JUNE 3, 2019
Months after announcing its partnership with Security Plus to provide its members with various voluntary and discounted insurance options, WPT will announce later this week its launch of an association health plan (AHP) and partner insurance provider.

"We are very excited to be one step closer to offering our members a quality health insurance plan, and to provide them with one more option to hopefully save them a bit of money," Mike Marsch, president of WPT said. "That's what this is about."

Because of recent federal changes, members of associations such as WPT can band together to create a group for the purpose of purchasing healthcare- the same as a large employer, for example. After over a year in the works, WPT members will receive an announcement with details via e-mail this week.
Republican legislative leaders last week made it clear that any proposals to increase Wisconsin's gas tax will not make it through their chambers, putting Governor Evers' plan to increase the fuel tax by eight cents in jeopardy.

Evers' plan would increase revenues by about $600 million, and keep the state's annual $75 registration fee intact. GOP leaders are now looking to do the opposite.

Though the exact plans have not been released, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told reporters last week that, while a gas tax increase has been ruled out, increases in registration, title, and heavy truck fees are being considered by the budget committee. Vos signaled that he and his chamber were in agreement.

Only 39% of Wisconsinites polled in last month's Marquette University Law School poll were in support of a gas tax increase, with 57% opposed.

Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, the top Democrat in the State Senate, said her GOP colleagues are failing to offer funding solutions to fix Wisconsin's state roads, calling them a "national embarrassment." When asked about the GOP's refusal to consider a gas tax increase, Evers did not say whether or not he would sign the budget without such an increase.
Chinese tech manufacturer Foxconn last week awarded $13 million in contracts for its Mount Pleasant factory to companies that it referred to as "outstanding Wisconsin-based companies," but at least two of them are not based anywhere near the Badger State.

The $13 million contract is to purchase work on laying the foundation of the site in southeastern Wisconsin, with awards going to C.D. Smith Construction in Fond du Lac, Otis Elevators in Milwaukee, and PSI Intertek in Waukesha.

But according to a report by the Journal Sentinel, Otis Elevator is in headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut, and PSI Intertek's headquaters are in Arlington Heights, IL and its parent company is located in London.

When reporters inquired about the "Wisconsin-based" designation, Foxconn said that it was complying with the "definitions specified in the 'Wisconsin First' program," where according to its agreement with WEDC, "companies receiving contracts do not have to be headquartered in the state to qualify as 'Wisconsin-based.'" As the Journal Sentinel uncovered, under the current definition, Home Depot and McDonald's could be categorized as "Wisconsin-based."
According to Wisconsin's new democrat State Treasurer, Sarah Godlewski, over half of Wisconsinites have $3,000 or less saved for retirement, and new options need to be available to the state's aging population to insure financial security. She plans to present new options to the new Retirement Taskforce, created by Governor Evers.

Godlewski says that other states are starting state-run retirement plans that give private sector employees access to services that they might not currently have available to them. Nine states currently have a state-run retirement option, including Oregon, where over 20,000 are enrolled with assets of over $5 million, according to Godlewski.

Godlewski also believes that college-aged students should begin putting away for their retirements, and said she would like to teach them to save at least $5 per month.
According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, an independent non-profit, which studies environmental, state, and economic policies, Wisconsin's middle class has grown, but has still not yet reached the same levels as the year 2000.

Their recent study showed that Wisconsin, along with 29 other states, saw an increase in middle-income households between the years 2016 and 2017, but the percentage of those middle-income households in the state has only reached 55.7%, while that number was 59.7% in the year 2000.

The median household income in Wisconsin in 2017 was $56,759. Nebraska and Washington, D.C. were the only two places where the size of the middle class has grown since 2000.
The Ho-Chunk Nation is one step closer to getting their long anticipated casino approved by federal regulators, and onto the desk of Governor Tony Evers. The project has been in the works for the better part of two decades.

The United States Bureau of Indian Affairs last week posted a "notice of availability" for a final environmental impact statement, which means that, if successful in this step, the project's final approval could be as close as this summer. The public will still have another option for input.

But when the project reaches Evers' desk, nobody knows his intentions. When asked about the casino while campaigning for governor, Evers said he supported the deal and that he would sign it. A spokesperson for the first term governor told a local news outlet that Evers will "be carefully reviewing the application and listening to all sides of the issue to ensure fair consideration."

The casino is expected to bring nearly 3,000 jobs to the area, and include a water park, with the completed property spanning 40,000 square-feet, generating $3.5 million for the City of Beloit, and $1.5 million for Rock County.
A five person scientific panel charged with overlooking the government's plan to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list released a report, hundreds of pages long, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services last week.

According to one of the scientists, the decision to remove the gray wolf was done without science, and that the decision by the U.S. FIsh and Wildlife Service was "pre-determined," as the report lists "numerous factual errors and other problems" with the plan.

Among all concerns listed, poaching was the largest. Without any protections, the animals would be more subjected to illegal killings. States in northern U.S. near the Rockies are currently allowed to hunt and trap the animal, which is what some groups are proposing in Wisconsin. Outrage has also been heard by the agricultural community, who have seen property loss due to the gray wolf killing livestock.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said they are still reviewing the scientific report and would not comment further at this time, though the same type of report in 2014 stopped the original attempt to de-list the wolf.
The Democrat Party of Wisconsin has chosen a national activist to be its state chairman, replacing outgoing Martha Lanning for the top post, who has served in that role since 2015.

Ben Winkler will be coming back to his native Wisconsin from Washington, D.C. where he worked as a director for "MoveOn.org," which mobilizing individuals via an online petition platform. Winkler touted his advocacy work on the Obamacare policy in 2017, and used the slogan (F.I.R.E.), which means fight, include, respect, empower.

Winkler received 1,006 votes of the 1,239 cast, with State Representative David Bowen, who also serves as the party's Vice Chair, received 233. The new Vice Chair will be Felesia Martin.
Some lawmakers would like to add voucher school spending to the itemized list on residents' property tax bills. What are your thoughts?
More information = better.

I like to see an increase in voucher schools

Why? Create a job for some over paid public official to look good.

Itemize everything or nothing

Education is Education, has to be paid for

I see this as a first attempt to manipulate the numbers to influence voters.

Just a way to reward the teachers union.

I don't think this is as important as making sure that voucher schools get the same funding per student as public schools (they get more) and if the student transfers out of the voucher to public school, the funding follows them (it currently does not). Voucher schools also seem to be able to turn away students, such as special education needs students... That increases their profit margin even more. I think that this system needs some rework.

Let parents choose best route for their kids

Some politicians are desperate to stop the voucher program. Parents who send their kids to private/parochial schools pay taxes too and the vast majority of parochial schools provide an excellent education at a lower cost.

If we only spend 2% of the cost of public schools on vouchers, then it seems like they are just trying to pit one group against another
A bill that is being crafted by a Republican lawmaker would legalize liquor deliveries in Wisconsin. Good idea or bad idea?
There's no reason liquor delivery should be outlawed. Let the market decide.

This is a joke. If you want to drink at home, you go to the store and buy the booze and then take it home and drink it there. We should not cater to drunks. There are better ways to get these people off the roads. The penalties for drunk driving are lame.

A stay at home drunk is better than a have-to-get-home drunk!

If they can't go get it, they prolly don't need it

This society is becoming such a bunch of fat a#$ couch potato slobs. Lets give them alcohol for free too.

Who want's to encourage a drunk sitting at home drinking more?

It may discurage driving to go get more liquor if already drinking.

not sure what the implications would be in the long term

No its not going to keep them off the streets! What?? Who thinks up this stuff?

If there's a demand for delivery let the market provide.

Since we got hit by a drunk driver, I don't drink outside of my home. I rarely go into liquor stores. But I'd like to have some different liquor in my limited cabinet. Being able to order it and have it delivered would be good. I also think that this would open up some more potential business for our smaller distilleries, breweries and wineries.

IT may help the alcoholic

Good idea maybe if it keeps them off the roads. Not sure if it is good or bad.

Why keep making it easier for people to get drunk?

I fail to see the negative in this.
Outagamie County decided last week to levy its (state approved) county sales tax of 0.5%. Would you support increases in your local sales taxes if the revenues went to lowering property taxes?
If a local government needs revenue, they should be able to raise it with whatever tools are necessary.

I don't trust the government to lower property taxes. In Verona, last year, property taxes were computed in error and overcharged by $130 some. We it be returned??

income tax OR sales tax. having both is theft.

To lower the property taxes

Started with a .5% for a courthouse. Then a jail. Soon for ?? That tax will NEVER go away.

I have yet to see a new tax lower an old tax

It makes little sense to spend more on sales tax to spend a little less on property taxes.

Most counties have it already

Our property taxes are too high

I pay way too much property tax.

I'm taxed really, really, really highly. I'd love to see some tax breaks.

We already pay an extra 0.5 percent in our county

Already at 5.5%

Sales tax is much more equitable than property taxes

It will never lower property taxes. That is bait and switch. Lower property taxes first.

This is a fair way to raise money even tourists pay

No! Evers would find a way to raise property taxes anyway! A limited sales tax is tolerable,but it is still a regressive tax.

We have one of the lowest sales taxes but one of the highest property taxes
An Assembly committee has passed the Tax Liability Disclosure Act. After reading the article...
The previous owner should be responsible for the Tax bill, not the new owner.

Tax delinquencies should be public record.

It would protect the purchaser of a deceptive practices of a seller. It should be part of the due dilligence when a sale is made.

People purchasing property need to know what they are getting into.
As the weather heats up, ice cream sales skyrocket. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Any favorite brands or places to get your ice cream or frozen custard?
What I'd like to know is where is the ice cream man? We'll go years without seeing him. Our neighborhood is a target rich environment. Tons of houses, kids, and disposable income waiting for the ICE CREAM MAN!

Stupid question.

Kellys creamery near Eden. so good


Chocolate - and I go through the drive thru for a vanilla cone, it's more forgiving to my clothes!

Chocolate swirl

Mint chocolate chip or cookie dough.

I like to try many different flavors, so long as it is ice cream!


Anything super chocolate with big chocolate chunks and lots of fudge or ganache in it.

Salted caramel



Cookie Dough

Culver's has many really good flavors that our family enjoys.

DQ Blizzard

Strawberry,raspberry,caramel cashew,cherry. Culvers.Oscars in Waukesha,Kopps in the Milw. metro area,Wiggly Piggly usually has several different brands with at least one brand on sale.At one time we got Schwans and they had high quality and excellent flavors.

Butter Pecan. Culvers no longer has coconut flavors. Coconut cream pie custard was great. Chocolate is good too.


Culvers frozen custard.

Butter Pecan.

Kelly's Creamery in Fond du Lac County. Its family owned and my favorite is Butter Pecan.

Any flavor from Babcock at UW Madison


Vanilla Culver’s

I don't eat ice cream anymore. But I always liked just plain vanilla with hot fudge. Yummy.
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No bills to report.
LRB-2654   Memo  Sign Language Interpreters (Testin, Patrick) Examinations and licensure of sign language interpreters, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Thursday, May 30, 2 pm

LRB-3399   Memo  Milwaukee Bucks (Haywood, Kalan) Congratulating the Milwaukee Bucks on their 2018-19 season. Deadline: Wednesday, Jun 5, Noon

LRB-3401   Memo  Interior Designers (Kapenga, Chris) Registration and the scope of practice of interior designers and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Friday, June 7, 5 pm

LRB-1713   Memo  Money Laundering (Hutton, Rob) Money laundering and providing a penalty. Deadline: Friday, June 7, 5 pm

LRB-0311   Memo  Contraceptives (Shankland, Katrina) Requiring coverage of the dispensing of an extended supply of contraceptives. Deadline: Wednesday, June 12, 4 pm

LRB-2520   Memo  Voting Rights (Taylor, Chris) Extending voting rights to certain 17-year-old individuals and requiring a referendum. Deadline: Friday, June 4, Noon

LRB-0120   Memo  Levy Limit (Novak, Todd) Holding a referendum to increase a political subdivision's levy limit. Deadline: Monday, June 10

LRB-0116   Memo  Admission Receipts (Hebl, Gary) The dates for which an annual vehicle admission receipt or an annual state trail pass are valid. Deadline: Wednesday, June 12, 5 pm

LRB-0117   Memo  State Trail Pass (Hebl, Gary) Eliminating the state trail pass. Deadline: Wednesday, June 12, 5 pm

LRB-2365   Memo  Health Care Billing (Kolste, Debra) Billing practices for certain health care providers and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Thursday, June 13, 5 pm