hist97229The question was: Adoption of Senate Resolution 2?
The ayes and noes were required and the vote was: ayes, 19; noes, 13; absent or not voting, 1; as follows:
Ayes - Senators Bernier, Cowles, Craig, Darling, Feyen, Fitzgerald, Jacque, Kapenga, Kooyenga, LeMahieu, Marklein, Nass, Olsen, Petrowski, Roth, Stroebel, Testin, Tiffany and Wanggaard - 19.
Noes - Senators Bewley, Carpenter, Hansen, Johnson, Larson, Miller, Ringhand, Risser, Schachtner, Shilling, Smith, L. Taylor and Wirch - 13.
Absent or not voting - Senator Erpenbach - 1.
Senator Roth, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate stand informal.
hist97228Considered as privileged and taken up.
Relating to: modifying the session schedule for the 2019-20 biennial session period for purposes of extending the deadline for the governor's budget message.
By Senator Fitzgerald; cosponsored by Representatives Vos and Steineke.
hist97235The question was: Adoption of Senate Joint Resolution 3?
The ayes and noes were demanded and the vote was: ayes, 29; noes, 3; absent or not voting, 1; as follows:
Ayes - Senators Bernier, Bewley, Cowles, Craig, Darling, Feyen, Fitzgerald, Hansen, Jacque, Johnson, Kapenga, Kooyenga, LeMahieu, Marklein, Miller, Nass, Olsen, Petrowski, Ringhand, Risser, Roth, Schachtner, Shilling, Smith, Stroebel, Testin, Tiffany, Wanggaard and Wirch - 29.
Noes - Senators Carpenter, Larson and L. Taylor - 3.
Absent or not voting - Senator Erpenbach - 1.
Senator Fitzgerald, with unanimous consent, asked that all action be immediately messaged to the Assembly:
Announcements, Adjournment Honors, and Remarks Under Special Privilege
Senator Smith, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of Jeanne Nutter. After retiring from a career in social work, Jeanne Nutter now spends her time at her family’s cabin near Gordon in northern Wisconsin. On Thursday, January 10th, 2019 Jeanne drove to her cabin later than normal. Jeanne took her dog for a walk without a real reason. Today, we are feeling grateful that the right person was in the right place at the right time when she was approached by a young girl on the road who told Jeanne that her name was Jayme Closs. A former social worker, Jeanne said her training kicked in and she tried to be as calm as possible to make Jayme feel safe. "I was not calm inside, [but] I did not want her to know that," Jeanne said. "So, I just practiced all my skills: Talk softly, don't ask her any questions.” Jeanne’s quick and strategic thinking helped move Jayme to the safety of Peter and Kristin Kasinskas’ home where Jayme later met with law enforcement and was re-connected with her family. In a world of bad news on most days we were overcome with joy of the news that Jeanne Nutter used her experience and skills as a former social worker to bring Jayme Closs to safety. Senator Smith is extremely proud of his friend and constituent and wishes to adjourn in honor of Jeanne Nutter today.
Senator Wirch, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Senator Darling, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of Scott and Tonette Walker for their services to this state.
Senator Bewley, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of Herman Hammerbeck of Superior, who turned 100 years old on January 5. Herman has spent his life serving his community and family. He served in the Army Air Force in North Africa and Italy from 1942-46. Returning home to Superior and to his wife Kathryn, the two started their family which would eventually include two sons, Bruce and Paul. In addition to working at Silver Tonsberg Printing, he became involved in youth sports in Superior. Herman was part of a group that formed the Superior Youth Organization that created Little League Baseball in Superior. He coached his son’s team to a city championship in 1961. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Superior Amateur Hockey Association. He coached the Pattison Flyers Bantams to two city championships. As a charter member of the Superior Lions Club, he earned the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the highest honor awarded by the Lions International Organization. With all that he still found time to build a summer home for his family on Whitefish Lake in Gordon WI. The only thing bad about Herman is he is a Minnesota Vikings fan.
Senator Stroebel, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of School Choice Week, which is being celebrated this week.
Senator Shilling, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of her constituent and the mother of former State Representative Marlin Schneider. If you all remember Snarlin’ Marlin Schneider he didn’t fall far from the tree with his mother Alva. Alva was 104 years old when she passed away earlier this month, and for many years Marlin would call the week of Thanksgiving, wanting to know if she was coming to Madison and if she could bring his mother, Alva, down here so he could bring her back to Wisconsin Rapids. Alva was colorful, she was full of stories. Senator Shilling recalls picking her up at her very neatly-kept home on Green Bay Street with that olive green suitcase at the side door and her harmonica in her purse, and they’d drive down and she would ask Alva to play the harmonica in the van as she drove. Alva’s granddaughter, Jeanine, works here in the legislature, she’s a page, and when Marlin called the Senator on Saturday, January 5th she was driving to Chicago, and he asked “my mother doesn’t have much longer, could you stop by the nursing home and visit with her?” She had visited with her over the years, and she had been 100 in her own home, and a celebration when she turned 100, and now at 104 she was in a nursing home. We had inauguration that week, but Senator Shilling said she certainly wanted to get back there as soon as she can, so on Thursday she was lucky that she had an opportunity to see Alva. She passed away the next day, Friday. But the Senator could sit with her and visit with her niece and some other family were there at the nursing home. But it was good to see Alva one last time. She always had this twinkle in her eye, much like Marlin had a twinkle in his eye for mischief. But she will be missed by her family. She will be certainly missed by her neighbors, many of them were generous and looked after Alva and helped with chores around the home. So Senator Shilling wanted to adjourn in celebration of Alva Schneider, and she’s appreciated her friendship over the years as we were carpool friends.
Senator Larson, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of his friend, Daniel “DG” Graham. Founder of November Project Milwaukee, DG has led the free workout group for five years, Wednesday and Friday at 6:26 am each week. Last year he even added a 5:29 am option on both days. To put that in perspective, through winter, the sun isn’t even up by the time they finish. DG may be in fact be the funniest guy in Milwaukee, he is certainly the funniest guy at 5:29 am who wasn’t up at the bars the whole night prior (as best he can tell. This may in fact be the secret of his success). The November Project started in Boston as a way to have support and community while staying in shape through the cold winter months. With the leadership of health enthusiasts like DG, the November Project has spread to 8 countries and 49 cities including the two greatest chapters, Milwaukee and Madison. DG’s outsized personality helped draw over a thousand athletes from all over the world to attend the 6th annual summit in Milwaukee (and they’re all still talking about it). Working out this early in the morning creates a special community, a tribe. And after years of enthusiastic leadership, DG is retiring after the joyous addition of his second daughter, last Sunday morning, January 13th, 2019. DG’s family grew in an exciting home birth in the family bathroom, after the contraction-inducing comedy show of comedian Seth Meyers. All who have enjoyed a healthier life and the workouts of November Project have been buoyed by DG’s oversized personality, and send their thanks to his family; Meggie, Penelope, and the newly arrived Ada Lou for sharing DG. While he is not leaving Milwaukee, or even stepping back from joining us for work outs, his enthusiasm as a leader will be missed as he ends his tenure as head of the tribe. Senator Larson adjourned in honor of his friend and wish him luck and unlimited possibilities in the future.
Senator Jacque, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of the selection of Meghan Buechel of Wrightstown as Wisconsin’s 53rd Fairest of the Fairs and the completion of her successful term as Brown County Fairest of the Fair.
Senator Jacque, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate adjourn in honor of Wisconsin’s participants in the national, Midwest and Wisconsin March for Life events this past week.
President Roth appointed Senators Marklein and Schachtner to escort his Excellency, the Governor, to the Joint Convention.
Senator Feyen, with unanimous consent, asked that the Senate recess and proceed is a body to the Assembly Chamber to meet in Joint Convention to receive the Governor’s State of the State Address, and further, that the Senate stand adjourned pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1, upon the rising of the Joint Convention.
The Senate proceeded in a body to the Assembly Chamber to meet in Joint Convention to receive the State of the State Message.
In Assembly Chamber
In Joint Convention
Senate President Roth in the chair.
The Committee to wait upon the Governor appeared with his Excellency, the Honorable Governor Tony Evers, who delivered his message as follows:
State of the State Address
“Honorable Supreme Court Justices, tribal nation leaders, Constitutional Officers, Major General Dunbar and the members of the Wisconsin National Guard as well as active and retired members of our armed forces, Senate President Roth, Majority Leader Fitzgerald, Minority Leader Shilling, Speaker Vos, and Minority Leader Hintz, cabinet members, legislators, distinguished guests, and, most importantly, people of Wisconsin: welcome, and thank you for being here.
Before we get started, I also want to recognize someone else who’s here with us tonight. He’s a Wisconsin institution and embodies both the soul of our campus and the spirit of our state, marching band director and director of bands at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Mike Leckrone.
This year marks The Professor’s 50th and final year leading UW’s marching band as he will be retiring at the end of this year. He’s directed halftime shows for nearly half of Camp Randall’s existence and has seen coaches and chancellors and band members come and go. But even more than the “stop at the top” or the 5th Quarter post-game routines, The Professor will be remembered for what a remarkable leader, teacher, and inspirer he’s been, not just for his students, but for people across our state. So, tonight, we honor The Professor and thank him for his service.
I’d also like to introduce my former junior prom date, Kathy, who’s up there in the gallery tonight. My daughter, Katie, is also here tonight, and my other kids are I’m sure watching from home with my grandkids who are going to be up way past their bedtime. Thank you for supporting me—I love you all.
I’m Tony Evers, and I’m incredibly honored to be here tonight as the 46th governor of the great state of Wisconsin to say the state of our state is that we’ve got work to do, and we’re ready for bipartisan solutions.
You know, a few weeks ago, I stood just outside of here where I took the oath of office and delivered my inaugural address. And I remind you today, just as I did weeks ago, of the spirit of our service, of the power that we have, and the responsibility that we bear.
We are a state forged by the Wisconsin Idea–the notion that education informs our public policy and that knowledge should embrace the communities we’re called to serve. But today, we are also a state among the worst to raise a black family, and we are a state that’s spending more on corrections than our entire UW System.
We are a state that once cultivated new technology–from typewriters to automobiles, we’ve led the nation in innovation. But today, we are a state that’s behind on broadband expansion, and we trail the country in start-ups and small business creation.
We are a state that was the birthplace of BadgerCare, and we’ve been a laboratory for democracy. But today, we are also a state where it’s become cheaper to get healthcare by driving across the Mississippi River.
The realities we face are bigger than me or any political party. The magnitude of our challenges requires us to put people first because, as I’ve said, that is the promise of our service.
So, tonight, I’m asking you to join me in making good on that promise by moving forward, together.
Fixing our economy remains a priority. That’s why just last week I directed the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to create an innovation and entrepreneurship committee focusing on supporting our small businesses, seeding capital funds, and technology development.
But there is more to an economy than counting job creation. And the state of our state is more than just our unemployment rate.
The opportunity we have to offer is not just the number of jobs we create; it’s counted, too, by the number of workers who will work forty hours each week and still won’t make enough to keep their family out of poverty.
The strength of our success is not found solely in fiscal surplus; it’s defined, too, by the number of our kids who will go to school hungry tomorrow.
The metric for our posterity is not just what we keep in the coffers for a rainy day; it’s measured, too, by the quality of the natural resources we’re leaving behind for our kids and their kids after them.
The state of our state is the work of Lisa, who is also in the gallery tonight. Lisa is the Founder and President of the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. The Foundation serves more than 1,000 women and girls working to eliminate health disparities affecting Black women, their families, and their communities. Thank you, Lisa!
The state of our state is also the story of Jen, who grew up in Cashton. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Jen has access to comprehensive, patient-centered care that is tailored to her needs. Being able to afford services and insurance has allowed Jen to take control of her health from preventative to reproductive to behavioral healthcare. Jen is also here in the gallery tonight. Thanks, Jen!
The state of our state is the story of Jose who came to Abbotsford, Wisconsin, from Mexico with his parents when he was twelve years old. Jose learned English through Abbotsford’s English as a second language program and gained a sense of community when he signed up to play baseball in high school. Jose decided to stay here in Wisconsin. He still lives in Abbotsford where he’s raising his sons, Marco and Nickolas, and coaches their baseball team, the Broncos. And he’s become a naturalized citizen. Jose and his son Marco are up in the gallery tonight. Thanks for being here, Jose and Marco.
The state of our state is the story of students like Alex from Boyceville Middle School. Alex’s teacher describes her as having the drive and passion that make her excited to come to work every day. Alex has worked hard to turn things around at school and is now passing all of her classes, has no missed assignments, and has gone above and beyond to help other students, too. And it’s also the story of students like Diamond from Parker High School in Janesville where the school nurse describes her as the strongest young lady she has the pleasure of knowing. Diamond’s family has had some tough times, but Diamond has persevered, is excelling in school, and has dreams of becoming a pediatrician or pediatric nurse. Diamond is here in the gallery and tonight I’m excited to announce Alex and Diamond are the first-ever recipients of the Star Student Award in Wisconsin.
When I stood before you just a few weeks ago to deliver my inaugural address, I said it was time to get to work. And we have.
But the real work—the hardest work—is yet to be done.
Last month, Mandela and I traveled across the state listening to Wisconsinites talk about their values and their vision for our future. We talked about policies and solutions that connect the dots.
And I keep saying that–connecting the dots–and I’ve been asked several times what I mean by that–it’s about seeing a forest through the trees.
It’s about seeing the connection between how lack of access to affordable housing affects kids in the classroom. It’s about seeing the connection between drug and alcohol addiction and our burgeoning criminal justice system. It’s about seeing the connection between a budding entrepreneur who wants to start their own business and how the rising costs of health insurance might push that dream out of reach.
The budget that I’ll be introducing in the coming weeks is about connecting those dots. And to no one’s surprise, it begins—as it always has for me—with education.
Connecting the dots means recognizing that what’s best for our kids is best for our state. The investment we make in our kids today will yield dividends for generations. That’s why our budget reaffirms our state’s commitment to our kids by returning to two-thirds funding for schools across Wisconsin.
I was pleased to learn that the Speaker has encouraged his members to support this provision in our budget, and I hope that I can count on your support going forward.
In addition to two-thirds funding, we’re also going to make sure that we have resources to support our kids with special needs. For the past decade, we’ve not only cut funding for public schools, we’ve failed to fully fund services for special education. This has forced local school districts and taxpayers to squeeze resources from other areas to provide these critical services. Our budget will provide an unprecedented $600 million-dollar increase in special education funding. That means our school districts will have enough to allocate the resources they do have to other areas of high need.
And we’re not just going to increase support for our kids with special needs. We’re going to get to work on closing the achievement gap for low-income students and students of color. Our state’s achievement gap is among the highest in the nation in reading and math scores. As State Superintendent, I submitted proposals that would’ve helped address our state’s achievement gap. Unfortunately, most of these proposals never made it through the Legislative process. I believe this is the year they will. And my Urban Initiatives programs will also empower minority students in our state’s highest-need districts by expanding early childhood education and summer school grant programs.
It is urgent that we increase support for our low-income students and students of color. The longer we wait to invest in closing our achievement gap, the wider the gap will get, and the more it will cost us in the long-run.
Finally, we’re going to propose a five-fold increase in mental health programs for K-12 students across our state. But funding mental health programming in our schools is not enough; so tonight, we renew our commitment to making sure everybody has access to quality, affordable healthcare.
We’ve already started working to make sure healthcare in Wisconsin is affordable and accessible. We signed executive orders creating a Healthy Communities Initiative and calling upon the Department of Health Services to prioritize these goals. We also called upon our state agencies to connect the dots and work together on how we can protect healthcare coverage for people in our state.
But our work can’t stop there. That’s why our budget will also seek to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, this will enable an additional 76,000 Wisconsinites to have access to affordable healthcare. This would also save Wisconsin taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, allowing us to reallocate those cost savings to other critical programs.
We have a real opportunity here, folks. At the end of the day, Mr. Majority Leader and Mr. Speaker, healthcare should not be a partisan issue–Republican states like Kentucky, Nebraska, and Idaho have expanded Medicaid, and so have Democratic states like Washington, California, and Minnesota. We should be able to get it done here, too.
The people of Wisconsin voted for a change this November and asked us to stop playing politics with their health care. That’s why I’m announcing tonight that I have fulfilled a promise I made to the people of Wisconsin by directing Attorney General Kaul to withdraw from a lawsuit that would gut coverage for the 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing conditions. I’ve said all along that I believe the best way to maintain protections for healthcare here in Wisconsin is to stop trying to dismantle those protections at the federal level.
In addition, we’re also going to address Wisconsin’s transportation funding crisis.
I appointed Secretary-designee Craig Thompson because I know that he will work on both sides of the aisle for a solution that works for Wisconsin. I fully expect that he will be approved with consent of the Senate.
I’ve said all along that I believe we have to bring people together to work on this issue, and I believe Secretary-designee Thompson can get it done. In the coming days, we’ll be announcing a task force of stakeholders to get to work on proposing a bipartisan policy solution to be included in The People’s Budget. The task force will solicit feedback from key partners from all regions of the state, all sectors of the economy, and users of all different modes of transportation.
And while I know that caucus members in both houses support different approaches to solving our transportation funding crisis, it’s going to take sacrifices and compromises to find a long-term, comprehensive solution that works for everyone.
But roads and bridges are only a small part of the infrastructure challenges facing our state. That’s why I’m also declaring 2019 is the Year of Clean Drinking Water in Wisconsin.
According to the Department of Health Services, 1.7 million Wisconsinites depend on private wells for water, and 47% of these wells do not meet acceptable health standards. Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we have an estimated 176,000 lead service lines across our state. Removing lead service lines could cost over $2 billion. But Pew Charitable Trusts estimates that for every $1 we spend on replacing lead drinking water lines, we will see a 133% return on our investment in higher lifetime earnings and better health outcomes.