Our state spends a great deal of money on economic development. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is responsible for overseeing much of the taxpayer money that goes to job creation.
A recently released audit by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) found that “WEDC cannot be certain about the number of jobs actually created or retained as a result of any awards that ended.”
By law, WEDC is required to report jobs created or retained. The agency meets the requirement through reports posted on its website. However, auditors found these data inaccurate.
“We found that the on-line data in January of 2017 included 183 jobs created and 1,082 jobs retained by recipients that had sold their operations in Wisconsin, ceased their operations in Wisconsin, or had withdrawn from their contracts before the contractually specified completion dates.
This is the town hall meeting that Kathleen Vinehout and Dana Wacs held on May 20, 2017 in Eau Claire, WI. They covered a large range of different topics, mostly concentrating on healthcare and the transportation budget. A lively discussion follows. There were some equipment issues in the midst of recording this so it is recorded on two different cameras. I've attempted to even up the video quality and sound levels a little bit - but didn't completely succeed. Hoping to be able to afford a little bit of equipment upgrade as part of the Wis.Community project.
Just a quick note. It's my intention to, some time in the next few months, move Uppity Wisconsin over to be one of the communities in WIs.community . My goal here is to have one less web site to maintain, and to help out with the growth of the Wis.community platform. This isn't going to be quick, it's currently a fairly low-level activity for me.
Sheriff David A Clarke is leaving Milwaukee County and Wisconsin.
Now the bad news -- he's leaving to take a position as assistant secretary of Homeland Security.
I am at the moment trying to imagine the working relationship between Clarke and John Kelly. The Trump administration becomes more bizarre by the moment and continues to aim toward being dysfunctional. We'd been hearing rumors of this for month but it was hard to imagine that this would actually happen, even with President Trump. Perhaps, though, the county's sheriff's office will start to receive proper attention, and peole will stop dying mysteriously and horribly in the jail cells.
Governor Walker's budget included a cut for the equivalent of 6 positions in the Elections Board, arguing that they could continue without those workers. This is interesting because it has been all too apparent that the board has bare-bones staffing for the ever-increasing requirements being placed upon them.
Apparently even Republicans on the JFC have realized that and have restored 5 of the 6 cut positions.
Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said the commission was "significantly understaffed" as it oversaw the 2016 election and presidential recount.
“This is the broadest, most dangerous bill you’ve never heard of.” I told my colleagues during a recent Senate debate. “It’s an obscure way to shut down government from doing something that the Legislature intended to do.”
Senate Bill 15, known by the initials REINS, would allow leaders of the Legislature to shut down the implementation of new laws if the leader found the new law too costly to implement. A version of the bill is moving toward passage at both the state and federal levels of government. I expect the state Assembly will soon take up the bill.
A little background; after a bill becomes law, agencies work on writing the details of how to implement the law. These details, known as Administrative Rules, are vetted by the Legislature through a committee and vetted by the public through hearings.
“Administrative Rules are the fine details of laws written by policy experts at state agencies.” said long-time Capitol reporter Shawn Johnson in an NPR story on the Senate passage of the REINS Act.
No shocking surprise here, but governor Walker says he is willing to consider getting an exemption for Wisconsin to opt out of crucial portions of the ACA if in fact those waivers make it through the Senate. So - you want good health insurance? Move to a state that supports it.
Remember - this exemption not only applies to the people who are on Obamacare currently but also applies to the folks who have insurance through their employer. This means that a cheapskate employer could fix it for their employees so they would have crappy low-cost insurance as well.
As always, if there is a race to the bottom, Scott Walker wants to get a jersey and participate.