JANUARY 13, 2020
Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy has found three members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the commission itself in contempt of court today, after the commission in recent weeks failed to comply with his original order to purge up to 209,000 voter registrations from the polls.

The judge also fined commission members Ann Jacobs, Mark Thompson, and Julie Glancey $250 per day until they comply with his order.

Judge Malloy also called the commission condescending and said he was bothered by a commission member who was heard on the radio saying the Wisconsin Elections Commission did not have to comply with the order.
State Representative Bob Kulp (R-Stratford) announced last week that he will not be seeking re-election to the 69th Assembly District later this year. He has held the seat since 2013.

"It has been one of the great honors of my lifetime to serve my friends and neighbors in the State Assembly," Kulp posted on Facebook. "I never set out to make this a 'career', and I have always had a great admiration for public servants who knew when to step back and others pick up the torch."

Kulp also said he looks forward to dedicating more time to his family and business, and that he will continue to intercede and advocate on behalf of his constituents until the end of his term.

State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) also announced that he will not seek re-election to the state legislature this November.

"I've always tried to do my best and I hope the people I have had the privilege to serve believe I have had their best interests at heart and that I have done well by them," Hansen said in a statement. "But as anyone who knows me will tell you, Jane and my family are the most important people in the world to me and it is important to me that I spend more time with them at this stage in our lives."

"I have no fears about my chances for reelection," Hansen also said. "having survived an attempted recall in 2011 and winning handily in a district that Republicans told me they gerrymandered specifically to defeat me."
Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources board will vote later this month on if they should allow the Department of Natural Resources move ahead with drafting newer water quality standards for contaminants that are currently unregulated in the state. The process of revising the standards could itself take years to complete.

Some of those substances are E. coli bacteria, and glyphosate, which is a common herbicide with the potential to internally injure animals.

Perhaps most pressing in current affairs are PFAS, or polyfluoralkyl substances, which cover a host of chemicals that have been found to contaminate drinking water throughout the state, and are used in many common products such as Teflon, firefighting foam, and more.

If the DNR were to make the changes, these would be the most far-reaching updates to water quality standards in Wisconsin in more than ten years.

Earlier last week, a bipartisan task force released its legislative recommendations on how to mitigate water pollution across the state. Among their recommendations, which would need to pass both chambers of the legislature and gain support from Governor Tony Evers, call for $10 million in spending to, among other things, create a new water policy office, increase county conservation workers, replacing contaminated wells, and offer grants to farmers who choose to grow crops that require the use of less fertilizer.
The schools official that Governor Tony Evers handpicked as his successor to lead the state's Department of Public Instruction announced today that she will not seek election next year to serve a full term in that capacity.

State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor announced that decision in the form of a press release from her DPI office, which she has held since January of 2019, shortly after Evers' election.

"I am honored to have been appointed...and will always be grateful to the governor for the trust he placed in naming me as his successor," Stanford Taylor said. "Every child in this state deserves the chance, the opportunity, and the supports to become a success. THis will only happen if we- educators, the governor, legislators, parents, and community members- work together to make sure every student has what they need to learn when they need it."

Stanford announced that she will still work on developing the Department of Public Instruction's 2021-2023 budget request, "which she says will focus on providing students and schools with the needed supports and resources to ensure all students are successful."
A bipartisan bill in the state legislature would require that patients give explicit consent before allowing medical students to perform pelvic exams while the patient is under anesthesia. According to experts, this practice is often done by medical students for training purposes.

The State Journal wrote that "ten states have laws against unauthorized pelvic exams, four passing the measures last year after a bioethics article and the #MeToo movement brought more attention to the longstanding practice."

The lawmakers who introduced the legislation said the practice was a violation the trust between a patient and their doctor, and "directly ignores a patient's right to bodily autonomy."

The legislation would require that both written and verbal consent are received by medical professionals before pelvic exams are performed while under anesthesia.
Democrat members of the state legislature, Senator Jeff Smith of Eau Claire, and Representative Amanda Stuck of Appleton, introduced bills today that would require presidential candidates to pay local governments up front for law enforcement and other related costs of hosting campaign rallies.

In Senator Smith's home district of Eau Claire for example, Hillary Clinton and President Trump still have outstanding balances with the city for policing and public safety costs in 2016. President Trump's campaign owes the cities of Eau Claire and Green bay about $57,000. Clinton's campaign owes about $19,000.

Under the proposal, local governments may estimate public safety costs and provide and invoice to presidential campaigns. Another provision bans the local governments from issuing permits until the full costs are received in advance.
The City of Milwaukee, which declares itself the economic hub of Wisconsin while increasingly relying on homeowners to foot the bill for massive costs, is again considering handing fifty low-income families a check each month for 18 months in the amount of $500.

The "Universal Basic Income" program would be designed after a program called SEED, or Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, in Stockton, California, which enacted a program forcing local taxpayers to give 125 residents an income of $500 per month for ten months.

Alderwoman Chantia Lewis, the proposal's author, said "We're including the working poor, and we want to walk with them, and allow them to have a personal finance coach, so we can lift them out of poverty."

There is no word on whether Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett supports such a program.
If you have never heard of the State of Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction's School District Boundary Appeal Board, consider yourself lucky. That deeply bureaucratic arm of the state's massively bureaucratic public school system told voters in the Palmyra-Eagle School District last week that their democratically-cast votes are not important. Whichever side of this issue you might find yourself on, this series of events is worth some attention.

Here is a quick and simplified run-down of how this shook out:
  • The school district asked voters for $11.5 million dollars through referendum to keep the school district open. They gave voters an ultimatum: give us money, or we will close.
  • Voters said no to the referendum.
  • The school district went through the steps to close
  • The school district then initiated one final ballot question in November, and asked voters if they truly thought the school district should close.
  • Voters said yes.
  • But then big government bureaucrats said no.

In response to the School District Boundary Appeal Board's decision to blatantly override voters, Republican State Representative Cody Horlacher released the following statement.

"I am extremely disappointed that unelected individuals voted to overrule the will of community members. Families voted to dissolve the Palmyra-Eagle School District, and after weeks of meetings these DPI-appointed members chose to ignore the will of the people who live here and instead impose their own decision on hundreds of families," Rep Horlacher said.

"Democracy is based on the will of the electorate, not government agencies. Community members, families, and taxpayers all voted in the best interest of their community and DPI decided that they knew better than our folks here in Palmyra and Eagle," he added.
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.
Should lawmakers make more of an effort to increase the state's 'rainy day fund' to prepare for possible recession in the future, and avoid cutting services or raising taxes?
We all know what would happen if there is a recession. The legislature woudl say "we need to save the rainy day fund for really bad times. Let's cut spending instead, stop paving roads, cut school spending."

No, Evers would just blow it on something else anyway

Things are fine as they are, I get tired of politicans using this as a campaign issue

This is responsible fiscal planning. Every taxpayer has to do it.

Yes. It will be needed. The economy will slow at some point.


Goverment has a problem in keeping a rainy day fund


Gradual effort

Where is all the extra money we had when Governor Walker was in charge??


Yes, stop taking away from the fund. We need to increase it.

It should be a regular thing, assuming that there will be need for it every 6-12 years.

Yes, have your cake and eat it too! ou must change one , income or disbursements...wait lets borrow it!

Yes, as you or I would not run a farm or business without a reserve or means to backup a shortfall.

This should be a priority.

It is all taxpayers dollars so when the "rainy day" comes raise the taxes to cover.

As long as they don't raise taxes to do it.

It will be tough to find a politician that saves they are trained to spend pork
The CDC has elevated Wisconsin to the "high" flu category. Do you usually get a flu shot?
It's so simple to get a flu shot. Should be mandatory.

My wife and I have high contact with people all week long but do not get the flu too often. We eat healthy and try and get the sleep we need. We are conscious of being around "sick" people and are pretty good about washing our hands when that happens. The first time both my parents received the flu shot, they passed away, so I'm not sold it.

I just never have and never got sick. I'm hoping to not regret that.

No, been good so far without one.

I started getting shots a couple of years ago even though I'm pretty healthy. I figures good insurance and can't afford to be down long being sick

I consider that its a good thing for my health

I have received a flu shot the past 20 + years

Got my flu shot right away.. do this every year.

I sometimes get a flu shot, and almost never get the flu.

Will obtain one .... not worth it.

Had the flu once, No doctor just let it run it's course. never had a flu shot!

Haven't had a shot for nine years and haven't gotten the flu. Wash my hands a lot.

I offer the flu shot to our employees but most do not take the free-bee

I get the flu if I get a flu shot. I don't usually get it if I don't get a flu shot.

No. Never have, in 58 years...

I always get a flu shot and would never go without one.

Over 65 need the high dose.

I do not recommend as a primary care provider.

Always remember how my dad got a flu shot and was sick all winter!

yes we have been fine without one

Usually get flu shot early. Fortunately have not had flu when have had flu shot
What do you think of a proposal that would give tax credits to volunteer firefighters and EMS workers?
There is a shortage of workers here, let's help them out.

I don't quite understand. Necessary equipment should be paid for by the department.

Definitely, and thanks for all those who volunteer

The youth today are not participating in this kind of thing. I hate thinking we have to do anything like this, but it's a sign of the times.

They are mostly volunteers and could use the break. And if you ever need them you'll appreciate what they do for your communities

since most are volunteers it would be one way to reward them

They deserve something for the many hours of their personal life they spent for our needs

They deserve it

Those volunteer firefighters & EMS workers do a lot of things that other people do not realize. They should get the tax credits. would get more volunteers to volunteer.

Got to give them credit for what they do.

Why stop there? Let's give tax credits to business owners, too. When does the pandering end, and the real discussion of how we keep this staffed begin? We need to stop dangling a carrot in front of people, find out why they're leaving or not joining up, and solve THAT problem.

Sharing tax revenue with volunteers on a merit/time in the saddle basis is a good idea.

Its a start.

If you give them the credits, who pays for that? If you cut spending to cover it I am fine with that. if you want me to pay more the answer is no.

Volunteers are paid for active time and helped with training cost by donations and grants, I do not think one would volunteer just because of a tax credit, we need to simplify not grow tax codes

These volunteers are ready to help at a moments notice,they should be rewarded

While it sounds good, it will do nothing to change EMS for the better. The volunteer model is broken and obsolete. We need to invest in EMS because labor cannot continue to be free using volunteers
Do you think the Elections Commission should be held in contempt of court for refusing to follow a judge's order to remove up to 209,000 voters from the rolls?
Were these people fully informed that they may be removed from the rolls?

We need to supress the vote of the bad people.

This kind of stuff makes me doubt whether my vote is being fairly counted in our elections. This whole early voting thing in the larger cities makes me feel at a disadvantage in our elections. I feel there is voter fraud especially in the larger cities where a pack of cigs or some other "bribe" for the right vote cancels out my vote

Why should they be any different than you or I?

This is just another attempt of Republicans trying to limit who can vote by making it harder time consuming to vote. Look at all the things they have been doing in other states (Georgia) to limit the voters. Voting is right of all Americans and we should be promoting more people to vote

The law needs to be followed by everyone.

Technically, yes. Practically, no.

Lets purge the rolls. Enough screwing around democRATS

We need to make it easier to vote not harder

If people can not let election officials know that might have moved or etc why should they be voter polls

I believe it is the law to remove voters from the roll and they were given notice and did not reply.

Throw the whole lot in jail until they comply! Follow the law!

have them pick up trash

One person decides? I don't think so.

It seems that some people think they are a law to them selves. give them a wake up call!

Throw them out!!!!

Its on appeal, and a bad idea in the first place.

get them removed - voting is a right we've earned, shouldn't be a problem to provide proof of who you are & that you're eligible for this right

If they are breaking the law they have to be held accountable.

Yes-Why not?

josh is a politician not a attorney representing the best for Wisconsin people

their job was to do this without a court order,by refusing a court order they should be held in contempt

Elections Commission needs to follow laws even if they do not agree with them.
DOR released helpful tips for selecting a tax preparer. Do you usually file your taxes right away, or do you wait for a while?
I'll take a quick look in February. If I owe taxes, I'll wait until April.

taxes, the biggest scam on our society as far as the need for all the paper work. It is the only way the gov't creates more jobs, write a complex tax code and then have the IRS intimidate tax payers so they feel compelled to hire CPAs to prepare their taxes. Don't get me started on all the bureauocrats in the IRS that have to push all that "paper" or efiled returns to make sure we are all doing it right! I'm all for supporting our gov't operations, but what we have going in Washington DC is such a farce, at least Trump is exposing all the swamp monsters we need to vote out in November!

Gathering and properly categorizing the data takes much time.

Whenever our accountant gets them done.

Professionally prepared here, between personal and business earlier the better.

Always file as soon as possible.

Don't get all information I need until early April.

I'm in ag so our taxes are supposed to be filed by the end of Feb.

The tax preparer has us come in the end of February.They are always done on time.

We Always use a CPA. Even with our simple tax return... Just in cse the IRS SQUALKS.
LRB-4711   Memo  Noonan Syndrome Month (Sargent, Melissa) Recognizing February as Noonan Syndrome Awareness Month. Deadline: Thursday, January 16, 5 pm

LRB-0888   Memo  Community Services Grants (Edming, James) Community-based services grant program and making an appropriation. Deadline: Friday, January 17, Noon

LRB-3937   Memo  Earth Day Fee Waiver (Hesselbein, Dianne) Waiver of fees for admission to state parks on Earth Day. Deadline: Thursday, January 16, 5 pm

LRB-5245   Memo  Earth Day Fee Waiver (Miller, Mark) Waiver of fees for admission to state parks on Earth Day. Deadline: Thursday, January 16, 5 pm

LRB-5125   Memo  Bear Bait (Stafsholt, Rob) Modifying administrative rules relating to the use of wood to contain bear bait in stumps. Deadline: Thursday, January 16

LRB-4208   Memo  Persons (Sanfelippo, Joe) The term persons (first consideration). Deadline: Friday, January 17, 2020

LRB-0131   Memo  Eviction Moratorium (Hebl, Gary) Repealing the prohibition against certain local governments from enacting or enforcing an eviction moratorium on a landlord. Deadline: Wednesday, January 22, 5 pm

LRB-0201   Memo  Housing Discrimination (Hebl, Gary) Discrimination in housing based on prior evictions and providing a penalty. Deadline: Wednesday, January 22, 5 pm

LRB-5184   Memo  Human Trafficking Awareness (Johnson, LaTonya) Proclaiming January 2020 as human trafficking awareness and prevention month. Deadline: Thursday, January 9, 5 pm

LRB-0023   Memo  Groundwater Management (Miller, Mark) Groundwater management, approval of high capacity wells, and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Monday, January 13

LRB-3797   Memo  Redistricting (Hesselbein, Dianne) Legislative and congressional redistricting (first consideration). Deadline: Tuesday, January 14, 5 pm

LRB-5162   Memo  Redistricting (Smith, Jeff) Legislative and congressional redistricting (first consideration). Deadline: Tuesday, January 14, 5 pm

LRB-1366   Memo  Inspector General (Craig, Dave) Creating a legislative office of inspector general and making an appropriation. Deadline: Thursday, January 16, 5 pm

LRB-5206   Memo  American Heart Month (Ballweg, Joan) Proclaiming February 2020 to be American Heart Month in Wisconsin. Deadline: Friday, January 10, 5 pm

LRB-5108   Memo  Tick-Borne Illness Awareness (Tiffany, Tom) Proclaiming May 2020 as Tick-Borne Illness Awareness Month. Deadline: Friday, January 10, 5 pm

LRB-0265   Memo  State Language (Jacque, Andre) An official state language and use of English for governmental written expression and for nongovernmental purposes. Deadline: Monday, January 20, 5 pm

LRB-1171   Memo  Epi Syringes (Jacque, Andre) Use of epinephrine prefilled syringes and standing order for epinephrine. Deadline: Monday, January 20, 5 pm
No bills to report.
LRB-1179   Memo  Payday Loans (Jacque, Andre) Interest rates on payday loans and loans by licensed lenders. Deadline: January 13, 5 pm