OCTOBER 14, 2019
NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL AND AROUND WISCONSIN
WISCONSIN SENATE CONFIRMS FIVE OF EVERS' CABINET SECRETARIES
Without debate, the GOP-controlled Wisconsin Senate last Tuesday unanimously approved five of Governor Tony Evers' cabinet secretaries.

Confirmed with Tuesday's vote were Secretary of the Department of Revenue Peter Barca, Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary of the Department of Administration Joel Brennan, Secretary of the Department of Corrections Kevin Carr, and Secretary Mary Kolar of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Senate, however, did not approve the Secretary-designee of the Department of Transportation Craig Thompson. The GOP leadership in both legislative chambers have outwardly questioned Thompson's history as a transportation lobbyist and how that might impact his leadership in the department.

While five of Evers' secretaries were approved on Tuesday, eleven others were not approved, though are still allowed to remain in their roles until the Senate either rejects or approves their nominations to their respective positions.
UW REGENTS APPROVE PUNISHMENTS FOR FREE SPEECH DISRUPTERS
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, the governing body of the UW System made up of individuals appointed by various governors, has voted to approve a policy that would require punishments for students who disrupt or interfere with others exercising free speech on campuses.

The plan's details, which are similar to a GOP-backed bill from last legislative session, would require that a student is suspended for one month for their second offense of disrupting the exercise of free speech. A third violation would result in expulsion.

Governor Tony Evers' first appointment to the Board of Regents said he was opposed to the plan, and that it was a "very hard road to go down," referring to punishing young people "for saying things they have the right to say." The question then remains; do conservatives such as Ben Shapiro have the right to "say things they have the right to say," even though UW students in 2017 blocked his entry into a campus building where he was set to deliver a speech, and then disrupted his speech making it impossible for him to deliver his presentation.

Currently, the policy by the UW allows for the school to investigate instances such as the aforementioned, but does not require any punishment.

The regents could send this new policy to Governor Evers' desk for approval through the administrative rules process. Evers said he is opposed to the plan.
MADISON COUNCIL DELAYS CONSIDERATION OF HIGHEST WHEEL TAX IN STATE
For a second time, the City of Madison has delayed action on new liberal Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway's plan to implement a $40 wheel tax on city residents to pay for her bus rapid transit project (BRT), and to close the city's budget gap.

The city is currently facing a $2 million gap in their 2020 operating budget, and say the tax would rake in $7.9 million in 2020 alone, but would not all go towards transportation needs.

The $40 would be the highest wheel tax in the state. Combined with Dane County's $28 wheel tax, the new cost for an individual in the City of Madison to register their vehicle each year would be $153.

According to the city's Finance Department, cutting all funding by 2.5 percent would allow for the mayor to abandon her plan for a wheel tax. Other plans could be the reduction of 18 police officers, a closure of a fire station, eliminating pay increases for city employees, or laying off 12 current city positions, or slowing new hires.
CENSUS BUREAU: WISCONSIN HAD 19TH HIGHEST TAX COLLECTIONS IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2019
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, state tax revenues in Wisconsin amounted for $4.1 billion in the first quarter of this year, which was the 19th highest in the nation.

The bureau reported that the state brought in $1.3 billion in general sales taxes, $290 million in licensing fees, and $1.7 billion in income taxes. Property taxes collected by the State of Wisconsin, which are special situations and nonresidential, were at $34.7 million.

Not included in the Census Bureau's figures were local taxes.
REAL I.D. DEADLINE FOR ALL WISCONSIN RESIDENTS: OCTOBER 1, 2020
You have less than one year to get REAL ID-compliant, or face being turned away when boarding an aircraft within the United States.

That's the warning from the Wisconsin Department Transportation, which is urging Wisconsin residents to get to the DMV with the proper paperwork ahead of the rush in 2020. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress about a decade and a half ago, requires uniformity in states' identification processes, and will be required to enter federal buildings or board domestic flights.

You will be required to have a birth certificate, social security card, and proof of address. The cost of obtaining a REAL ID, which is essentially a drivers license with a small star in the top right corner, will be the same as obtaining a replacement ID card, $14. Obtaining the REAL ID will not change your license expiration date.
SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS TO GET A BOOST IN 2020
If you receive Social Security, you will be getting a modest boost on your checks next year, according to an announcement from the Social Security Administration last week.

The cost of living adjustment for 2020 will be 1.6%. Also according to the Social Security Administration, the 1.6% is less than what has been received in years past. The increase in 2018 was 2%, while this year's bump was 2.8% for America's retirees. There was no cost of living increase in years 2010, 2011, or 2016.

The administration says to calculate the change the Social Security Administration uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage earners and Clerical Workers, CPI-W, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
MILWAUKEE LATEST TO PROPOSE SMOKING BAN OUTSIDE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS
The City of Milwaukee is the latest city to propose a smoking ban outside of public buildings.

The City's Public Safety and Health Committee on Thursday approved the measure which would ban smoking within 30 feet of public buildings. The Alderman who proposed the ordinance change said that it brings the city more in line with the State Capitol building, and that it will increase social pressure not to smoke near the entrances to buildings.

The measure will now need to pass the full city council.
WEEKLY MEMBER POLL RESULTS
Governor Evers will issue pardons to four convicted felons who have served their sentences. After reading the article...
If a Governor chooses to exercise his given powers, let him.

There really are people who commit a crime, do time, and become good people.

Im assuming their circumstances were researched so I'm fine with that.

These are great. Power used appropriately. It isn't for undermining the results of juries and the court system.

Not enough information.

I think these people paid their debt to society. They all are good citizens now and should be able to vote and hunt and travel

What I read that these individuals was not serious crimes and now have a chnce to prove to society that can fulfill the needs of society

I agree in redemption, and have no problems with the last 3 pardons, they were young and did something that was foolish and have shown they have learned from their mistakes. Steven Nichols pardon should be investigated, this is the type of pardon that gives pardons a bad rap. He is now 62, but at 54 (his age in 2011) he felt it necessary to burglarize someone else's property. Now he wants to go to Canada and has the desire to hunt....too bad stupid, you should have known better on how to contribute to our society, rather than be a problem. He must have made a promise to contribute to someone's campaign or something to get pardoned.

do the crime do the time, what a slap in the face for good law abiding citizens of Wisconsin

They broke the law and knew better

They make more sense than I thought they would.

You did the deed, now owe up and pay the time1

I think all the pardons Evers chose should be allowed the pardon.

Prisons are overcrowded and it appears these men have served an adequate sentence and are ready to contribute to society (although I have no idea why anyone’s desire to go hunting is relevant to the conversation).
GOP lawmakers have introduced legislation that would make pre-kindergarten all day, rather than half-day. After reading the article...
This is government day care.

I think this law is better for parents and teachers than it is for children. All day is a long day for a 4 year old. It helps parents save on babysitting costs and it assures that all children start Kindergarten and first grade with the same background. Do all schools have the room to add these classes? it will mean more building for our school districts and more taxes.

I think this is OK, but it must not be mandatory. My school does not have the capacity for this. -- It should also be noted that for the VAST majority of students, 4K schooling is just day care. It is only helpful for low-performing students whose parents are terrible.

As K was half day 50+ yeas ago....Requiring double bussing to take kiddos home at noon..... perhaps this would save $$

Not sure 4 year olds are ready for class all day.

Perhaps we do better with the education system we have in place now.

Extending the nanny state! This is on the list for Republicans and Dems this session. They're all bureaucrats!

seems like just more "free" babysitting

Parents are responsible for raising their children - not the state.

Parents who want to be true parents and raise their own children should not be dictated as to when those young children should start school. the schools get enough money

Not sure this is the best for the children. 4 year olds are pretty young to handle all day school without either of their parents.

Another way for baby sitting their children on tax payer money

Might as well have teachers take care of them rather than have to put them in daycare and make just the parents pay for their care.

Allow the child and parent another year before the law of the land become the childs foster parent.

You need to read up on your Pre-WWII History, especially about how Hitler did this in Nazi Germany. No, I don't think it's ok to do this.

Our school district already does full day 4 k free daycare

Why a law, let each school decide.

Already happening in my school district

what are we to gain out of this In our district them 4 year olds might have to be on the bus by 6:30am and not get back home until almost 4:00pm. Why do we want to put some much stress on our kids!!!

Seems like it is replacing parents, but maybe that's the point??

Let the kid be a kid, there are plenty of years of school left to learn!

Alot of parents find it hard to get baby sisters for a half day.

Wonderful idea! The evidence for the long-term benefits of structured early childhood education is indisputable. This will also reduce the daycare burden on working class families.
GOP lawmakers would like to allow lottery purchases with debit cards in Wisconsin. What do you think?
Money is Money.

Really? Do we need this? Let's not make it easier for people to waste their money.

do not care.... the few times I buy a lotto ticket ... a few times a year...... Cash is OK

Cash is the best

Debit charges can be disputed, right? As long as this can't be abused.

Why not credit cards then too? I pay for my gas with credit

Lottery is a tax on low income people.

Debit cards are used more than cash now.

They have their facts wrong- it is NOT 1% for a debit card transaction could be as high as 30c anyone that wants to purchase grocery’s can get up to $50 over their purchase to buy lottery products. In the worst case - what is a customer wants to buy $1 scratch off - then ask for $50 over- that could cost the retailer 30c or more. For a 5 cent commission. NOT GOOD SENCE - PLEASE OPPOSE THIS BILL

We have to many people gambeling now their life savings who we have to support in the future

If people want to support the credit card processing industry, why not.

a debit card now days is same as cash to most people

Just another way to take money from people who can least afford to do so.

The Lottery is a tax on people who don't have any idea how money works. I'd say NO to this.

Not in favor of lottery at all.

Who cares how they pay

debit card is cash replacement

people over spend with plastic

Teh lottery is a tax on the poor. The easier it is to purchase the faster money leaves thier pockets

I though you could already i do at kwik trip

DO NOT MAKE GAMBLING EASIER!

But should not be allowed on Medicade/BadgerCare if gambling.

No understandable comment,thanks.

Keep the cash for lottery.. if they don't have cash. go without.

It’s the same thing as purchasing with cash (won’t allow anyone to carry gambling debt on a credit card). There should be a 3% fee added to debit card purchases to cover the credit card processing expense for merchants.
Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature have rolled out their legislative priorities for the remainder of the current legislative session. What do you think?
Let's make health care more affordable and have more oversight of insurance companies of all kinds. Their fees are ridiculous.

Does it matter? The Democrats aren't in power and couldn't get a bill passed on "Apples Are Delicious" as Vos won't let that happen.

They want to close the dark store loophole, so I can't say I dislike them all.

marijuana is a dangerous drug that leads to worse drugs....we have enough drug problems already,we don't need more

I like these priorities but we don't have enough money in the budget to pay for half of them.

Most of these items will cost the tax payers of Wi alot of money an drive the State into financial debt

There are some I could agree with, but as always, the democrats would make changes to help themselves now, but when the tables would be turned, they will cry for a need for reform, they do this all the time.

Most everything in there require more tax money.

Dislike minimum wage, cut taxes for ALL

it's a matter of doing what they say there going to do, heard that before

seams like a lot of spending

I'd still like to see less government a priority and bureaucratic spending cut.

At least they are considering some positive action unlike their counterparts in Washington.

More taxes to pay for all of them

That list is a pipe dream.

Might not like all the things suggested but agree with a lot of them

Party lines interfere with logical undertakings.

Love it all! Feels like a fresh approach to serving the people and working to meet the needs of families.
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.  
LEGISLATION
BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW OR VETOED
No bills to report.
BILLS IN CIRCULATION
No bills to report.