NOVEMBER 25, 2019
By: Former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch
As a mom, I remember sitting in the eighth-grade parents’ “Introduction to High School” presentation in our district. As Wisconsin’s former lieutenant governor, I remember the part about higher education options students could choose at the end of high school: university or traditional college, technical college or apprenticeship.
I was impressed. Not only had our school included technical college as a higher ed option, but apprenticeships, too. I felt our state government administration’s hard work evangelizing for recruits to the trades was finally paying off. But this week, which marks National Apprenticeship Week, reminds me that the job isn’t done yet.
There is still a skills gap. The need for skilled construction trades workers, in particular, has created an eight-month backlog in construction projects in our part of the country. The continued demand of the longest economic expansion in American history and the undersupply of trained construction workers has led to a sustained skills gap. Solving for that gap would speed up projects, create project cost savings, still allow workers to command family sustaining wages, and do it without the crippling student loan debt often accumulated by their peers. Plus, Wisconsin construction trades jobs will never be outsourced overseas. 
That’s why I am proud to partner with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin on the "Building Wisconsin Jobs Project,” a brand-new push to invigorate and strengthen the effort to recruit and train a well-paid Wisconsin trades workforce. Over the last eight years, I was called Wisconsin’s “Jobs Ambassador.” First, I worked to grow Wisconsin’s economy, and then I worked to grow Wisconsin’s workforce. But these efforts can’t stop or be replaced with the one-size-fits-all solution to send every student or adult who’s changing careers to university or grad school. These are great options for some, but they’re pricey for just about everyone.  
According to a study by LendEDU, the average Wisconsin student loan debt is almost $30,000. Compare that to apprenticeship tuition of about $2,000 per year (including books and administrative fees) and consider that apprentices get paid while they are learning. Then recognize that the median salary for Wisconsin graduating apprentices is $77,000. 
If there has ever been a time to find a career that will stay in the state, afford skills that can never be taken away, and allow you or a loved one to access your Wisconsin dream of financial security and a respected career, National Apprenticeship Week 2019 is it. And even if you determine that this skill set, along with the accompanying starting salary (which rivals that of a starting lieutenant governor) isn’t for you, make sure your local schools offer apprenticeships as a higher ed suggestion. They are higher education, an economic solution, and a way to build Wisconsin jobs.
Rebecca Kleefisch is Wisconsin’s former lieutenant governor (2011-2019) and is the “Jobs Ambassador” for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, a construction industry trade association representing 887 member companies across the state.
According to the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, the Badger State tied for 1st place in the Midwest and 7th nationally for Average Weekly Wage Growth between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019.

A statement from the state's Department of Workforce Development said that Winnebago County's 9.1 percent growth was the 4th largest average weekly wage growth in the United States, and Dane County's 6.3 percent was ranked 8th in the nation. Milwaukee saw 4 percent wage growth.

"Today's release shows that Wisconsin employers are recognizing that to attract and retain talented, dedicated employees, it makes good business sense to pay wages that allow workers to invest in themselves, their families, and their communities," DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. "In a tight labor market, increasing wages is a common-sense strategy to attract and retain the best and brightest," he added.
The nearly quarter of a million Wisconsin residents relying on propane for their homes and businesses are potentially facing another shortage. The colder than average temperatures have only exacerbated the problem, but some relief is on the way. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late last week approved emergency shipments of propane to Wisconsin and other Midwest states also facing a shortage.

Wisconsin's farmers, already facing the latest harvest on record, use propane for multiple reasons- most commonly to dry wet crops, operate grain elevators, and heat facilities housing animals. According to one UW-Madison agriculture professor, this puts farmers in the predicament of either harvesting corn they might not be able to dry, or leaving crops in the field where they run the risk of total loss.

As of late last week, estimates put the Wisconsin crop harvest at 50 percent complete. Experts say that number is usually around 80 percent.
A plan under former Governor Scott Walker that would mandate work requirements for childless adults receiving BadgerCare, Wisconsin's Medicaid program, was set to begin on November 1st of this year. But officials in Democrat Governor Tony Evers are delaying the plan until next year.

Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm says her department is still working with the federal government to solidify the state's plans for implementation. The Joint Finance Committee granted DHS a delay until January 30. Wisconsin is one of nine states where Medicaid work requirements have been approved.

Another plan approved under former Governor Scott Walker will be implemented on February 1st, including the start of an $8 monthly premium for BadgerCare recipients, as well as $8 co-payments for emergency room visits.
The state's Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters during this nine-day gun deer season to get their deer checked for Chronic Wasting Disease, a nervous system disease that impacts deer, elk, moose, and reindeer.

Department officials say that the disease is not always immediately noticeable, and that it can remain dormant in an animal for an entire year before symptoms begin to show. Weakness, loss of coordination, excessive salivation, emaciation, and other symptoms are the most common symptoms.

The DNR has a list of resources for Wisconsin hunters available on their website, including how to sample and report infected animals, how to handle a carcass, and more.
The contentious sales tax used to fund construction of Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, will finally end thanks to bipartisan legislation signed by Governor Tony Evers last week. Miller Park opened in 2001. The tax, which tacked an additional 0.1% on to the sales tax in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha, and Racine counties, has repaid $290 million in construction-related debt and interest.

In a statement, Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), the Senate author of the legislation, who over the years helped advocate for the ending of the tax said "Halleujiah! The tax is dead!"

"I am hopeful that with this chapter behind us everyone, including those that vehemently opposed the tax and even Cubs fans, can enjoy the Brewers product on the field, rather than focusing on who is paying for the field," Wanggaard added.
According to reports, Rhinelander City Hall looked like something out of a Hollywood crime film scene last Thursday as local and state law enforcement officials executed two state search warrants, dealing with misconduct in office and tampering with public records. Rhinelander city administrator Daniel Guild was named in the search warrants.

Oneida County Chief Deputy Dan Hess said in a statement that the execution of the two warrants were given assistance from the sheriffs departments of Price, Vilas, and Marathon counties, as well as a special digital forensics unit from the state's Department of Criminal Investigation.

Chief Deputy Hess said that city employees left for the balance of the day, and no employees were allowed at City Hall while the search was taking place.

WSAW NewsChannel 7, a local CBS affiliate, obtained copies of the search warrants, naming Guild as the primary subject of the investigation. E-mails between that individual, council members and city employees were seized through flash drives, tablets, phones, paper, and other means, according to WSAW NewsChannel 7.
It wouldn't be Wisconsin without a weather-related alert, especially as the most-traveled time of the year begins to ramp up.

A strong winter storm will move across the state beginning in the afternoon on Tuesday and lasting through Wednesday evening. According to the National Weather Service, southern Wisconsin will mostly get rain, though some snow accumulation is possible. Exact amounts are not yet clear. Central and northern Wisconsin could see a couple of inches of snow. Winds are also expected to be quite blustery, up to 35MPH gusts.

Over one million people will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday, which according to AAA is up 2.7% from last year. Nearly 100,000 will fly.
Governor Tony Evers last week signed a bill into law that makes it a felony to damage oil or gas pipelines and to trespass on such land.

The legislation, though bipartisan, came under fire from free speech advocates in the past few weeks, who urged Evers to veto the legislation. They claim that Native Americans, whose lands are often impacted by pipelines and other energy projects, would have their voices diminished by the law.

"Today, I signed Assembly Bill 426, which aims to ensure each energy provider is treated the same under the law while still protecting the right to exercise free speech and the right to assembly," Evers said. "Hoever, I did not sign this bill without any consternation or objection."

Thirty-six groups in the state, led by the ACLU, urged Governor Evers to veto the legislation. The Sierra Club of Wisconsin also said "It's disappointing that the governor...instead supported this bill that helps the fossil fuel industry continue to lock us into climate catastrophe."
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After reading Senator Patrick Testin's article, what are your thoughts?
There's probably a reason it's being blocked, so I'd like to know what it is first.

He is dead on!

Pelosi is playing political games at our expense

Get off this impeachment and let's actually do something.

Let's get the deal done

Maybe if they weren't so obsessed with the impeachment, they'd do their jobs and take care of the country.

I put all the blame on Nancy Pelosi for holding this up, what a shame.

We need term limits so bad in this country, politicians are never thinking about what is good for those they represent, only about winning their next election. Gov't has become too big and powerful in this country, primarily because bureaucrats feel they know better than even those elected to office by the people.

Peloski needs to go.

If what he wrote is accurate, I'm all for it.

There is grid lock in Congress on both sides in several issues, we need Congressmen and women to reach across the isle to get things done.

Democrats are stalling out of their hatred for our president. Hate is a destructive emotion.

With holding legislation that benefits all Americans is criminal

We need to get rid of her.

Congress needs to focus on making things better for our citizens

The Democrats should impeach their speaker.

And the benefits for dairy farmers will be a 3% increase in certain products. Please, to much hoopla for a the same pig with new lipstick. Where would we be if we didn't put tariffs on steel and cost the consuming public money and jobs.....

Why does this not surprise me
As a percentage of personal income, the Wisconsin Policy Forum found that taxes are down in Wisconsin, yet property taxes remain the largest share. In your personal life, which taxes do you find most burdensome?
I feel more connected to property taxes, knowing that most of it is being spent in my community.

Omitted was ALL those hidden taxes... From fuel to Franchise fes to 911 fees to excise taxes Etc.

To have both income and sales taxes is wage theft. One or the other, not both!

I find all of the above burdensome!

We shouldn't be making our property owners pay this big of a percentage, it particularly hurts the people on a fixed income.

Property owners are burdened more and it's been that way for too long.

The income and sales taxes have not changed for sometime, but the propery tax is constantly changing. Those put their levies on to our property taxes know your average Wisconsin home owner is too busy to go each of the entities that tax us according to our property, when their budgets are presented and voted on. We just wait until December and find out when we open that tax bill!

If your taxes are so high, maybe move from a $500,00 + home to a $250,000 home.

We can't run a government with out taxes. Having the three kinds of taxes spreads the burden.

All taxes can be a burden on our freedom but in Wisconsin property taxes are hurting our ability to grow our economy.

I agree property taxes are high but how does county pay for services, we just need to equalize how tax revenue is generated

Being retired and on fix income,, the property taxes really hurts .

Homeowners should not have to feel crushed with taxes but many feel this way

very regressive, time to raise sales tax.

As a farmer the most unfair tax there is
Governor Tony Evers has not yet ruled out calling a second special session on gun control in Wisconsin. What do you think?
There's no point. The GOP is full of gun nuts. The end.

Why waste the time?

Our Governor does not get it, making more laws and taking away our rights to own a gun were we have laws on the books already. Look at mental health

It wont matter, the repubs will step on him again..

He should call a special session on Evers control!

Mental Health Mental Health Mental Health

Waste of time

Waste of time. Just to punish the republicans? Talk about childish.

Leave it alone already. Look at the shootings in California, they supposedly have "tough" gun laws, how is that working out?

I support a red flag law to help law enforcement people to take guns away from the mentally ill and help the person seek treatment before they kill.

The start of the recall is coming up fast!!

believe in the 2nd amendment we need it

it is silly to believe that taking guns away from law abiding people will solve society's problems.

Governor needs to lead the state not his personal agenda, vote vote vote

Evers should leave the gun control alone,, it won't solve anything.

Apparently the Governor is unwilling to support a compromise which could involve more mental health emphasis

when's he going to get the message, I know, when we impeach him.

He'd better leave the gun stuff alone and focus on all of the jobs he's losing.

Don't waste everyone's time
Florence County has declared itself a "Second Amendment sanctuary" community. What do you think?
All 'sanctuary' city regulations are bogus. Follow the law. Period.

we have still some people in this state who are on the right path

Lol, good for them! But when push comes to shove, the state will do as it pleases.

This might make the Sheriff and his deputies jobs more difficult.

Need more counties to do the same!

the people are finding themselves having to take measures like this to protect their Second Amendment rights. Seriously, let's discuss real solutions to society's problems.

I expect to see other county's follow suit

A second amendment sanctuary? Insert exasperated eye roll here. This is a small town, small-minded reaction to nothing. Nobody is taking your guns.

They have the right, go for it.

If these liberal cities get to declare themselves sanctuaries to protect the "rights" of people who immigrated illegally into the country, then I think Americans declaring their communities sanctuaries to protect an actual constitutional right is A-OK with me. Even if it's just to make a statement.

I am calling my county board rep. to get it started here
Thanksgiving is next Thursday. What are your plans for the holiday? Are you traveling? Do you have any special family traditions? What's your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? Do you seek out good deals on Black Friday? Or how about Small Business Saturday? Share your Thanksgiving plans here!
dinner at home.

Turkey and cranberry sandwiches are delicious.

Attending a family member hosting a family gathering.

Home with family. And To HELL with black friday! I have never dreamed of such blatant greed and consumerism. No part of it for me. Small biz Saturday? Every day in my world..

Family comes to our house on the farm. "Meals for millions" Church on Wednesday night-Thanksgiving is to give thanks to God for His blessings.

Staying close to home with family

Everyone will come to our house. Love the turkey and dressing. Don't shop of Black Friday, but the family walks our downtown on SBS to check out the stores.

Travel to family in the state for the day. Enjoy a nice quiet day with those we love.

Thanksgiving is spent with family. I like turkey and gravy. I like Small business Saturday and always support it.

Thanksgiving is for Family,

Staying close to family and friends. Giving thanks for those people in my life.

brothers for dinner never shop on black friday

Food, family, prayer. And escape from a world that has gone mad!

I’m boycotting Amazon and the big box stores this year and intentionally supporting small businesses only. My holiday preparations will include local bakeries, florist, shops, winery, cheese maker, card store, chocolatier, etc. It’s worth spending just a bit more to keep my neighbors in business in 2020.

Thanksgiving at sons house, not traveling far. I like being with family. My daughter- in-laws carrot jello & all the trimmings. I don't shop on Black Friday, to many nuts out there. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

We have so many great small businesses in Wisconsin who give great service! Buy from them as the return on investment is money that stays in local communities and helps local jobs and you will realize great customer service too as these businesses want to do all they can to make you the customer happy!

It's all about hunting, eating, family and supporting small business with my buying power.

Traveling to the Fox Valley for the big meal with family! Maybe taking part in the Turkey Trot in the morning.

I'm going to thank God for all of my blessings and then thank him that the wing nuts at the Capitol have not yet outlawed Thanksgiving because it might offend those who are unthankful or those who do not believe in a God and are not sure who then to thank.

Family fun and food and of course giving thanks for this great country and everything in it
Act 22 Shelter Admission  (Loudenbeck) A minor contracting for admission to a shelter facility or transitional living program.

Act 23 Marking Highway 33  (Considine) Designating and marking STH 33 in Columbia County as the Staff Sergeant Daniel D. Busch Memorial Highway.

Act 24 Vaccine Administration  (Kurtz) Pharmacists and pharmacy students administering vaccines.

Act 25 EMS Programs  (Loudenbeck) Emergency medical services programs.

Act 26 911 Grants  (Loudenbeck) Grants for Next Generation 911 and granting rule-making authority.

Act 27 Human Trafficking Driver Ed  (Thiesfeldt) Driver education instruction on human trafficking.

Act 28 Baseball Park Tax  (Wittke) Lease terms and the imposition of sales and use taxes related to a local professional baseball park district.

Act 29 Notice of Claim  (Tusler) Service of notice of claim against state officer, employee, or agent.

Act 30 Service of Pleadings  (Tusler) Service of certain pleadings and other papers by electronic mail.

Act 31 OWI Homicide  (Ott) Mandatory period of confinement for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and providing a penalty.

Act 32 Legal Notice Compensation  (Kitchens Eligibility of Washington Island Observer newspaper to receive compensation for publication of legal notices and the content of affidavits of printing filed as evidence of publication.

Act 33 Trespassing  (Steffen) Trespassing on the property of an energy provider and providing a penalty. Gov. Evers Statement .

Act 34 Electric Bikes  (Rohrkaste) Electric bicycles and providing a penalty.

Act 35 Teacher Loans  (Loudenbeck) The minority teacher loan program.

Act 36 UW Research Contracts  (Murphy) University of Wisconsin research contracts.

Act 37 T ax Increment Errors  (Erpenbach) Tax increment value reporting errors and property tax reimbursement.

Act 38 Building Permits  (Jagler) Submission of building permit applications for one-family and two-family dwellings.

Act 39 School Drills  (Born) Fire, tornado, and school safety drills for public and private schools.

Act 40 Property Taxes  (Ballweg) Due dates for paying property taxes.

Act 41 Massage Therapy  (Sanfelippo) Violations of the law relating to the practice of massage therapy or bodywork and providing a penalty.

Act 42 Biennial Budget Procedures  (Gundrum) Authorizing a biennial budget procedure for political subdivisions.

Act 43 Reciprocity Licenses  (Tranel) A license to teach based on reciprocity and granting rule-making authority.

Act 44 Special Ed Licenses  (Tranel) Requirements for initial licensure as a special education teacher.

Act 45 Levy Limit Exception  (Kerkman) Exception from local levy limits for political subdivisions receiving certain utility aid payments.

Act 46 College Course Transfer  (Born) Transferability of courses between the University of Wisconsin System, technical college system, and tribally controlled and private colleges.

Act 47 Tuition Payments  (Kooyenga) Late payment of tuition benefits for student veterans enrolled in the University of Wisconsin System or a technical college.

Act 48 Voter Address  (Zimmerman) The requirement for stating name and address prior to voting.

Act 49 Interstate Medical Licensure Compact  (Testin) The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Act 50 Autocycles  (Jacque) Registration and operation of vehicles defined as autocycles.

Act 51 Licensing Fees  (Petrowski) Micro market licensing fees.

Act 52 CS Gel  (Wanggaard) Pepper spray and CS Gel substances.

Act 53 Vehicle Ownership  (Petrowski) Evidence of ownership for purposes of obtaining certain motor vehicle certificates of title.

Act 54 Tax Credit Repeal  (Marklein) Repealing obsolete refundable tax credits.

Act 55 Parental Choice Program  (Olsen) Application and reporting deadlines for the statewide parental choice program and evidence of accreditation for a private school participating in a parental choice program.
Assembly Bill 249   Highway Designation  (Vos) Bills making honorary designations of state highways or bridges. ( Vetoed )

Assembly Bill 076   Nurse Aides  (Petryk) Hours of instructional program for nurse aides. ( Vetoed )

Assembly Bill 053   Pupil Records  (Born) Pupil records. ( Vetoed )

Senate Bill 060   Sexually Violent Persons  (Feyen) Applicability of 2017 Wisconsin Act 184; time frame for reports for sexually violent persons petitioning for supervised release; and placement of sexually violent persons on supervised release. ( Vetoed )
Memo for LRB-4916 Code Talkers Highway  (Smith) Designating and marking the Ho-Chunk World War II Code Talkers Memorial Highway. 
Deadline: Monday, December 2, 5 pm

Memo for LRB-4335 Behavioral Health Grant  (Schachtner) Hospital-based behavioral health crisis management grant and making an appropriation. 
Deadline: Monday, December 2, 5 pm

Memo for LRB-4175 Operating Without Insurance  (Sanfelippo) Penalties for violations related to the motor vehicle liability insurance requirement, proof of financial responsibility, requirements for registering motor vehicles, operating a vehicle without an operator's license or after suspension or revocation of an operating privilege, making an appropriation, and providing a penalty. 
Deadline: Wednesday, December 4, Noon

Memo for LRB 3192 Waste Facilities  (Mursau Method for establishing proof of financial responsibility for solid waste facilities owned or operated by a municipality and granting rule-making authority. 
Deadline: Wednesday, December 4

Memo for LRB-3931 Snowmobile Trail Funding  (Nygren) Funding for county snowmobile trails and making an appropriation. 
Deadline: Wednesday, December 4, 5 pm

Memo for LRB-4243 Wildlife Damage Abatement  (Edming) The wildlife damage abatement program and the wildlife damage claim program. 
Deadline: Friday, December 6, Noon

Memo for LRB-1028 BadgerCare Extension  (Kolste) Extension of BadgerCare Plus benefits to certain postpartum women and making an appropriation. 
Deadline: Thursday, December 5, 5 pm

Memo for LRB-2651 Assessor Prohibition  (Brooks) Prohibiting an assessor from changing the valuation of property based solely on a recent sale of the property.  
Deadline: Thursday, December 5

Memo for LRB-4126 Shoreland Zoning  (Petrowski) Town zoning in shorelands, the scope of county shoreland zoning ordinances, and authorizing partial county zoning. 
Deadline: Friday, December 6, 5 pm