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 email@example.com.
Have a great week,
We say it over and over; WPT is a nonpartisan organization. But that doesn't mean we're immune to the sting of losing an ally. That's exactly what happened on Tuesday night in Governor Walker's defeat against State Superintendent of Public Instruction, now Governor-elect Tony Evers.
But in losing one ally, we will hopefully gain another. Governor-elect Evers has repeatedly pushed for 2/3rds school funding, a policy that would lower property taxes even further than they are today, and also one of our organization's largest agenda items. We look forward to working with the Evers Administration to continue advancing WPT's 2019-2020 Property Taxpayer Agenda, and we are hopefully that we will find room for collaboration, just as WPT has with every governor since 1985.
Governor Walker lost the race with 48.4% to Evers' 49.6%, having earned 1,292,969 votes to Evers' 1,323,545. That's a difference of just over 30,000 votes. Walker also won 53 of Wisconsin's 72 counties, with Evers taking the remaining 19. As one pundit also pointed out, if you removed Milwaukee and Dane Counties from the mix, Walker actual would have won with 57% of the vote elsewhere. In Dane County, Evers won 75% of the vote, a net margin of nearly 151,000 votes. For perspective, that's nearly 50,000 more votes than Mary Burke received in her race against Gov. Walker in 2014. Evers also did well in Milwaukee County, earning 67% of the vote, or a net margin of about 130,000.
In addition to Evers' massive wins in Dane and Milwaukee Counties, Governor Walker netted 25,000 fewer votes in the Republican-dominated W.O.W. counties (Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington), with a net margin of 125,000 votes.
Wisconsin's Attorney General, Brad Schimel, was also narrowly defeated 29,000 votes by Josh Kaul. It's highly likely that Attorney General-elect Kaul will file lawsuits to challenge Wisconsin's laws like right-to-work, voter ID, and Act 10.
In somewhat of a shock, Republicans actually gained ground in the State Senate, having re-flipped the 1
st Senate District back to the GOP, which was flipped from GOP to Democrat in a special election this summer. The Democrats were able to take only one seat from the GOP-dominated State Assembly, ironically winning the seat once held by then-State Representative Scott Walker, AD 14 (Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Brookfield.)
US Senator Tammy Baldwin also sailed to re-election very easily, which is what every poll predicted would happen. Vukmir even lost counties that Governor Walker won last Tuesday night. That's a significant defeat. Baldwin will be up for re-election again in 2024, a presidential election year. Republicans maintained control of the US Senate on Tuesday, but narrowly lost the US House of Representatives. It is expected that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi will again be elected Speaker of the House.
So what does all of this mean?
It means we can likely expect quite a bit of gridlock in the State Capitol for, at the very least, the next two years. The Wisconsin Governor's veto pen is one of the single most powerful state executive branch powers in America. Governor Evers will have the power to stop and amend legislation with which his party does not agree.
On the other hand, the State Legislature controls the power of the purse. They handle all of the revenue and spending in the state, including the power to re-write the entire state budget that Tony Evers will deliver to them sometime in February.
With gridlock looking increasingly likely, this is also a time for compromise and collaboration. There are many places where the GOP legislature and Democratic governor will be able to come together for the people of Wisconsin, and we vow to work our hardest to professionally contribute to a positive and collaborative atmosphere.
NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL
AND AROUND WISCONSIN
KIMBERLY-CLARK VOTE MIGHT STILL HAPPEN...
Legislative leaders will likely call at least one "extraordinary" or "special" session before the newly-elected state government is sworn into their respective offices the first week in January. But some people already upset by the tone and tenor coming from some leaders.
First on the agenda is Kimberly-Clark. Don't forget that in the midst of the gubernatorial campaign, leaders all agreed that they would reassess the tax incentive package and potentially pass it once the election season politics had settled, and the new shape of the government was known. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told reporters last week that he will reach out to Democrats to see if any of them would be willing to vote on the package, and if the votes were there, they would bring the package to the Senate floor by the end of the month.
...FOLLOWED BY POTENTIAL 'LAME DUCK' SESSION
But next on the agenda might be legislation that curbs the power of the governor. Speaker Vos last week told reporters that they might take a look at the laws and where the executive branch has been given quite a bit of authority, and determine if any changes need to be made.
On Friday, the Speaker also told reporters that he was unhappy with headlines that implied he wanted to curb Evers' power. In his press release the day after the election, Speaker Vos said that Wisconsinites had chosen a divided government, and by no means did that mean there was a mandate against the GOP's agenda. Along the same lines, he told the Racine Times that he would like to collaborate with Evers, but will not sit idly by while he tries to repeal Act 10, curb Voter ID laws, or stop requiring people on welfare to work.
With an interesting session likely ahead in the first weeks of December, really anything can happen. Democrats are rejoicing that their candidate won, but might have forgotten that current Governor Scott Walker can sign legislation into law up until the moment he is inaugurated, and we fully anticipate, that's exactly what he will do.
FEDERAL COURT RULES AGAINST TRUMP ON DACA
A United States appeals court in California last week ruled that an Obama Era program, known as Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA), must continue under the Trump Administration, continuing to shield what have been referred to as "dreamers," and granting them work permits.
The program currently protects about 700,000 young adults, though the number has fluctuated by as much as 800,000.
President Donald Trump has been a fierce advocate for immigration reform, often igniting firestorms of debate over the issue, resulting in protests. A little over a year ago, Trump announced plans that would phase out the DACA program, and argued that the previous administration had unconstitutionally exercised its executive authority by creating the program without approval from Congress in 2012.
But the three federal judges on the appellate court unanimously ruled against Trump, upholding an earlier ruling by a judge in January. The original lawsuit was filed by the University of California, and the states of California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota.
FOXCONN NEEDS TO HIRE FOREIGN ENGINEERS IN WISCONSIN
According to a consultant, Foxconn will need to hire engineers and technical experts from Asia, and bring them to the plant in Southeastern Wisconsin, at least in the beginning phases of the factory, because according to them, the plant is unlike anything else in the U.S. and will require "experienced hands to get it running smoothly and efficiently."
According to the Wall Street Journal, people familiar with the Foxconn development said the company is considering bringing people from China to Wisconsin in order to help them with the project due to difficulty finding engineers. Foxconn denied the claim, but other sources have corroborated the source. The company said; "We can categorically state that the assertion that we are recruiting Chinese personnel to staff our Wisconsin project is untrue."
The story is not likely to strike a great chord with incoming Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, who has been a critic of the Foxconn deal, but not quite as critical as his then-Democratic gubernatorial primary candidates. Evers has said he wants to change the air and water permits for the Foxconn site, though that is strictly an EPA issue it's unlikely that the Trump-appointed EPA will reverse a provision in a Scott Walker-era deal.
Evers has also been critical of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, who has engineered the deal with Foxconn. Evers has proposed eliminating WEDC entirely, much like Walker did to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, then replacing it with WEDC. Speaker Robin Vos assured the public that Evers cannot quite eliminate the department; "He can propose to eliminate it, but the legislature would have to go along."
It's unlikely that many changes to Foxconn can be made, but with public opinion constantly teetering very narrowly between popularity and unpopularity, Foxconn's recently-reported plans to bring Chinese workers to the state might give Evers more sympathetic ears on the GOP side.
AMERICAN BUSINESSES PAID 50% MORE IN TARIFFS IN SEPTEMBER
Businesses in the United States' impacts from tariffs surged more than 50% from August to September, according to an industry coalition aligned against tariffs. The dollar amount for the month of September alone reached $4.4 billion, among those $545 million in duties on steel and aluminum imports.
$800 million of the tariffs in September were due to tariffs levied against china after having been accused of intellectual property of the United States. According to CNBC, the bulk of those tariffs did not take place until the end of the month of September, meaning the impacts could have been felt much wider in October, and those numbers are projected to be released in weeks.
President Trump told reporters on Friday that he feels "we're doing very well the way we're doing it now," though most businesses tend to disagree with the President of the efficacy of his trade war. US exports in the same declined $2.5 billion or 26 percent on those items subject to retaliatory tariffs.
IN MADISON, HEROIN OVERDOSES UP 81 PERCENT
A startling and sobering statistic from Wisconsin's capital city shows that drug overdose deaths from heroin are up 81 percent when compared to the first 10 months of last year, according to Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.
In somewhat of a sign of hope, the police chief said that heroin overdoses dropped by 31 percent in October, compared to October of 2017.
Four people alone died from a heroin overdose in October, bringing the total through October to 38 deaths. The chief also shared other violent crime metrics in his blog, showing that robberies were about the same from October 2017 to October 2018, but burglaries were up 30 percent when compared over the year.
WEEKLY MEMBER POLL RESULTS
Governor Walker has activated the cyber security team of the Wisconsin National Guard to assist in tomorrow's election if needed. Are you worried about the security of Wisconsin's gubernatorial election tomorrow?
Care should ALWAYS be taken during elections. No need to "activate" any group, intense security should be a regular matter, 365 days a year.
No, not worried. The National Guard security team should be able to handle it. Government should have several teams to guard elections.
Might be helpful for certain areas.
He was advised to, and it's good practice for a run through
I think it shows wisdom and it shows initiative. Most people wait until after things have gone wrong to call in the help...
I really dop believe that there is funny things going on with electronic ballots especially in rural counties that don't have the resources to "watch" for tampering.
I'm not worried about the election, however this is a good step in helping people not to worry as much about someone or some country attempting to hack into the election system.
Why wait until the day before the election?
I don't think the state team will run into any problems until possibly after the polls close. If that happens, I think the feds will take over
Its good to have Wis National Guard ready.
Secure elections are very important. Gov. Walker made the correct decision.
Voucher school enrollment has jumped to nearly 40,000 this year. Overall, what are your thoughts on voucher schools in Wisconsin?
Supporting two school systems is folly, driven by the wealthy and the religious.
all because of a failing public school system, Evers needs to jump on this
There is no proof that voucher schools are any better than public schools.
Everyone deserves a good education. Just like in sports the more competition there is the better everyone gets.
The public schools are so left winged it terrible, The teachers are mad and taking it out on our kids. They forget there are two sides to the story, and that is why parents are now doing the voucher school.
In areas of failing schools, yes to voucher schooling.
They do it better and cheaper.Why are public schools afraid of a little competition?
Great idea, unfortunately if Evers and the dems have their way, it will be history
My thought is the public school systems teaching is getting more liberal
Parents should have the option of homeschooling and private schools, I am not a big fan of the Chrome books and Common Core
If Wisconsin Public educaton bureaucracy is upset maybe they should look at the job they are not doing very affectively. Get back to parental control and local control and get rid of big brother in Madison. I served 6 years on a school board.
To be a voucher school, they must prove to be good school. It gives parents choices and saves is all money. A win! Win!
If public schools are not providing quality education, parents should have a choice.
Would you support legislation that would *require* a line item for voucher schools on your property tax bill? In other words, this would give a dollar break-down of how much of your property taxes went towards sending students in your school district to a private school.
More information is always good. Should also list the private school income tax deduction costs.
Don't have kids in schools but sure do support the property taxes going to the schools.
If tax payers are funding, should we be de-funding the public system by letting upper management go because their failed the tax payers, instead we promoted him to Governor
Another way to waste money.
start itemizing where our tax dollars go & where would it end? it will just cost taxpayers more money
Another ploy by the desperate teacher unions
Just another gov't job for someone
Its about time how our property taxes are spent
It's not a big part of the budget, not necessary
Full disclosure is the best deal for everyone. Just put the truth out there...
When you are looking at less than 1% of the budget then lets have on the property tax bill how much goes to support the top heavy department of Public instruction bureaucracy in Madison. I will bet it is more money than the voucher system!!
This is great idea! During tax time you hear a lot of complaining about how high the property taxes are in the community and it is very easy to blame the city government for the high taxes. But rather the school districts portion of the property taxes is generally the highest part of the property taxes.
It should also say the amont of savings vers public school.
President Trump's administration has approved Governor Walker's plan to require childless adults to work if they are on BadgerCare. What are your thoughts?
No reason why anyone is not working!!!!!
People on Badger Care may be Physically and Mentally handicapped. It may be very difficult for them to find work.
I've always felt that anyone who is capable of working should be required to in order to collect government funds. There is plenty of jobs available right now.
Some on Badger Care ALREADY work ....
i go to work every day to take care of myself & my family, don't see any reason others don't do the same. enough handouts already
Too many "working the system."
There could be circumstances that we are unaware off for not working
Why should they get a free ride-There are tons of jobs available
I support the requirement and wish drug testing could have been a part of it as well. Too many free loaders with their hands out always looking for more, they are gamers and now how to play the system. I see too many on disability that you wouldn't believe what they can do if it is something they enjoy doing!
They should have to work for it, it's not supposed to be a way of life; just a helping hand while you get back on your feet.
We know of several families who were... prolific, and have a large number of children. One parent has chosen to not work while the children are small, because the day care costs would sink them. I don't think that's given it's proper consideration at this point.
Just about every business in our areea is looking for workers. I am a CPA my clients across the board are looking for people that want to work. everyone seems to want a paycheck but wants to come to work when they feel like it or if show up and then don't want to actually work.
This is long overdue requirement for people on assistance. I feel everyone has to work for some of the things we as society give to those in need. Besides if they are required to work they may find employment with better benefits than they are getting from BadgerCare.
I agree that work is good, but if someone gets a job paying $15 an hour and maybe looses the badgercare because they make too much, how can they afford child care. Encourage the work but still help out till they can get a better job
This week will mark the 148th anniversary of the first National Weather Forecast, by Increase Lapham, who lived in Wisconsin for a good portion of his life. Do you check the weather forecast daily? Do you trust one weather source more than another? Which one? For the most part, do you trust weather forecasts?
The National Weather Service does have nice charts, but I find the local TV weather maps to be a better indication of the forecast.
I watch the weather on TV every day.
WISN12 has wonderful forecasts. We are farmers, always checking the weather.
I check every day. Channel 27 seems to be the most accurate, but they are all way more accurate than they were 20 years ago.
Local weather reports on TV. ... Occasionally watch 'the weather channel'
I check the forecast daily. Did the local forecasters predict the ten to fifiteen inches that fell a this summer? The forecasts see to scare people when there is little reason and then when things get really bad, people don't believe them.
yes--National Weather Service in LaCrosse--mostly
I check the forecast, but it doesn't pay to look much more than 12 hours ahead, as the long range forecasts are always changing. It is one job that you can always be wrong, but you get to keep your job. Weather radar is probably the most useful tool available to us.
I trust the weather forcasts, they are usually spot on, and I check it daily to plan for it.
Yes...It's not an exact science!
I check weather forecasts daily. I watch ag day they seem to have the most accurate weather for multi days and I watch local channel 13 fro Eau Claie and channel 9 out of the Twin Cities
Yes, I look outside to the west!
I check weather radar and forecast daily. Some times forecast is wrong.
1-3 days, after that it's just a guess it seems
Yes, check it daily. Trust them for the most part.
I generally find that more than 3 days out the weather forecasts are iffy.
Owning a dairy farm, we are very dependent on the weather. It has improved over the years. No one can predict the one cloud that decides to do the unpredictable.
Yes, NOAA . They do their best but Mother Nature is unpredictable and always will be. As a farmer I weigh their forecast and use the old time signs to make decisions.
Yes check it daily, have the time they the forecast wrong.
Always check weather, daily
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.