Everything you need to know for the week ahead.
OCTOBER 8, 2018


Welcome back to the WPT Weekly Insider.

This week will bring you news from the Capitol and around Wisconsin, circulating legislation, your weekly poll responses, and an all new Weekly Member Poll.

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,

WPT, Inc.

For those who have been following along, last week Tuesday GOP leaders in both the State Senate and Assembly announced they would call a special election after the election in November to pass a tax incentive package for Texas-based Kimberly-Clark, aimed at keeping one of the two plants in the Fox Cities from closing.

Though it remains unclear whether the Senate Republicans have the votes to pass the package, the company announced that they would not making any decisions regarding the Fox Crossing facility until after that session has concluded.

Since the legislature will be in extraordinary session, they will be able to take up other pieces of legislation, should they chose to do so. A change in the make-up of the legislature after the election will likely decide whether or not they will pass other bills before the January inauguration.

The leader of the Democrats in the State Assembly, Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) at a luncheon last week hinted that the issue of Wisconsin accepting a massive Medicaid expansion from the federal government could be an issue for "creative compromise."

At the same luncheon, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who is expected to retain his role as Speaker following the elections, responded with a resounding "never" in response to the suggestion.

"I don't want more people on government health care," Vos told attendees, "Not gonna happen. No. Never."

Hintz called Republican Governor Scott Walker's decision not to accept the money "shortsighted" and "one of the dumbest decisions we've made in the last 50 years," according to the Cap Times, and said he believes there could be bipartisan support for the measure that would ultimately cover more people on the state's BadgerCare program. Instead of all Wisconsinites at or below 100% of the federal poverty level ($12,060/yr. for an individual), it would cover all individuals in Wisconsin earning at or below 133% of the federal poverty level ($16,039).

Vos said if Evers were to be elected Governor, he and legislative Republicans will work to ensure that Republicans do not repeal anything that has been passed while the have controlled state government.

Thanks to $3.6 million in federal money, last Tuesday evening, the City of La Crosse voted to postpone its wheel tax proposal, though La Crosse County is still moving forward with its plans.

The County Board will ask through referendum in November how residents think the County should meet it's more-than-$100 million unmet road obligations. First, the ballot will ask "Should we invest more money in roads?" The next three questions will be whether voters believe there should be a wheel tax, property taxes, or resort area tax.

The resort tax, known as a Premiere Resort Area Tax. Wisconsin state law allows municipalities or counties to impose one of these taxes if the municipality or county meets certain criteria, and then retailers charge a 0.5% sales tax on certain sales such as department stores, candy stores, dairy stores, gas stations, book stores, gift shops, hotels, motels, theaters, amusement parks, golf courses, and more.

If La Crosse County should adopt that type of tax, they are expecting to generate around $6.6 million, spend about $5 million if it, and then distribute the remaining $1.6 million to municipalities within the county.

Governor Walker last week announced that local governments received their quarterly payments totaling $118,205,145 for General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids and Expressway Policing Aids from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. In 2018, local governments will receive $40 million more than last year in General Transportation Aids.

In addition, the governor also announced that in his next state budget, the state would provide the highest level of state funding for county roads in decades. The governor's proposal would increase calendar year General Transportation Aids to counties to 30 percent, the largest single increase in funding ever provided to counties through the program.

General Transportation Aids help defray the costs of constructing, maintaining, and operating roads and streets under local jurisdiction. Connecting Highway Aids reimburse municipalities for maintenance for traffic control of certain state highways within municipalities.

Even after Governor Walker signed off on new hunting regulations designed by the Natural Resources Board to curb the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, the rule was revoked by the powerful Joint Committee on Rules and Regulations.  
The new rule would have prohibited hunters from transporting deer carcasses out of CWD-impacted counties, and was to take effect today, October 8th. Opponents of the bill said they voted to revoke the regulation because they felt there was not enough time or notice to Wisconsin hunters for the new regulations.
Governor Walker told reporters last week after the vote occurred that he will work with lawmakers to reintroduce an emergency rule that re-implements the same regulation.  
Governor Walker last week sent a letter to President Donald Trump, officially requesting a federal disaster declaration for 18 Wisconsin counties that were impacted by flooding and severe storms last month. Those counties include Adams, Crawford, Dane, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Ozaukee, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon Counties.  
The disaster declaration would assist in providing both public and individual assistance. In some cases, a county might only receive one or the other.  
"The storms Wisconsin experienced during August and September claimed two lives and caused massive amounts of damage in several communities," Governor Walker said. "The effect of the storms on the people of Wisconsin is severe, and the resources needed to help with their recovery far exceed what state and local officials currently have available. It is essential that the federal government provide needed assistance.
Last week, FEMA, the Small Business Administration, Wisconsin Emergency Management, Wisconsin DOT, and Wisconsin DNR conducted damage assessments across the impacted area with local officials. Their review found the cost of local government responses to the floods and estimated damage repairs will total more than $37.2 million.  

In the latest development in the ongoing "Foxconn comes to Wisconsin" headline, the corporation announced their intentions to create an "innovation center" in downtown Racine called Foxconn Place Racine, and it will employ around 125 people.

The company is also expected to have about 500 employees at its newly-purchased building in downtown Milwaukee, which will serve as its North American headquarters. The company will also be opening another innovation center in downtown Green Bay with 200 employees, and another in Eau Claire with 150 employees.

So far, the company has purchased the downtown Milwaukee building for $15 million, but is in the process of buying others. Jobs created by Foxconn at these satellite locations will "likely count" towards the $1.5 billion in payroll tax credits that Foxconn can receive from Wisconsin taxpayers.

Officials in Outagamie County are thinking about asking the state for help. While that headline sounds like nothing out of the ordinary, this time the help would come in the form of a speed limit reduction on I-41 between Appleton and Green Bay.

The County's highway commissioner said that reducing the speed from 70 to 55 temporarily until the entire interstate is rebuilt would make it safer for everybody, including law enforcement, drivers, emergency personnel and construction workers.

Between Breezewood Lane to the northern Junction of 441 in Appleton, there are about 470 crashes per year. The county is also trying to mitigate safety risks other ways, including the exploration of metered ramps.

This summer, Governor Walker nudged the Department of Transportation to explore the expansion of I-41 between Appleton and De Pere, though according to the Journal Sentinel, that scale of project could take between six and ten years to finish.

Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers has released some of his agenda, should be win in November. After reading the article, what do you think? 
Looking for bigger government!

More tax and spend

Nothing stated in Evers plan about tax relief, less government intervention, eliminating unnecessary regulations, reducing drains on the transportation fund from bus subsidies etc.

Government needs accountability.

He will raise taxes,try to give more power to yhe teacher's unions,throw money at the schools which has never been proven to increase their effectiveness,etc.

After reading about the double payment on the "zoo road project in Milwaukee" some of his points make sense. I'm just leary of a democrat Govenor appointing democrat hacks to some of the positions over sight. It seems it may be setting up a slippery slope of partisan appointees having too much control IE "the deep state" in Wisconsin government.

he has never said how he going to pay for his ideas

sounds good but his track record stinks - our schools are in worse shape academically under his watch!

Too much government control, not enough freedom. Freedom is the cornerstone of this nation and this state...

more committees? too much government already

I do not buy into his tactics

Everything he's released to date. As with every democrat there's something hidden in their agenda to help themselves. They are not for the little guys. Their motto is "tax and spend to the extreme!"

More money for schools and roads. Roll back the tax cuts on the wealthy. What's not to like?

I like the redistricting piece.

Representative Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) has resigned his leadership post as Assistant Majority Leader of the State Assembly, though Governor Walker is calling for his full resignation from the legislature. After reading the article...
The people he offended say it's behind them that good enough for me. Let the voters decide

Another drunk lipping off in public,a elected state employee.

I do not know the details of this matter

Drinking gets a lot of people in trouble.

He must have been lubricated with alcohol!

There is no excuse for the comments he made to the three female representatives, but unfortunately people do things that are right at times. I feel since he apologized and the female representatives have accepted his apology and said they have put it behind them and just want to move on, then it should be good for the rest of us. Our society has gotten out of control with making people pay for mistakes like these. He obviously had too much to drink, I have seen family and friends in situations and realize what they are saying needs to be ignored. We all laugh at the videos of the things people do when they have had medical work done and are coming off their anesthesia and the things they say or believe, its almost the same thing when a person has had too much to drink. k

you can not say any thing anymore and public get upset, but turn on your tv an see some of shows the way they talk, its ok

Has anything been proven? Any charges?

Did the guy make a joke! I don't know? Was it a referral for her opposing some legislation he held near and dera to his heart? I jokingly say Hey I would do the same for a normal friend. Its a joke! Everyone is all race gender sensitive.

he apologized, which the ladies accepted, so I have to assume it was sufficient. people say stupid things, hopefully he learned something

Governer Walker is correct no room for racism in Wisconsin, resign now

Gov Walker is not squeaky clean either.

A scumbag politician? What else is new.

In a three-day-long operation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested more than 80 people in Wisconsin. Was your county one of the 14 targeted?  
Rather than using the term undocumented can we use illegal?

i think ice is doing there job.!!

Typical Madison lefties! How can people who teach our kids advocate disobeying the law?

Madison School District and city should be ashamed of the way they acted. Criminals were being sought, not innocent families! Come on Americans, have you lost all respect for your fellow countrymen? (or countrypeople!) Many legal immigrants made sacrifices to become apart of this great country. I am tired of giving a pass to the law breakers, and that includes the employers who hire law breakers!

its about time we arrest these criminals

Arrest them all. They are a burden on our society. Want to come to US come the legal way

What about illegal does anyone not understand!

If you aren't here illegally, you have nothing to fear.

if people want to live here there are procedures in place. use them!

the law is the law Madison School District is wrong to intervene

If they told they were coming, no one would be there to arrest.

We need a legal work force, for the jobs Americans refuse to do. Our government needs to pass the right legislation so business can operate and police officers can spend their time on real criminals.

I'm a Democrat, but I am fully behind ICE operations. We should have constant sweeps, catching illegal immigrants and deporting them.

The Department of Health Services announced that nearly 400 people died from the flu in Wisconsin during the 2017-2018 "flu season." Do you get an annual flu shot?
Can't hurt.... Can it?

i think it's a good i want the double senior shot

I use to get the flu shot and still got the flu. I haven't gotten a flu shot for five years, haven't gotten the flu since.

They are important for health care workers and anyone working with children.

I remember when my dad got a flu shot and was sick all winter! They say now it's a killed vaccine and not as hazardous. Still not enthusiastic about getting one. (As I understand the vaccine doesn't cover all of the strains)

Never get the flu shot and rarely get the flu. I use good hand washing techniques and essential oils

a great idea

Too late for me. Had the flu last month. Ugggh

I am allergic to something in the flu shot. Would up in ER and or hospital 3 out ao 3 years quit taking them a decade ago!

I get a flu shot and I get the flu, multiple times a year. I don't get the shot, I do well...

If you are a senior, very young or other health issues. Get one every year!

Stop being such a baby and get your flu shot.

The Milwaukee Brewers today won the tiebreaker game against the Chicago Cubs to be crowned the NL Central Champions for the first time since 2011, and for only the second time in franchise history. Additionally, they finished the season with the best record in the NL, granting them home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Any predictions for the 2018 MLB Postseason?

Nice team they've put together. Go crew!



Go Brewers, make the state proud.

GO Brewers! And the Cubs got beat by the Rockies! Woo Hoo!!

No Predictions. Go Brewers!

The Milwaukee Brewers should take the National League Pennant, they have as much chance as anyone else. The American League tends to be the better league, and the Brewers struggled against some of the American League teams they played this season. That being said, I think this year may be the Brewer's year to win it all!


Go Brewers

Hope the brewers do well. All the talk on Monday night football at half time was about Boston and the Cubs. Brewers did not exist. I hope they take it all! I really am beginning to dislike the talking heads on TV.

Yay Brewers! but I don't watch Baseball...

Go Crew!

Go Brewers, what a boost for Wisconsin

Don't watch baseball

I hope they win it all!

Brewers all the way!!

No predictions from me.

Lets rally the Brewers and win.


I hope they win.

The Brewers have such a long history of flopping, it's hard to predict anything besides that. Hope springs eternal.

Don't watch the games

World series champion brewers

Rockies beat the Cubs. Brewers beat COL in 5. Play to 7 games and beat the Dodgers, play Boston in WS

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.