Foxconn or Fox-Con? Foxconn comes to Wisconsin

The Governor has signed the Foxconn bill, so it is now the law. Take a quick look back through the history, the social media, and the general boondoggle that we have set up for the state. Note that as always the Storify embed is running behind on the new items from today - I'm looking at some newer hipper technology for going forward.

Problems left for the next budget writers

Kathleen Vinehout

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“Policy is who pays, who doesn’t pay and where the money gets spent,” said the President of the NAACP in a recent speech.

Policy making was center stage at the State Capitol when the long delayed $76 billion two-year state budget was rushed to passage just days after a majority of lawmakers voted to give a Taiwan billionaire $3 billion in state subsidies.

Budgets are about choices. Budget writers this year chose to leave major problems for the next budget writers.

Education is the most important job state government does. For years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed the state’s school funding formula was broken.

This budget, there were enough funds to change the formula. Efforts to do so were voted down. Instead, more state dollars were spent on vouchers for unaccountable private schools.

Bob Fest in La Crosse

As you are probably aware, Fighting Bob Fest was on the road this year, with events in Madison, Milwaukee, and La Crosse. I attended the La Crosse event, partly representing Uppity Wisconsin, Wis.Community, and the Citizen Action Western Wisconsin Organizing Co-op. 

As always, the speeches were great, and with a little more local flavor in a lot of cases this time around. Jim Hightower was, unfortunately, not able to make it due to a family crisis. 

Nina Turner at Fighting Bob Fest La Crosse 2017

User Purging and other changes

I've been doing some clean-up on Uppity Wisconsin.  This is largely in preparation for moving all of the Uppity Wisconsin blogs from here to their new home at Wis.community . Over the years (10 of them, hard to believe) we've accumulated quite a few people as users on the site who have never contributed content - many of them created accounts and then never logged in.  I've deleted all of those user accounts today, so if you have never posted to the site or even asked about posting to the site, your account has been deleted. I hope to get the site moved some time before Oct. 1.  Things will work largely as they always have, or at least that is the concept.

When Up is Down

Kathleen Vinehout

September 13, 2017

Trying to understand last minute deals taking away local powers

By Senator Kathleen Vinehout

A last-minute budget amendment has folks in Western Wisconsin very worried.

Locals have spent seven years negotiating with large sand mines to reach agreements that

allow neighbors and mines to co-exist. In some cases, locals decided certain sensitive and

tourist areas needed protection from mines.

All the careful negotiations appear poised to go out the window in a strangely evolving

Wisconsin’s Long Journey toward a Living Wage

Kathleen Vinehout

“For an adult with a family who has to pay for food, clothing, and a place to live, and be able to pay for a car, the minimum wage is clearly not high enough,” wrote Bethany of Eleva-Strum High School.

Wisconsin was one of the first states to enact a Living Wage. The law gave authority for determining a living wage to an Industrial Commission made up of a balance of employers, employees and the public. The year was 1913.

Two years earlier, people attending a national conference of the National Consumers’ League in Milwaukee called for a minimum wage. Advocates made a minimum wage the top issue.

Fighting Bob Fest Hits the Road

Bobfest

There was some consternation in progressive circles this year since it appeared that there would only be a kickoff event for Fighting Bob Fest, but no actual fest. 

However, the folks at Our Wisconsin Revolution have teamed up with The Progressive to take Fighting Bob Fest on the road. There will be fests in Milwaukee and in La Crosse this year. Furious planning is still underway, but the events are soon, on Sept. 16 in both cities. 

Where are the People?

Kathleen Vinehout

Ideological groups push de-licensing plan

By

Senator Kathleen Vinehout

“This bill does not allow for public debate...is the public even aware? You’re not allowing the public to have adequate input into this issue,” testified Stephanie Bloomingdale.

Ms. Bloomingdale is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. She represented many workers who, along with the rest of us, just found out about bills that set up a process to get rid of occupational licensing.

In Wisconsin, many professions are licensed, such as plumbers, electricians, doctors, lawyers, architects, and teachers. Those folks affected by the bill had little time to become aware of efforts to change their professional credentials. The rest of us, who may hire plumbers or use deaf interpreters, had little way of knowing what was happening.

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