SEPTEMBER 16, 2019
WPT APPAREL COMING SOON
No taxation without representation. It's the reason for the founding of our country, and a big reason why WPT's members join our group each year. Unlike many big out-of-state special interest groups, WPT gets our agenda directly from members- we're better together. You talk, we listen. And just like our agenda, members have asked if we sell apparel. Soon, we will launch a limited number of items for our members. Check out the teaser promo video below!
NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL AND AROUND WISCONSIN
WISCONSIN STUDENT TEST SCORES DROP IN READING, MATH
New data released from the Department of Public Instruction showed that Wisconsin students' test scores in both reading and math have dropped over the past year. Of all Wisconsin students, 40% were proficient in math, and 39.3% were proficient in reading.

The Department of Public Instruction told reporters that Wisconsin's reading and math standards are among the highest in the nation, and that "the answer to why scores aren't where we'd like them to be is surely a complex one, involving many factors," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In a statement following the release of the education data, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said "With increases in state funding for K-12 education, taxpayers deserve to know why we're not seeing better results." K-12 schools in Wisconsin are receiving more dollars than at any point in Wisconsin history, despite educating less children.
BUREAUCRACY WITHIN UW SYSTEM GREW WHILE TEACHING POSITIONS WERE SLASHED
The total number of administrative positions within the University of Wisconsin System expanded between 2014 and 2017 even though the actual number of teaching faculty dropped during the same time period, according to new UW System data.

The new data shows that there was a nearly eight percent decline in faculty, even though administrative positions grew by 3.5 percent. Teaching faculty in the state's two year college campuses and four year university campuses dropped by 491 positions, while office workers and "academic leaders" grew by 53 positions.

And at UW-Madison, the system's flagship school, 80 teaching positions were cut, while 52 new administrative positions were added.

A UW System spokesperson said the administrative increases were due to "increased regulations."
EVERS ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO CREATE RETIREMENT TASK FORCE
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #45 to create a task force on retirement security and "address the growing crisis" in the state. According to his statement, Wisconsin's aging population is expected to increase by 60% by 2030, "yet currently, one in seven registered voters in Wisconsin have no way to save for retirement at work."

The new Governor's Task Force on Retirement Security would:

  • Assess the overall preparedness of the state in supporting Wisconsinites' ability to retire in a financially secure manner.
  • Evaluate the statewide financial impact of Wisconsin's current retirement system, as well as employer-sponsored and individual retirement plans.
  • Identify challenges and obstacles facing Wisconsinites seeking to retire in a financially secure manner.
  • Identify barriers to accessing existing employer-sponsored and individual retirement plans, and participation in public and private retirement options
  • Research best practices from industry, academia, and other states on retirement security

REP. RAMTHUN INTRODUCES 'WISCONSIN 9/11 MEMORIAL HIGHWAY' BILL
State Rep. Timothy Ramthun, a Republican from Campbellsport, has introduced the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway bill.

The legislation would designate a portion of State Highway 28 as the "Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway," and would allow for signs to be erected which label the highway as such. The bill would also permanently identify the memorial highway's location on maps.

"As Americans, it is tremendously important that we never forget the attacks of September 11th, 2001. We must never forget the victims, we must never forget the heroic first responders who didn't hesitate to run into danger, and we must never forget the families who lost loved ones," Ramthun said. "The Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial, located on State Highway 28 in Kewaskum, WI, will be an eternal testament to all the lives lost that day, to the acts of courage by first responders and those at the scene.

The bill is co-authored by Republican Representatives Rob Brooks (Saukville), Rick Gundrum (Slinger), Janel Brandtjen (Menomonee Falls), and Mark Born (Beaver Dam). The Republican Senate sponsors are Senators Duey Stroebel (Saukville) and Alberta Darling (River Hills).
AUTOMATED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT PILOT PROGRAM MAY BE COMING TO MILWAUKEE
The pilot may just be for the City of Milwaukee, but if it's successful, could the rest of the state see this type of system? A bipartisan proposal in the legislature would allow Milwaukee to become the first locality in the state to use automated traffic enforcement.

The legislation would legalize the currently-illegal practice of placing cameras at intersections, and automatically enforce speed-limits and those who run red lights. If caught on camera, violators would receive their ticket in the mail.

The issue is quite controversial in other cities, but the Center for Disease Control says speeds are decreased between 1 and 15 percent, and crashes are reduced between 8 and 49 percent.
STATE SENATOR TIFFANY LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO REPLACE OUTGOING DUFFY
Republican State Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) has officially launched his campaign to replace outgoing U.S. Representative Sean Duffy, who will resign later this month to spend more time with his family.

No Democrats have officially announced, though current democrat State Rep. Nick Milroy of Superior is looking at jumping into the race. Tiffany became the first Republican to jump in after fellow GOP State Senator Jerry Petrowski and Representative Romaine Quinn declined to run.

Governor Tony Evers is expected to call a special election to fill the congressional seat vacancy once Duffy officially steps down from the position. A number of other individuals are expected to announce their candidacy once the date of the election is known.
WEEKLY MEMBER POLL RESULTS
A new bill would offer grant funding for the University of Wisconsin MIA and Identification Project. After reading the article...
Too much money, sorry. The Feds should pay for this.

We always learn more from these research projects which in the long run will probably help law enforcement etc.

On a small scale.

They don't need it

Hard for most of us to understand what a MIA family has been dealing with for a number of years. I am all for it until I read the last line in the article where is states the money can be used for MIA recovery and other educational oppertunitites. So how much goes to the MIA recovery program and how much goes to???

This should be paid for by the DOD, not Wisconsin taxpayers directly.

What a waste! It seems like this could be privately funded or the universities could find grant funding for this project. I do not support this use of taxpayer dollars.

too high of a cost for little return

I like the idea but should controls or limits as to the funding
Wisconsin has a workforce housing shortage. Is this an issue in your community?
Door County has a severe workforce housing shortage.

Apartment buildings going up all over town.

What we really need is more starter homes, not the MCMansions on most tour of homes. That is why Habitat for Humanity exists to build affordable starter homes.

This is a problem in every community right now. We need to find a way to release some regulation on building and lending for building.

Lot of jobs being filled and no housing around here.

Only going to get worse, poor education and teaching entitlements has decreased the the actual labor force that has the ambition and intelligence of youth able to perform building trade work.

not a housing issue, is a money issue...

Housing prices continue to climb faster than wages. Affordable housing is a challenge.

more of a workforce shortage

Available homes or apartments are needed
UW-Madison was ranked 13th best public university in the nation, and 46th overall. What do you think?
Sure, rankings matter.

2 of our 3 daughters wnet to Madison, the other to River Falls. I think all of them are happy with the schools they choose to attend. The rankings don't matter much for state residents that get in-state tuition breaks.

Is 46th overall really that good??

All three of my children have attended the public universities of Wisconsin and received good educations, although none went to Madison.

Yes UW Madison is ultra liberal in an ultra liberal town

Not sure these "statistics" matter. After all Kellogg's can come up with a study that says Corn Flakes are the greatest breakfast food.

Of course they matter. The UW is very advanced in research in many fields. These rankings will hep the grant they receive to continue the work.

Yes Mother & Father are UW grad in 1938 & 1939, sistor in 1970. My wife and I UW-Platteville grads and have many other family member who have used or are using the UW system at the present time.

Pew Research has shown for decades the drop in US kids educational ranking vs worldwide!! Decline matches Ever's career in education, 40 years of making Wisconsinites dumb enough to elect him governor?

Do something about the cost of college, get it DOWN, get better cost controls in place, help minimize student loans... This is for EDUCATION people.

All of the UW schools are excellent; Wisconsinites are spoiled and lack appreciation for our robust education system at all levels.

Parents and children UW grads.

yes and yes

They as all other universities rank high in liberal brainwashing!

the uw cost us alot of money and we have to many liberals running the UW

Yes
The Joint Finance Committee has released $1.5 million in funding for the Evers administration to market Wisconsin tourism to Denver, Detroit, and Phoenix. Do you support this use of tax dollars?
Other communities market their areas .. Wisconsin should too. How effective this is, who knows.

Hate to have tax dollars go for something with no return. Why would anyone be lured to WI unless they have family here?

Wisconsin is a good tourism value. People from out of state always say the People from Wisconsin are so friendly.

I'm OK with these tax dollars spent, but on a small scale.

Not sure if these "target" locations are the correct ones. If there is hard evidence that this is the case... great.

Which will give the best bang for the buck educaton, roads or tourism?

If you're already high in Denver, why come to Wisconsin?

This should be a PRIVATE matter, not state funded.

spend it on our state parks!

An effective ad campaign will return these dollars to the state - it’s a good investment. However, it may be difficult to produce an effective campaign without a larger budget.

No

Let's keep the Denver potheads out though

Why those States, it seems like a waste of money, why Staes in our midwst area
GOP lawmakers have introduced a bill that would protect dollars in MSA and HSA accounts from the reach of a creditor/collections. Good idea or bad idea?
I'll say bad idea. Why should money you've saved for healthcare costs be protected? Why should any? You borrow, then don't pay back when you have some funds? That doesn't make sense.

As long as its a sensible amount in the account I don't see it as a problem, but it could be abused as a way to hide funds from people you owe money to.

Very good idea! Many employers offer higher deductibles to employees so they can use an HSA and lower cost of the insurance. Keep these accounts safe!!

Pay your bills!!!!

Savings for health care is vital everyone should be saving for their health care .If more people would take care of themselves maybe our government

Another way for crooks to hide their money from small business?

These dollars were for helping medical situations and should be protected
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
LRB-4245   Memo  Housing and Homelessness (Subeck, Lisa) Housing and homelessness; workforce development; community action agencies; poverty reports; mental health; public assistance advisory committee; economic security; adverse childhood experiences reports; creating a nonrefundable individual income tax credit for household and dependent care services; reimbursement for nonemergency medical transportation services; urban mass transit aid; and making an appropriation. Deadline: Friday, September 13

LRB-4054   Memo  Intervention Teams (Schachtner, Patty) Crisis intervention team grants and making an appropriation. Deadline: Wednesday, September 18, 5 pm

LRB-4163   Memo  Intervention Teams (Gruszynski, Staush) Crisis intervention team grants and making an appropriation. Deadline: Wednesday, September 18, 5 pm

LRB-2573   Memo  HSA Exemption (Kooyenga, Dale) Exempting health savings accounts and medical savings accounts from execution of judgment. Deadline: Friday, September 20, 5 pm

LRB-4177   Memo  HSA Exemption (Kulp, Bob) Exempting health savings accounts and medical savings accounts from execution of judgment. Deadline: Friday, September 20, 5 pm

LRB-3639   Memo  Waterfowl Stamp Fee (Skowronski, Ken) Increasing the waterfowl hunting stamp fee. Deadline: Tuesday, September 17, Noon

LRB-2804   Memo  Animal Death (Spiros, John) Grievous bodily harm to or the death of an animal and providing a penalty. Deadline: Thursday, September 19, 5 pm

LRB-3842   Memo  Lake Management Grants (Loudenbeck, Amy) Lake management grants and river protection management grants for floating treatment wetlands. Deadline: Thursday, September 19

LRB-3818   Memo  DWD Marketing (Feyen, Dan) Marketing of employment and training opportunities to former University of Wisconsin System students and making an appropriation. Deadline: Tuesday, September 20, 5 pm

LRB-0293   Memo  CWD Research (Shankland, Katrina) Funding for chronic wasting disease research and management and making an appropriation. Deadline: Tuesday, September 24, 4 pm

LRB-4072   Memo  Deer Carcass Disposal (Shankland, Katrina) Deer carcass disposal sites, chronic wasting disease education, and making an appropriation. Deadline: Tuesday, September 24, 4 pm

LRB-3300   Memo  CWD Testing (Shankland, Katrina) Chronic wasting disease testing and making an appropriation. Deadline: Tuesday, September 24, 4 pm

LRB-3943   Memo  9/11 Memorial Highway (Stroebel, Duey) Designating the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial Highway and directional signage for the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial and Education Center. Deadline: Wednesday, September 18, 5 pm

LRB-4196   Memo  Bilingual Education (Zamarrippa, JoCasta) Funding for bilingual-bicultural education programs and making an appropriation. Deadline: Friday, September 20, Noon

LRB-3312   Memo  Milwaukee Sales Tax (Goyke, Evan) Additional local sales and use tax for Milwaukee County. Deadline: Friday, September 20, 5 pm

LRB-4192   Memo  POD Accounts (Katsma, Terry) P.O.D. accounts and loan obligations to financial institutions; the duty of a bank to make payment on a lost, destroyed, or stolen cashier's check, teller's check, or certified check; providing temporary authority to act as a mortgage loan originator while a license application is pending; property subject to garnishment or tax levy in possession of a financial institution; entities that provide to financial institutions electronic data processing services; loans to state banks by a Federal Home Loan Bank; and consolidating the Banking Review Board and Savings Institutions Review Board in the Department of Financial Institutions Deadline: Friday, September 20, 5 pm

LRB-1960   Memo  Health Care Practitioner Exemptions (Felzkowski, Mary) Providing complementary and alternative health care practitioners with exemptions from practice protection laws, requirements and prohibitions for individuals who provide complementary and alternative health care services, and providing a penalty. Deadline: Friday, September 20, Noon

LRB-3547   Memo  Housing Tax Credits (Nygren, John) Workforce housing tax credits and economic development revolving loan funds. Deadline: Friday, September 27, 5 pm

LRB-3948   Memo  Milk Labeling (Marklein, Howard) Labeling a food product as a type of milk and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Thursday, September 19, Noon

LRB-3990   Memo  Meat Labeling (Marklein, Howard) Labeling a food product as meat and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Thursday, September 19, Noon

LRB-4023   Memo  Dairy Product Labeling (Marklein, Howard) Labeling a food as a type of dairy product or as a dairy ingredient and granting rule-making authority. Deadline: Thursday, September 19, Noon

LRB-2877   Memo  Contract Renewals (Kooyenga, Dale) Automatic renewal of contracts involving industrial gases and related equipment. Deadline: Friday, September 20

LRB-4281   Memo  EMS Tax Credit (Pronschinske, Treig) A nonrefundable volunteer fire fighters and emergency responders tax credit. Deadline: Thursday, September 19, 5 pm

LRB-4166   Memo  Public Defender Pay (Loudenbeck, Amy) Funding the public defender pay progression and making an appropriation. Deadline: Thursday, September 19, 2019

LRB-2489   Memo  Science Competition Grants (Schachtner, Patty) A science competition participation grant pilot program and making an appropriation. Deadline: Friday, September 20

LRB-4323   Memo  Science Competition Grants (Stubbs, Shelia) A science competition participation grant pilot program and making an appropriation. Deadline: Friday, September 20

LRB-2154   Memo  Food Donations (Krug, Scott) Grants to support donation of farm and food products to food banks and emergency feeding organizations and making an appropriation. Deadline: Monday, September 23, 5 pm

LRB-2786   Memo  Pension Tax Exemption (Krug, Scott) Exempting from taxation certain pension payments received by an individual for service in the U.S. Foreign Service. Deadline: Monday, September 23, 5 pm