Everything you need to know for the week ahead.
SEPTEMBER 17, 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.

State Superintendent of Public Schools, and democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers released his two-year budget proposal on Sunday, an item that is due from each of the state's agencies today.

But most of those departments won't likely request quite the sizeable hike that Evers' department as put forth; $1.7 billion in K-12 public school funding from 2019-2021, $606 million for special education. How does he plan to pay for it? Partly by eliminating property tax credits which total around $1 billion for Wisconsin's property owners. A State Journal report assured its readers Sunday that this would not necessarily result in property tax increases due to revenue limits currently in place.

But Evers' plan also would raise the revenue limit by $200 per student in the first year, and $204 in the second year of the budget.

Total public school support from the State of Wisconsin sat at $13.7 billion in the current budget cycle, a number that Governor Walker is currently using on the campaign trail to dub himself the "education Governor," a nickname that has riled his opponents.

According to a Department of Public Instruction spokesman, the last time school finance underwent some big changes was the 1995-1997 budget, adding that this is a "long, long, long time coming," and told reporters that the plan is "property tax neutral."

It might be hard for some policy wonks to believe that the 2019-2021 State Budget process is already taking place, but today was a sure tell sign that the next two-year spending and tax plan is already underway.

In addition to state agencies releasing their requests for the upcoming financial showdown in the State Capitol, Governor Walker also released a handful of budget objectives that he wishes to achieve should he have the chance to serve another term as the state's chief executive.

Here's a snapshot:

- A new graduate tax credit worth $1,000 per year for up to five years to retain Wisconsin's graduates in the state.
- A 50% increase to the refundable Homestead Tax Credit for seniors 62 years and older.
- A new nonrefundable tax credit for children and dependent care expenses equivalent to the amount of the federal credit.
- An Earned Income Tax Credit for claimants who marry
- $20 million for the Wisconsin Career Creator Program, including $6 million for youth apprenticeships, $7 million for scholarships for workers who need additional training, $5 million to expand dual enrollment programs, $2 million for the state's technical colleges for in-need worker training, $5 million for commute-to-career programs.
- Funding for lead abatement for properties where CHIP-eligible children live or frequent
- Opioid reporting standards for prescribers and EMTs

Governor Walker has called on the Wisconsin State Legislature to return to the Capitol before the end of September to pass a $100 million tax incentive bill designed to keep Dallas, Texas-based paper manufacturer Kimberly-Clark from closing one of its two plants scheduled for closure in the Fox Valley.

Currently, Republicans hold a 18-15 majority in the State Senate, but its speculated that without some votes from Democrats, the plan could be doomed. No Democrats have signaled they will support the measure, and in an election year, it's probably unlikely any of them will support an initiative being pushed by Governor Walker.

The smaller of the two plants, located in Neenah, will still close even with the incentives package from the state, which was modeled to mirror the package given to Foxconn.

National guard members from both Wisconsin and Minnesota have been deployed east to assist with relief efforts after Hurricane Florence battered much of the eastern seaboard late last week and into the weekend.

Four Wisconsin National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters headed to the state of Maryland for standby status, until assistance is officially requested. There are about two dozen members in the operation. According to the AP, the helicopters are medivac aircrafts with the capability to hoist individuals and other items, as well as assist with medical treatment.

Governor Walker signed an executive order on Friday which authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to call troops to active duty, and to allow any state worker who is a Red Cross volunteer to leave work to assist. 7,000 National Guard from around the nation are assisting with relief efforts.

For the third time in as many years, the 2017 national poverty rate dropped while median household incomes grew, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the Badger State, median household incomes jumped over $1,000 to $59,305, with 21 other states having higher median incomes including the neighboring states of Minnesota ($68,388) and Illinois ($62,922). The average median household income for the nation was $61,372.  
In Dane County, the median household income was $72,268, up about $9,000 from 2013.  
The national poverty rate was 12.3 percent, with Wisconsin's at 11.3 percent. The poverty rate among Wisconsin families was 7.1 percent.  
An unusual amount of rainfall in Wisconsin has resulted in lots of standing water in places that are normally dry. Unfortunately for people, mosquito larvae, sometimes called wrigglers, develop in standing water, so their populations have surged over the last few weeks.
Mosquitoes can develop in flood water but also in surprisingly small volumes of water in standing containers, abundant in our yards and neighborhoods in the form of rain, barrels, fish ponds, bird baths, old tires, planters, tree cavities, gutters or anything else that holds water.
To help control the outdoor mosquito population on your property, eliminate their breeding places:
- Remove and dispose of trash that is holding water such as old tires, sagging plastic bags, or any water-holding containers.
- Make weekly inspections of water in flower pots and plant containers for stagnant, standing water or the presence of wrigglers.
- Change the water in bird baths and wading pools frequently. Drain them when not in use.
- Unclog rain gutters who water doesn't pool.
- Drain and fill stagnant, puddles, ditches, or any wet areas around your home and property.
- Clear weeds and vegetation away from the edges of ponds, near houses, and in nearby lots- adult mosquitoes hide in them.
- Biological control products containing Bti, a natural mosquito larvicide, may be purchased online and  
at most law and garden stores. These products, which are usually donut-shaped or comes as pellets, are placed in standing water to kill mosquito larvae. They control mosquito larvae for up to 30 days but are harmless to people, pets, birds, fish, and other wildlife. Always follow directions on labels.
- Use sand to fill in tree holes.
- Remove tree stumps that hold water.
If you must go outside at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active, take precautions to avoid being bitten.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants thick enough to prevent mosquito mouthparts from reaching skin.
- Wear light tones- dark colors attract mosquitoes.  
- Use repellents on exposed skin.
- Citronella can be helpful if the air is still.  

A federal judge located in Texas is taking a close look at a suit filed in his court in February by Wisconsin and 19 other states that would suspend the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit requests that the Affordable Care Act be deemed unconstitutional, and in their recent oral arguments, lawyers representing the states also requested a preliminary injunction which would suspend the law in its entirety until the judge made his decision.

The states also asked that the judge strike down provisions in the Affordable Care Act that does not allow health insurers to refuse covering people with pre-existing conditions or charging those individuals higher rates.

Attorneys general from 16 democratic states have said they would seek a stay if the law is declared unconstitutional or the judge allows for insurers to refuse coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, if the law was declared unconstitutional, other provisions would also be null and void, including those that allow individuals 26 and younger to stay on their parents' health plans, and bans on annual and lifetime limits on coverage, caps on out-of-pocket costs, and charging women higher rates than men.

Union groups trying to call attention to the next governor, whomever that might be, flew a banner around Lambeau Field with a banner donning a very clear message and an image of Governor Walker: "Fix Our Roads Governor: SCOTTHOLES.COM."

But the union-backed group Safe Transportation Over Politics said they are not endorsing in the governor's race, and even called Democrat candidate Tony Evers' plan "ambiguous." While they won't make an endorsement, some are questioning whether that's a genuine statement, given the banner has a caricature of Governor Walker's face, and the name of the website is clearly a reference to the sitting Governor.

When asked about the banner, Governor Walker reminded reporters that his predecessor Governor Jim Doyle took money from the state's transportation fund to plug budgetary holes elsewhere, and that the current administration has spent $3 billion more than Doyle over two terms.

What are your thoughts on the banner? Effective or tacky? Share your opinions in this week's Member Poll.

Governor Walker last week said that he doesn't think extra lanes are needed on highways undergoing a rebuild. Do you agree or disagree? 
Extra lanes are needed so traffic isn't so highly impacked during construction and maintenance but extra lanes also makes for cars going way too fast over the speed limit.

Many of the highways just need to be maintained for safety. How about teaching drivers how to merge properly, change lanes properly and teach them not to create a "gappers" delay by slowing down to see " the dead squirrel " on the side of the road delay. I can not count the times traffic comes to a complete stop on the freeway for somebody rubber necking to watch an accident seen on the other side of the freeway. PEOPLE mind your own business and drive the d#$m car!

Certainly depends on need and situarion.

For the most part, they can probably stay the same, but where there is a need for larger volume, then they should be expanded, as it takes a lifetime before any new work is done on a project anymore.

Inareas where bottle-necks at interchanges have high crash rates..... Expansion is part of a solution... add lanes, extend merge lanes.

I think the Governor should be invited to drive I94 from west of Waukesha to downtown Milwaukee during the morning rush hour for a week or so and then see what he says!

With the extensive amount of work that our roads need I think it is prudent at this point to fix what we have before we spend needed money on making some roads bigger.

I'm sure there's a study some place that shows the traffic patterns of all the congested areas. Some areas DO need more lanes, others don't. Hwy 23 between Fond du Lac and Shebogan DOES!

Milw interchanges need more lanes

I feel we should be fixing our other roads

There are many roads that need lanes expanded, especially if they have many accidents like Hwy 23 between Plymouth & Fond du Lac. Its terrible that people have to be killed before something is done.

rebuild what we have. No more making them bigger.

There are places and situations that would make expansion more convenient and also save lives. I don't like blanket policy statements. that means one size fits all which is never the case!

Cars may get smaller, but they still travel teh same number of miles. The ratio of people to cars is what is importent. We like to travel, to go out to eat more than ever, see entertainment etc. Turn out lanes at intersections would be a great help on two lane roads.

It is still a case by case basis for that decision

Depends on the traffic volume.

Hey, guess what? There are actual humans who are experts in traffic and construction patterns. Instead of spouting off uninformed theories, why not consult people who do this for a living? Sometimes extra lanes are good, sometimes not so much. Study, analyze, report.

One developer's plan would turn the historic Green Bay Correctional Institute building into a museum, offices, restaurants, and shops. What do you think of the plan?
Museum, no, but the rest sounds good. Better to reuse than to alway tear down. Renovated old buildings are unique.

Depends on design and upgrades.

Perhaps if the property would generate tax revenue... conversion is a positive.

There are more criminals and we have to put them somewhere. With all due respect to Tommy Thompson , if he thinks that these criminals can be rehabbed with job training-he's nuts!

I think the opportunites and creative names one could come up with is pretty neat. I also think it would be an attraction to patronize businesses or live in the old prison.

it could be a great draw if done right - get a developer who know what they are doing & have adequate financing to complete the project
I think it would be great. Doesn't the institute work as a prison anymore?

Tear it down and develop this site into residential

I think money could be spent else where

Maybe a museum like the jail is in West Bend. I think it could be have a few ghosts in it.

My queston is if we close the prison where do those prisoners go? Do they just get relaesed? As for housing my business in a formeer prision - I don't care long as there is adequate parking, access and signage. ?

Not that appealing.

tear it down

If the restaurant they put in there was an Arby's, yes, I'd eat there.

Governor Tommy Thompson has apologized for his role in the construction of new prisons in Wisconsin while governor, and says he believes that some prisons should be converted to vocational schools. What do you think?  
Prisons themselves should be vocational schools. My pet peeve is why do honest citizens have to clean up highways while felons watch tv.

First we have to educate students to the concept of "work."

See comment onQ2.

I don't think he needs to apologize for building well functioning prisons. I do like the idea of education for prisoners while incarcerated. Teach them a trade so they have something to fall back on instead of returning to thier former means.

More partisan BS.

Former Gov. Thompson raided the transportation fund and built too many prisons.

Its a good thought but people in a prison had free meals and housing, a lot of them are use to that life

I agree,,, more schooling for theses prisoners

At some point, the old must go away to make way for the new. Some of those old buildings are very costly to operate. I'd be in favor of other options...

Lets look to the future and assess our need for prison and our need for vocational schools and then make an informed decision. Our State's drug problem is not going to go away anytime soon. that is what is what most of our prison populations problem is - drugs. Why add another campus with all the extra overhead when you could add on to a vocational school that is existing? Fixed overhaed for the taxpayer-students would increase per capita with each "new facility". Has anyoone taken economics 101?

The correction starts or never happens in the home as a child. We need more perental teaching of discipline and the importence at a young age. The need for prisons is a lagging indicator of parental failure as a child.

MillerCoors will be eliminating hundreds of positions in a "restructuring," following an 8.5 percent profit loss, and a production drop of 1.6 million barrels of beer. When/if you drink beer, is it from one of the larger brands (Miller, Coors, Bud products), or do you buy something more local or smaller?
Miller Lite and Miller 64. Yes, local breweries are gaining market share, they become destination outings.

Leinie's Original baby!!! perhaps the larger brands should become involved in what the consumers want if they want to maintain their market share.

at least they are being proactive & resolving their financial issues instead of looking for a government handout

Karben 4, Ale Asylum, One Barrel, Giant Jones

Modelo, Stella Artois

when i drink i drink coors

I drink the lighter beers. less carbs, calories. Craft beers do not taste good to me.

Sorry, but MillerCoors is doomed. There are plenty of "premium" beers that cost roughly the same. If Lexus and Ford cars cost the same, what would you drive?

Wisconsin was ranked 4th by WalletHub for students being bullied. Was bullying a problem when you were a student?

Bullying was not a problem because teachers had authority and respect.

Yes, that was 40 years ago. It built character back then. At least people tell me I am a character. All kidding aside I think bullinghas become an epidemic problem in school because kids are not taught how to stand up for themselves

Ut was part of growing up. Bully strategies now technologically based and the "faceless" comments and mod mentality are cruel and difficult to overcome.

I experienced it and it made school miserable for me. I really do not care to attend reunions because I have no reason to see some of those people who did bully me. There is just more people talking about it, its all talk and no walk. It is given lip service, but the root of this problem starts in the homes of those doing the bullying. Its just like the drinking mentality in Wisconsin, everyone agrees people should drink in moderation, but getting drunk on a weekend is OK, and if you drive drunk and don't get caught, its OK. People's hearts and minds have to change before many of these problems can be overcome.

Was on the receiving end of everything from the "typical" picked-on occasionally (MORE than a little ribbing) to brutal bullying

Always was bullying,always will be. "Man is by nature evil".It's hard to prevent all of it.

I wasn't pampered by my parents or peers growing up like many today, so I guess it wasn't an issue. We didn't get participation awards either. Back then discipline from my parents was real and feared! I guess I somehow survived!

Bullying has always been a problem. Just look at our government, from the top down. Tell me there isn't bullying going on there too.

my son has had to stand up to bullies for himself and friends because the teachers won't step in to keep the situations under control

There has always been bullying.

I think there's a greater emphasis now and when I was young we took care of it ourselves.

Society and people in general have loss respect for each other, that why we have a problem

No it hasn't changed. But people are more aware of it and Parents should be able to go to the schools and teachers, Principal should listen to the parents. Also I think a good plan would be bring kids & parents together for a meeting and talk to both children. Something needs to be done, as kids suffer for years after the bullying.

Bullying is STILL a problem. Stanley-Boyd school students have horrible times with bullying and mistreatment from students, not to mention issues where the staff doesn't take the students needs into account. Many districts have issues. I think we need to give Teachers more freedom to police and step in to halt this type of activity. It's time for students to learn to live in harmony with each other, because at some point, we all mature and realize we have to get along with our neighbors. Bullying that isn't stopped in youth continues into adulthood.

Most will not like my answer. We said the pledge of allegiance, we were allowed to pray in school, we were taught to be kind and gentle to all. yes some people were more "popular". I was not one of those but I never felt bullied.

There is just a greater emphasis on the subject now.

we have developed a generation of spoiled children due to a lack of morality and ethics

Greater emphasis now.

Nothing will make it go away

I think the Wallethub report is bogus. They have no idea. I imagine bullying is slightly lower than it was 20-50 years ago due to the enormous amount of time schools put into anti-bullying campaigns.

The Green Bay Packers kicked off the season last night with a victory over the arch-rival Chicago bears. If you watch sports; How did the team look? What could they improve? What did they do well? Share your initial start-of-the-season thoughts on the Pack!
ne of the best games ever. A full team effort.
One of the most exciting 4th quarters ever

rogers needs to stay healthy

It wasn't until defense realized they had to step it up to keep Rodgers protected in second half that they showed what they had to do and what they could do.

You can tell the Packers do not take the pre-season serious as they looked lackluster in their performance. I realize as a Packer fan you are going to be told to just relax, there is a long season ahead and the guys will start playing to their full potential when it "really matters" so since the first three months of the season don't matter, I really could care less myself, I'll start watching with intensity when the players start playing with the intensity they are paid the big bucks to put into the game.

They must have come out flat.Looked like they hadn't played during the preseason.Aaron Rodgers earned his money in the second half.Showed why he is the highest paid QB.He has to be healthy for Packers to win consistently.
I was so disappointed I went to bed at halftime. Should've stayed up!

At the start the team didn't play together. Maybe they need to play together during the preseason
Don't watch sports, but glad the Green Packers won.

it started out very bad but it was good game to watch

I think we are lucky to still have a quarterback able to bring a team back from obvious defeat!

The offfensive line defensive are the foundation of the offense and defense. The Packers still have a big offensive line problem. They have possibly 2 lineman that if put on waivers any other NFL team would pick up. They have a great quarter back and good wide receivers. None of these can be truly affective if there isn't an affective offensive line. OOPS! The Packers don't have an affective offensive line. The defensive line is a little better but itas bad of shape as the offensive line. Either must upgrade - play better, get decent personnel or there will be no Super Bowl rings in Green Bay! We have a great quarter back and great recaivers that cannot function to potential because we have a non- existant offensive line. They don't run block well and they don't pass block well. Is it coaching, is it personnel. I lean toward personnel!

It took a while for the team an coaches to adjust to the opposition. It was nerve racking, but they managed things well. Never judge the season by the first game, learn from it.

Each win should not depend on Rogers only. Where was the team during the first half?

Not looking at the first half the team looked great. The first half looked like they had a hang over from the night before. Flat footed in my book. They finally woke up in the second half and finally realize they were actually playing football.

I was at the game and was glad to see them win! Hopeful for a good year if their team stays healthy.

stopped watching pro sports due to multi million cry baby athletes and coaches

Need to get the tight ends involved on offense, and on defense, somehow create more pressure on QB.

With any luck the Packers will go 8-8.

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.