Strategies Newsletter 04/28/17
Updates from Strategies
Creating Shared Value – What Does It Mean?
What does it mean to “create shared value?” The phrase, coined by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, stands for the concept that society’s problems (everything from natural resource shortages, environmental harm, government or supplier inefficiency, or poorly prepared workers) all create both direct and indirect costs for the business sector. In addition, those problems create opportunities for companies who can identify and develop creative, market-based solutions. Cutting-edge business are gravitating toward the concept of shared value as a way to expand product and service offerings, improve profitability, meet consumer and community demands for responsible business conduct, and attract and retain a talented workforce. Read more
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Governor Walker Will Ask the Federal Government for Medicaid Changes
The Social Security Act gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services authority to approve experimental, pilot, or demonstration projects by allowing the Secretary to waive provisions of the Medicaid law. These projects are often referred to as “1115 demonstration projects,” and must promote the objectives of the Medicaid programs. The purpose of the governor’s proposal is to improve health, reduce costs, and move more people into the workforce.
The governor’s proposal is targeted at a group of people who are referred to as “childless adults.” Specifically, the governor is proposing the following changes to Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, known as BadgerCare. Read more
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Industry Clusters as Economic Development Engines
Wisconsin is home to several thriving and growing industry clusters, and support for industry clusters has been one of state government’s most important and successful job creation strategies. An industry cluster is a geographic concentration of similar or related businesses within the same industry that co-locate within a particular region (think Hollywood and the film industry). These concentrations of businesses can create shared economies of scale within the industry; support a thriving start-up culture within the industry to spur innovation in both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer realms; attract capital investment; and link the industry and it’s understanding of current and future consumer needs to the universities and technical colleges which are doing basic research and preparing a pipeline of talented workers for the future. Read more
Wisconsin State Budget
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State Budget Update
After finishing the last of six public hearings around the state last week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will begin holding executive sessions and voting on provisions in the 2017-2019 State Biennial Budget next week. The JFC will spend the next few weeks voting on dozens of items contained in Governor Walker’s proposed budget. Less controversial issues are usually addressed earlier in the voting process, with the more contentious issues (such as transportation and K-12 education funding) addressed at the end of the process. The first executive session on the state budget will take place on May 1. The JFC is tentatively scheduled to meet on the following dates: May 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25, and 30. Additional dates will be added at the discretion of the JFC co-chairs. Read more
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Joint Finance Committee Removes Administrative Law Proposals from Governor’s Budget Bill
Earlier this year, we reported on a few provisions in the governor’s proposed budget that would have made significant changes to Wisconsin’s administrative law process. Since then, however, the Joint Finance Committee voted to remove all of the non-fiscal policy provisions contained in the governor’s budget, including the proposed administrative law changes. Therefore, these provisions either need to be reintroduced separately as new budget amendments, or be introduced as separate legislation outside of the budget process. Read more
Legislation of Interest
Numerous legislative proposals are moving through the legislative process as the spring session continues through June 30. The following are a few key bills of interest.
AB-123 Broadband Expansion (Quinn, Romaine) The information technology block grant program, the broadband expansion grant program, waiving certain fees and appraisals, and making appropriations.
AB-233 ESSA State Plan (Tusler, Ron) Submitting a state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
AB-236 Housing Choice Voucher Waiting Lists (Pronschinske, Treig) Waiting lists for housing choice vouchers.
SB-076 High Capacity Wells (Fitzgerald, Scott) Replacement, reconstruction, and transfer of an approved high capacity well, recommendation of special groundwater measures by the Department of Natural Resources, and metering requirements and grants for certain high capacity wells.
SB-216 Prevailing Wage Repeal (Vukmir, Leah) Elimination of the requirement that laborers, workers, mechanics, and truck drivers employed on the site of a project of public works be paid the prevailing wage.
AB-226 Contaminated Well Remediation Assistance (Kitchens, Joel) Local assistance for remediating contaminated wells and failing wastewater treatment systems, and award limits for contaminated well grants.
SB-015 Admin Rule Changes (REINS Act) (LeMahieu, Devin) Various changes regarding administrative rules, rule-making procedures, and making an appropriation.
For more information about any legislative matter, contact Nathan Houdek.
Trump Targets Visa Program He Says Hurts American Workers
“We are going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first,” said Trump on a directive he signed that should help American workers whose jobs are at stake due to highly-skilled immigrants. While visiting the headquarters of Snap-On Inc. in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Trump signed the order that asks the government to propose new rules, and changes that would influence the visa program and align with his “Buy American and Hire American” initiative. Read more at KATC.
No One Speaks in Favor of Monroe County Sand Processing Plant at DNR hearing
Members of the public finally had their chance to be heard regarding Meteor Timber’s plans to fill more than 16 acres of wetland to build a $65 million frac sand facility in Monroe and Jackson counties. Each of the 18 people who testified on April 18th opposed. The timber company plans to “dismantle two cranberry operations, eliminate four impoundments and restore 2,000 feet stream,” as well as preserve 640 acres of other high-quality wetlands. Sara Geers said the wetland that Meteor wants to fill is “rare in Wisconsin and hard to replace once it’s destroyed,” and is skeptical of the promises. Read more at the Lacrosse Tribune.
Walker Signs CBD Oil Bill, But More Work is Needed, Advocates Say
It’s been more than two years since the signing of the first bill to legalize cannabidoil, used to help children who suffer from multiple seizures each day. It was nearly impossible to legally obtain the oil initially, because it is derived from marijuana. On April 17, Governor Walker revisited Burlington to sign a new bill that will aim to fix ‘Lydia’s Law’. The new law drops a prescription requirement, allowing possession with written permission from a doctor. Only one of the 132 legislators voted against the bill. The governor said the bill was “yet one more tool to help, particularly, children in this state.” Read more at The Journal Times.
Residents Weigh in on State Issues at Listening Sessions
With many key state budget decisions to be made in the state legislature, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Senator Van Wanggaard held listening sessions in Burlington, Union Grove, and Mount Pleasant, to get feedback from residents on their positions. Governor Walker and the legislature have differed on many of the issues already. “This is where the difficulty comes in, in prioritizing where we need to trim dollars or add dollars,” said Wanggaard. Read more at The Journal Times.
Democrats Afraid to Run Against ‘Bulletproof’ Scott Walker?
On his decision to step down from challenging Governor Walker for the governor’s seat in 2018, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi stated he felt he could make more of a difference in local and county governments than in the dysfunctional state government. Local talk shows wonder if Democrats are afraid to run against the ‘bulletproof’ Scott Walker. While Scott Walker shouldn’t have any problem collecting millions in campaign funds, according to two political talk shows, Parisi and Democrats still believe there is hope for liberals. Read more at The Cap Times.