week,

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Governor-elect Evers, even as a candidate for the state's top post, long said he would consider dissolving Governor Walker's jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), and now those plans are confirmed.

Speaking to reporters in Milwaukee last week, Evers said that after he is sworn in as Wisconsin's governor, he will propose dismantling the WEDC. No further specifics were given on the impending plan, though throughout the campaign, Evers mentioned shifting authority back to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, which was replaced by WEDC when Walker first became governor. The agency at times has been the focus of media stories, outlining multiple cases of mismanagement.

Top Republican lawmakers called Evers' plan concerning, highlighting the importance of the public-private nature of WEDC. State Representative John Nygran, who is the Co-Chairman of the Joint Finance Committee said on Twitter that abolishing WEDC "will not only stifle the (state's) comeback but could end it."

Governor Scott Walker last month was granted a waiver last month from the federal government, authorizing the state of Wisconsin to impose work requirements on some individuals to receive Medicaid (BadgerCare) benefits from the state.

The plan may take as long as a year to implement, and incoming Governor Tony Evers has said he may try to end that waiver from the feds. While on a hospital tour in Madison last week, Evers told the media that he is concerned about reducing access to healthcare, and will explore the possibility of ending the plan for work requirements. No further details were given.

Anticipating a tougher economic climate for their products and customers, Foxconn Technology Group is reportedly planning to cut about $2.9 billion from its business expenses next year.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that those dollars will come from cuts to "non-technical staff." The Wisconsin State Journal tried reaching Foxconn to inquire about whether the plans for cost reductions would impact their plans for the Wisconsin factory, which is expected to create up to 13,000 jobs. The company did not offer an immediate comment to the State Journal.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation said he has heard nothing from Foxconn regarding changes to their Wisconsin plans.

A vocal critic in his gubernatorial bid, Incoming Governor Tony Evers also said he does not believe that Foxconn's cost-cutting maneuvers will impact their Wisconsin plans. He told reporters last week that his goal is to establish a relationship with Foxconn, "so that I can be the best governor possible and they can be the best corporate citizen possible." Governor-elect Evers also said he has begun conversations with Foxconn.

Governor Scott Walker last week announced that he is appointing outgoing Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel to a judgeship on the bench in the Waukesha County Circuit Court.

The announcement came the day after the election canvass, which resulted in Schimel conceding his loss to Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul.

In a statement, Governor Walker said that Schimel "diligently served the state of Wisconsin as attorney general and the citizens of Waukesha County as district attorney. [He] has shown a commitment to the rule of law and the state of Wisconsin. He will continue to faithfully serve our state as Waukesha County Circuit Court judge."

Judge Patrick Haughney resigned his spot on the Waukesha County Circuit Court earlier this month, leaving the open spot available. Schimel will already be up for re-election to the bench in April of 2019.

According to Governor Walker's Department of Administration (DOA); If all state agencies are given what they have asked for, and if revenues stay the same, the state could see a $1.1 billion budget shortfall in the next budget cycle lasting from 2019-2021.

Though it would be highly unusual for any governor to give each of the state's agencies everything they have requested, the report from DOA could shed light on an upcoming problem if those projections stay true. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau will also release its analysis in January. State agencies' budget requests were due in September, and all told, asked the executive branch for an additional $2.2 billion in spending in the next budget more than they are currently receiving now. $1.4 billion of that increase came from the Department of Public Instruction, which Tony Evers currently helms.

The general fund balance currently sits at $589 million, which is the second largest annual surplus since the year 2000. The report from DOA also shows that the state will have a $623 million surplus when the next fiscal year begins on July 1, 2019.

General Motors Co. announced today that it will stop production of under-performing car models and also cut its workforce in North America. According to Reuters and several other sources, this is the largest North America restructuring for GM since its bankruptcy during the recession a decade ago. The company has said that tariffs on imported steel have cost them $1 billion.

GM will half all production at its Lordstown, Ohio, Hamtramck, Michigan, and Oshawa, Ontario plants. Additionally, the factories in Baltimore, Maryland and Warren, Michigan will have no products assigned to their locations after 2019 and will likely be closed. The models Chevy Cruz, Cadillac CT6, and Buick LaCrosse will be halted.

Further, the company plans to cut 15% of its salaried North American workforce. That equals about 8,000 jobs on top of those expected to be lost in the aforementioned plant closings.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is encouraging Wisconsin residents to get a flu shot during this holiday season.
"We all want to project our elderly relatives, the new babies joining the family tree, students home from school, and other family and friends who gather at our homes for holiday events," said State Health Officer Karen KcKeown. "Getting a flu shot is a great way to help keep yourself- and your holiday guests- healthy this flu season."

7,530 people were hospitalized due to flu-related complications during the 2017-2018 fly season, and 379 people died, including three children.

The Department of Health Services says there are ample supplies of flu vaccines available among health care providers and pharmacies and its effective for people ages 6 months and older.
Additionally, DHS is urging you to wash your hands ofen with soap and water, or use alcohol-based santizer; cover your cough or sneeze with your upper sleeve, and try to avoid touching your face; use your own drinking cups and straws; avoid being exposed to people who are sick; eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest, do not smoke; frequently clean common surfaces, and more.


  Governor Walker has said he would likely support moving the date of the 2020 presidential primary election, so it did not coincide with the nonpartisan spring election. This would essentially help one of his WI Supreme Court nominees win re-election, but the governor has said that even when he was a counrty official, he did not see the sense in holding a nonpartisan election on the same day as a partisan election.
Moving the election date: Good idea or bad idea?  
The GOP has no shame, of course they are doing this. Wisconsin's voter totals for Democratic candidates were +2% over GOP, but gerrymandered districts allow them to keep power due to these tactics.

Increases election costs to local governments.

Yes, let's spend more taxpayer money on an election that could/should take place with the other Spring elections.

pure politics

Extra work for clerks and poll workers for no good reason

I 'm concerned by the extra cost and is it benifation

Expense of non partisan elections is outrageous to taxpayers for very little voter turnout

What difference does it make. Voters (if they show up to vote) will decide.

Just another waste of taxpayers money. It takes a lot of taxpayers money to run an election. Just use the ones that are already set up.

Makes complete sense to me

Will it cost taxpayers more money?

Cost more for taxpayers to move it

Governor-elect Tony Evers is "confident" in his plans to increase K-12 education spending by $1.4 billion in his first budget. (It would likely be a property tax neutral plan.) If you were a member of the Joint Finance Committee, how would you vote?
Education in Wisconsin has been cut and cut and cut for 8 years. Let the locals decide what their tax levies should be.
Don't need my property taxes going up.
no more property tax!! more sale tax or
is anything ever "tax neutral"? But putting more into our educational system is a good thing...the better educated EVERYONE is, the better society we have.
Act 10 was voted in for a reason. More money does not make better schools!!!!!
we have enough(too much taxes) already. Who ever said throwing tons of money at schools will improve education?

Spending more money on education does not equate to a better education. It like shopping for a new car and comparing cars with the same features and buying the one that costs more because it must be better because it cost more. Let's evaluate teachers on what studentsl learn not how many years they teach or how many degrees they have.
Theoretically the more the state pays toward education the less property taxes assessed
Great, just don't take it from roads, don't borrow it and don't raise my taxes!
It seens there is a old saying to get extra money you rob Peter to gice to Paul
Where is Evers getting the money, from transportation budget?
What programs would it fund? It is not a good idea to give money without knowing where its going.
I would like to see an increase, but does it have to be THAT much??
I think that sometimes people who get elected think that there's an unlimited amount of other people's money to spend. I think that Mr. Evers may be in for a very brutal reality check... If he wants to fund this from "elsewhere" he needs to get the tax money from other sources, fresh sources, new spending, new something. I think this needs to be VERY carefully watched. And frankly, I think that if schools cut their massive waste spending every year, there would be a lot more going on.

Money doesn't grow on trees so this money must come from somewhere. Keep the economy booming and you take the money from future growing revenues but not before you can prove it!!
With all the school referendems passing does it really matter?

Need more info as Wisconsin referendums already increased taxes by 1.4 billion when communities voted in favor on 76 of 82 school referendums now Gov elect wants 3 billion more in public expenditures? Where's the money tree? How do I grow one?

Kimberly-Clark told the Joint Finance Committee last week that it would create 52 new jobs and invest $500 million in the new plant if the legislature approves the $100 million tax plan. If you were against this incentive package for KC, would you now be inclined to support it?  
When will the Corporate Welfare END?

No corporate welfare.

Who's the next big corporation to scam us into giving them our money?

I would want some guarantee that if they don't perform the deal comes off the table. Saying they will do something and having them do it 2 years down the road is another matter.

I don't like the corporate welfare but it seems the way of the world now

Again they have to follow the rules or loss these benitifs

If Kimberly Clark has 500 million to invest this poor dairy farmer / taxpayer should not be funding them, sink or swim and fire the CEO

So thats like 2 million per employee. Where do I get my job app for KC?

I would support it with conditions and there should be a time limit on the tax gift.

It worked to Mercury Marine.

52 jobs?! I don't get any money if I hire 53 new employees!

Would like to see them do this before any govt. package is given.

Only if incentives are tax credits and not direct payouts

The Ho-Chunk Nation has said they are confident that the US Bureau of Indian Affairs would approve their plans for a $400 million casino and resort in Beloit. If that happens, future Governor Evers would have the final say on if the plan can go forward or not.

After reading the article...If you were Governor Evers...
Sure, let anyone who wants a casino have one. If people want to blow their money, that's their business.

Money for property taxes and road is needed and Governor Evers Schools.

I don't believe in casinos

yes why not, our money will go to the casinos or to taxes.

Why do we need another casino. The ho chunk nation squanders more money than the US government on a percentage basis.

Economic help for the Beloit area

I would reluctantly approve...I guess

We have enough casino's already

Don't we have enough ????

I feel we have enough casinos in the state, but I do support the Indian Nations in their efforts to build businesses. Maybe something different than a casino.

Casino debt is out of control. NO MORE casinos! There are plenty already!

I don't know that much about this plan but if a business wants to start a new business in Wisconsin why get in their way if they are not asking for money?

How many casino's do we really need.

I approved it just so we can easily get some (many?) Illinois residents to cross the border and foolishly give us their money.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has in recent years become known as "Small Business Saturday" in the United States. Do you take advantage of Small Business Saturday? Do you generally try to shop at small businesses? Do you have a favorite shop or small business? If so, which business, and what do they sell? Do you own a small business that has seen increased sales on Small Business Saturday? Share any thoughts you have on small businesses here.  
I only shop at local businesses.

I don't think people really care about small business saturday. Nice idea, but they still do most of their shopping at the big boxes outside of their communities.

Hum Bug

I try to support my home town small businesses whenever possible. Used to run to Menards because they were open now shop at local harware store that has expanded its hours.

I own a small business and have seen an uptick in sales on Small Business Sat.

I do it online...Hate shopping!

Yes, my liquor store is small and local

I don't shop.

Walmart and Menards have run most small business out of our town, none left to shop at

Shop local support your friends and neighbors. I try to buy nothing on the internet.

Yes I do like small business and try to purchase gifts there like jewelry, cheese and chocolates.

Yes, we go shopping downtown on SBS in FDL. Not much there, but it's fun and interesting.

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have historically been duds for my business. This year I'm closed on Black Friday, and encouraging people to not participate in Black Friday, and instead spend time with their families.

Absolutely try to support our local small business's. Very important to our local community.

I own a small business and have seen no increases from the Small Business promotion. I try to shop small business every day!

Small Business is the backbone of our economy! We should also find more ways to suport family farms!

Last year, I went to the Wisconsin Candle Co. in Waunakee. Expensive but quality candles. Great for gifts. Unique scents like Wisconsin Northwoods, brandy old fashioned, bonfire, etc

It is the policy of WPT, Inc. to publish all comments that are submitted by members each week, often including broad differences of opinion within the weekly responses. Our organization values our role in fostering dialogue within our membership each week, but does not take responsibility for the individual views and opinions expressed herein.     
No bills to report.
No bills to report.