Capitol Notes

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Republicans on the Joint Finance committee last week stripped many of Gov. Tony Evers' policy items out of his proposed budget. Evers campaigned on many of these issues, including expanding Medicaid, as well as legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing small amounts. Republicans also rejected Evers' plan to borrow up to $40 million to replace lead pipes, mostly in Milwaukee.

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Gov. Tony Evers last week sought to clarify some comments he made about Foxconn. He said he wanted to renegotiate the state's contract with the Taiwanese company because it's "unrealistic" to think it will create 13,000 jobs at the LCD screen plant it's building in Racine County — especially given the reduced size of the project. Republican Legislative leaders blasted Evers, accusing him of trying to undermine the deal. 

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Gov. Tony Evers announced last week that he wants to renegotiate the state's contract with Foxconn.  He says it's "unrealistic" to think the Taiwanese company will employ 13,000 people at the LCD screen manufacturing plant in Racine County, especially given that the size of the facility has been reduced.  

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, if Evers' announcement took him by surprise, and what a revision of the contract with Foxconn would look like.

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The results of the state Supreme Court race were finalized last week when Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who was backed by Democrats, conceded to conservative Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn. The court currently leans 4-3 conservative. When Hagedorn takes office in August, the gap will increase to 5-2 conservative.  

In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, JR Ross of wispolitics.com, tells WUWM's Marti Mikkelson that the wider gap could bode well for Republicans who control the Legislature.

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court election made headlines last week, with a race too close to call. According to unofficial totals, about 6,000 votes separate Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn, who's backed by conservatives, and Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer, who's backed by liberals. The margin between the candidates is half a percentage point.  

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News about the lame-duck laws approved in December dominated the headlines again last week in Wisconsin politics. A second Dane County judge blocked portions of the laws, which limit the powers of new Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul. Then, an appeals court reinstated the laws except for the parts that the Dane County judge blocked.

Althouse

It was a wild ride at the State Capitol last week, as a Dane County judge struck down the lame-duck laws that the Republican-led Legislature passed in December, before Democratic Gov. Tony Evers took office. The laws stripped Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul of some of their powers. 

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After months of anticipation, Milwaukee was chosen last week as the site of the Democratic National Convention in July of 2020.  The city beat out two other finalists — Houston and Miami Beach. President Donald Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016.  

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross, of wispolitics.com, what kind of message Democrats hope to send in choosing Milwaukee.  

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We've been talking about Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' proposed biennial state budget for months. Then last week, he released his capital budget — a separate plan that includes the amount of money he's proposing for construction and building projects across the state. Evers wants to borrow an additional $2 billion to renovate UW System buildings, and to build a new adult prison near the troubled Lincoln Hills juvenile facility in northern Wisconsin.  

Althouse

Gov. Tony Evers delivered his budget address late last week to rousing applause from Democrats.  He included everything from a program that wouild provide drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants -- to a repeal of the lame duck laws that the Republican-controlled legislature passed in an attempt to weaken his powers. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said last week he gives Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' plan to legalize marijuana, and decriminalize small amounts, a 10 percent chance of passing the Republican-controlled Legislature. Vos called the proposal a "very difficult sell" because it would decriminalize recreational marijuana. 

Althouse

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a middle class tax cut last week. It includes using a surplus to pay for the cut. Now, the ball is in Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' court. He also is pushing for a tax cut — but to pay for it, he wants to virtually eliminate a manufacturing tax credit. There's been talk that Evers will veto the GOP tax plan, and unveil his own, in his budget address later this month.  

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The Republican-controlled legislature is moving ahead with its plan for a middle class income tax cut.  A bill passed out of committee last week and is scheduled for floor debate Tuesday and Wednesday.  Lawmakers want to use a surplus to pay for the tax cut, while Gov. Tony Evers is pushing a plan to eliminate a tax credit for manufacturers.

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There was a lot of drama last week involving Foxconn.  The Taiwanese electronics giant said it would shift the focus of the huge plant it's building in Racine County from manufacturing LCD screens -- to research and development.  But, after a conversation between President Trump and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, the company announced that LCD screen manufacturing at the plant is back on.  

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Gov. Tony Evers raised eyebrows last week when he announced in his first State of the State address that he was directing Attorney General Josh Kaul to withdraw Wisconsin from a federal lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. 

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