DECEMBER 30, 2019
NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL AND AROUND WISCONSIN
DWD: NOVEMBER LOCAL EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS RELEASED
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) last week released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of unemployment and employment statistics for Wisconsin metropolitan areas, major cities and counties in Wisconsin for November 2019.

For metropolitan statistical areas, preliminary November 2019 unemployment rates stayed the same in three of Wisconsin's 12 metro areas over the month and increased in the remaining nine.

In municipalities, the data showed unemployment rates declined or stayed the same over the month in 13 of Wisconsin's 33 largest cities.

Counties' November 2019 unemployment rates stayed the same in eight of Wisconsin's 72 counties over the month.
DOR: WISCONSIN HOMEOWNERS GOT A NICE PRESENT FROM THE LOTTERY
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue last week announced that Wisconsin homeowners received a larger Lottery and Gaming Credit on their property tax bills than last year. The average increase was $24, bringing the average credit to $184, which was due to lottery sales exceeding the department's estimates.

"The Lottery Credit this year is 15 percent higher than last year," said Peter Barca, Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary. "This is due, primarily, to the Wisconsin Lottery having a banner year, and the credit returned to homeowners is based on Lottery profits."

Overall, the Lottery Credit distributed more than $271 million to Wisconsin homeowners for property taxes levied in 2019. Last year, that figure was $236 million. Since 1988, the Wisconsin Lottery has provided over $4.6 billion in property tax relief to Wisconsin homeowners.

The Lottery Credit is shown on tax bills as a reduction of property taxes due. If a taxpayer pays their taxes in two or more installments, the credit is applied to the first installment. The credit is paid by the state to counties or municipalities on the fourth Monday in March. The county or municipality receiving the payment settles with overlying taxing jurisdictions.
WEDC: ANNOUNCES TOP ECONOMIC DEALS OF 2019
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation released its list of Wisconsin's biggest economic development deals of 2019. "This calendar year, WEDC assisted 289 businesses and communities across 16 industries, totaling more than $250 million in awards," a statement from WEDC said.

The more than $1.2 billion in planned capital investments for the projects supported by WEDC this year are expected to create more than 3,165 jobs and retain almost 14,000 jobs across the state. Of those awards, 31 have planned capital investment of more than $10 million.

The total awards consisted of 158 grants, 47 investor tax credit awards, 20 loans and 57 historic preservation or business tax credit awards.

GOV. EVERS OPEN TO PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
Governor Tony Evers signaled to a local news outlet in Madison last week that he is open to a potential plan being explored by Republicans that would provide property tax relief to homeowners.

In a year-end surprise, the top State Senate Republican, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said property tax relief would be a priority for his caucus in the new year. Further specifics were not available, as Fitzgerald said he would wait for the upcoming Legislative Fiscal Bureau report before deciding how he might move forward or what it might cost.

One move being explored is shifting technical college costs away from property taxes, and instead having that state system receive its funding entirely from the the state's general purpose revenue (GPR). That pot of money comes from income, sales, corporate, and excise taxes.

Evers told reporters that he is not ruling out a property tax cut, but wanted to wait to make sure the dollars are available before making a commitment. He also stressed that more needs to be done with clean drinking water and school resources.
BIPARTISAN BILL INTRODUCED TO CURB HARASSMENT OF SPORTS OFFICIALS
State Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) and State Representative Don Vruwink (D-Milton) have introduced a bipartisan bill "intended to protect sports officials from violent fans."

"Youth sports are the training ground for umpires and referees," Vruwink said. "If sports officials are verbally abused or physically threatened when they are just starting out, they are likely to quit the job and never come back. As a long-time coach, referee, and umpire, I have seen a disturbing increase in unruly behavior fans."

The legislation defines "sports official" as a referee, umpire, linesman, timekeeper, inspector, judge, or person who performs similar functions, whether paid or unpaid, at a sporting event open to the public. The penalty is a fine of up to $10,000 or up to nine months in prison or both.

Wisconsin would become the 34th state to have laws that protect sports officials, including Illinois and Minnesota. Under the bill, actions that cause a sports referee harm or put them in fear of being harmed is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, as well as options for 40 hours of community service and anger management counseling.

The legislation has 29 Assembly co-sponsors and nine Senate co-sponsors.
WISCONSIN 'ALL MILK PRICE' HITS FIVE YEAR HIGH
The Wisconsin all milk price for last month was $22.40 per hundredweight according to the USDA Agricultural Prices report, which was $1.90 higher than the previous month's price, and $5.40 more than November of 2018. That is the highest the price has been in five years.

For the Untied States in total, the all milk price was $21.00 per hundredweight, or $1.40 lower than the Badger State, yet $1.10 higher than the previous month's price.

A 40-pound block of cheese closed at $1.83 on the 27th at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, with barrels closing at $1.60 per pound. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange price was $2.03 for butter.
WEEKLY MEMBER POLL
By clicking the link, you acknowledge that 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, but does not take responsibility for the individual views and opinions expressed herein. It is the right of WPT to remove responses that what the organization deems to be vulgar, hateful, or inflammatory language.
WEEKLY MEMBER POLL RESULTS
Should the state, rather than local property taxpayers, pick up the tab for the state's Tech College System?
I think it's not terrible that the tech colleges have a mix of funding sources. It makes them more accountable.

Hey, its not the towns,cities or counties tech college. state funding all the way.

I think they both should play a role.

our local high schools need to be incorporated with tech and trade schools, fixes two big problems gives students a direction and fills a huge void in the trades

It’s all taxpayer money, whether it comes from the state or local taxpayers. I don’t see the benefit to moving it around. The real question is why aren’t tech colleges sustainable in their own? Tuition, grants, research funding... so many opportunities to self-sustain!

Where will the money come from the state

some cuts in administration would be a good place to start

Way over do. Property tax is paying for way too much of the load.

Yes is the right choice as taxpayers should not take the burden.

The tax for State Tech College is a very small part of our taxes and would not help our preperty taxexs, quit building palaces building for our school districts

Neither since if the state ends up paying the tech college the tax payers will most likely have to pay more taxes to make up the difference.
A member of the legislature was found to have sexually harassed a female subordinate while intoxicated in October. Leaders are now calling for his resignation. Should he resign?
No. If he is convicted of a crime, sure. Otherwise, it's just an allegation.

An offense serious enough to be censured for...resign.

I'm not sure of the entire details of the story.

should be held to a higher standard, if broke the law prosecute if not move on

If he does it one female, what going to stop him from doing it others.

if it's first offense give him punishment, after one incidence resign. people should be smarter than that but everyone makes mistakes

If this is a on going event with is this man, the hang him out to dry. If this is just another ME TO blow up then No.

Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace. He should resign.

Its refreshing that Democrats are actually policing one of thier own.

This questions makes it sound worse than was reported

Has any of you ever made a mistake and would like a second chance?

He should always be accoutable for his actions and step down.

It is wrong even if to much to drink
Gov. Evers' administration is working with Foxconn to change the terms of the original deal, since they will now be making a different product. GOP leaders disagree and do not think that is a good reason to change the contract. Where do you stand?
not enough information

They also have not met their time line for hiring employees, its time to renegotiate.

Clearly, the Foxconn deal is not working. Reason number 942 why there should be no corporate welfare.

Anything to limit the economic calamity that this Walker/foxconn deal is bringing will help.

I'm scared by Evers negotiating anything. I'm not very confident in him.

Evers just wants total control from previous administration

They lied and now make a completely different product and will make less jobs instate. Giving card blanche to Foxconn was a bad mistake and will haunt all the tax payers in the state for years to come.

Foxconn given too much to begin with - let them prove they will provide jobs before any incentives given

Let the deal play out.

It’s all smoke and mirrors and Wisconsin gets screwed for blindly subsidizing this deal.

Business conditions change, always do. Foxconn had to change, however they are making a substantial investment that will produce jobs. Tough call here, I am worried that Evers is just making a change to spite Governor Walkers past, I don't trust Evers.

there was a deal made with the state. thats it.

Evers is only trying to make Scott Walker look bad,it;s a political stunt

If they aren't going to live up to teh terms of the original contract , then the state can renogiate the package.

It is good that Ever's is calling them on it as they have said they would be transparent but have not.

I knew Gov. Evers would tried to something so he looks good for next election
After reading the article about the "BBQ Becky Bill," what do you think about the 911-related legislation?
It is probably time for some additional information about what constitutes an emergency and a call to 911, along with a warning of consequences for non-emergency calls.

This is a solution in search of a problem.

the system is sadly abused by too many. repercussions are needed.

Perhaps a 'new' 3 digit number for non emergency (yet urgent) situations... Such as reporting road hazards... disabled vehicles, vehicles without lights at night, gas skips, Ec. these are certainly NOT EMERGENCIES, yet an urgent response may be appropriate.

teach respect for the law, lets add a law against schools calling 911 for k-6 grade students having a tantrum in school also, call 911 someone needs to go to jail!!

Yes, once to report a fire and once to report traffic lights that were out.

How are you going to inforce it?

When travelling I do not always have access to the non-emergency number. I have many times called 911 and said this is not an emergency. Then proceed with this is a traffic complaint, animal complaint etc. It is already illegal to frivolously call 911. Lets not create another redundant law..

When we're talking about adults, yes. If a child does it, no.

Educate the public about when to use 911 and when to call a non-emergency number. Criminalizing the few who misuse the system only benefits lawyers.

People can be so stupid. Slap 'em when they are so they learn.

I have never

Existing laws should cover abuse. Will another layer of rules matter ?

however, accidental calls are made, will need to be flexible.

People do things and do not what 911 is for
WPT wishes you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! As 2019 comes to a close, looking back on the year, what are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for the health and safety of my family.

Thankful that I'm old and that the impending doom for our children's world won't impact me for very long.

My Families health!

My health. too many in this state dont have the ability to care for their health because of economic reasons...and we need to fix this.

Good health

Thankful I'm still alive, that we got our mound system after all that rain. Looking forward to a better year.

The sale of my business and retirement after 42 years

I'm still living!

My Christen beliefs and values.

Thankful that we are not quite as bad off as the state of Illinois. Withe Gov Evers we are closing the gap though

Family health and happiness!

Thankful for my health, my husband, and our business! Cheers to 2020!

President Trump.

Being able to live in the USA

family and friends

The Trump led U.S. economy.

Thankful my family was able to recover from a bad accident and the birth of a new boy

Faith, Family, Friends And WPT! We live in a great state with many advantages economic, communities of people who care, natural resources, great people who dare to strive to make our state a better place to live, work and play. Thanks to all the patriots who guard our state and nation! Thank God for all the blessings we are given!

How hard WPT works for us and this newsletter and my family and many other things.

Scott Walker is not our governor.

For my family and friends
LEGISLATION
SIGNED INTO LAW
No bills to report.
VETOED
No bills to report.
BILLS IN CIRCULATION
LRB-0883   Memo  Recording Surgery (Sinicki, Christine) Video recording of surgical procedures, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, and providing a penalty. Deadline: Friday, January 10, 5 pm

LRB-5107   Memo  Black History Month (Allen, Scott) Proclaiming February 2020 as Black History Month. Deadline: Friday, January 10, 4 pm

LRB-2706   Memo  Transportation Aid (Mursau, Jeff) Transportation aid to counties and municipalities containing certain tribal facilities and making an appropriation. Deadline: Friday, January 3