Strategies Newsletters 06/23/2017
Updates from Strategies
Creating Shared Value – Conference Recap
Shared Value Business Strategies are Unlocking Innovation and Driving Growth
At the 2017 Shared Value Leadership Summit held last week in New York, presenters shared their commitment to integrating positive social and community impact with successful core business strategy. Here are a few highlights.
Shared value strategies are directly influencing the global marketplace
Participants from more than 100 countries joined the conference in person or over the internet. Shared value strategies that are changing global business norms are coming from companies like Enel – an Italian energy company operating in 30 countries that currently sources nearly half of its power from renewable sources, and is committed to being 100 percent carbon neutral by 2050. Read more
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Reforming Public Employee Health Insurance
The State of Wisconsin, through the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), provides health insurance benefits to nearly all state employees and many local public employees. This program has for years relied upon a “managed competition” model, which allows any health insurance company or health plan that can provide the required benefits to compete for the business of each employee. The state then pays the required premium to each participating company. Wisconsin enjoys an unusually competitive and vibrant health insurance market, with many relatively small, Wisconsin-headquartered health insurers competing in the commercial health insurance space. Read more
Wisconsin State Budget
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State Budget Update
The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) continues to work its way through the provisions of Governor Walker’s proposed 2017-2019 biennial budget. This week the JFC completed its fifth executive session. To date, the committee has primarily dealt with lower profile and less controversial issues, including the budgets for the Department of Justice, the Legislature, the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care, the Secretary of State, and the Ethics and Elections Commissions. Read more
Gov. Walker: “Why Wouldn’t I Run” in 2018
Governor Scott Walker plans to formally announce his candidacy for the third term when the budget is done. At the Wisconsin Conservative Congress convention on May 12th, Walker said “When employment levels in the state are at record high why wouldn’t I run?” He also noted high rankings in ACT scores, graduation rates, and other positive state factors contributing to the state going “in the right direction”. “With all these good things happening in the state it makes a pretty good case for someone to run for re-election and build off of that.” Read more at the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter.
Paul Ryan Stumps for Karen Handel in Sixth Congressional District
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan stumped at a May 15 pep rally for Republican Karen Handel in Dunwoody with a crowd of nearly 300 people. “The stakes are as high as they ever could be. You have a big responsibility,” said Ryan. He said Washington needed Handel to win so she could help repeal and replace Obamacare and pass major tax reform. Handel is running against Democratic newcomer Jon Ossoff, who was handpicked by Nancy Pelosi, is a U.S. Representative representing San Francisco, and is the Minority leader for the U.S. House of Representatives. Read more at Reporter Newspapers.
We Energies Parent Will Cut Coal Emissions
Despite President Trump’s pledge to end federal carbon-reduction requirements, We Energies’ parent company will continue investing in reducing carbon emissions due to the natural gas and renewable energy economic advantages over coal. WEC Energy Group plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the level required by President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and has already reduced emissions by 26 percent since 2000. Read more at the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar Not Coal
In 2016, the solar industry employed many more people than coal, but President Trump isn’t focusing on the importance of renewable power in America’s energy economy, and is instead promising to revive the coal industry and double down on fossil fuels. Last year, solar jobs employed over 373,000 Americans, while the coal industry employed just over 160,000 nationwide (54,000 coal jobs were in mining). But there are more sources of energy jobs than just in power creation. Read more at the New York Times.
GOP Health Bill Penalizes Patients Who Let Insurance Lapse
If the GOP health plan that was recently approved by House becomes law, people who have health problems might have trouble buying insurance after a lapse. Insurers would still be required to offer coverage to everyone, but it would allow states to opt out of the federal law’s prohibition against charging sick people more than healthy ones. “In those states, if people have a break in coverage of more than 63 days, insurers could charge them any price for approximately a year when the consumers next apply for coverage- effectively putting health insurance out of reach for many sick people.” Read more at National Public Radio.
Milwaukee Streetcar Rails Installed Along St. Paul Ave.
A plan to connect the Milwaukee Intermodal Station with the city’s lower east side by streetcar is in progress and track is currently being laid from W. St. Pail Ave. to N. Broadway. The first streetcar is planned to arrive in Milwaukee in December. While the city will begin with four or five vehicles, they could eventually reach 24 vehicles for Milwaukee. The budget for a 2.5 mile route is at $128 million, with an approximate $3.2 million annual operating and maintenance budget. Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.