— Dem lawmakers say marijuana legalization would bring a multi-billion dollar industry to the state and help farmers survive, calling Wisconsin an “island” surrounded by states with some kind of cannabis legalization.
But the lawmakers were non-committal yesterday when asked by reporters if they would settle for a medical marijuana proposal that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos indicated he would be open to considering.
Republicans stripped Gov. Evers’ medical marijuana and decriminalization plan from the budget before sending their version to the guv, but the Rochester Republican told reporters in June shortly before the budget was signed into law that he would like to “figure out a way to get to yes” on medical marijuana in the fall.
“I’d certainly love for us to be able to have a discussion that is rational, that takes our time, that we figure out an answer to see if Republicans could actually support it who are skeptics like I am,” Vos said.
But Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, said she believed GOP lawmakers in both houses already supported a medical cannabis bill she rolled out three weeks ago alongside Sens. Jon Erpenbach, D-West Point, and Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point.
“There are no excuses for not moving this bill,” she said.
Dem lawmakers are targeting Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform and more money for education and water quality ahead of the upcoming fall floor period. But they aren’t pressuring Gov. Tony Evers to call a special legislative session on gun violence bills.
— The DNR has found evidence of PFAS contamination in creeks located in Dane and Monroe counties, as well as in three other Wisconsin bodies of water.
Results from a recent sampling study found elevated levels of one of the most widely used PFAS chemicals in Starkwater Creek in Dane County and Silver Creek in Monroe County. Lower levels of contamination were found in the other locations.
A release from DNR shows the highest concentrations of these pollutants “tended to occur” downstream from contaminated sites, and in smaller streams.
The samples were taken this summer as part of a DNR effort to determine the level of PFAS pollution in the state’s surface waters.
This first round of sampling focused on five bodies of water located near suspected PFAS contamination locations, according to a DNR release. That includes near firefighter training grounds — since PFAS chemicals have been used in firefighting foams — as well as other locations where previous testing detected PFAS contamination.
Aside from firefighting foam, PFAS chemicals have also been used in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant sprays, fast food wrappers and other products.
See the release: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=4899
— The Wisconsin Water Alliance, which represents businesses and landowners, is ramping up its efforts.
The group has started running digital ads and has added two staffers: Peter Platten, a UW-Madison grad, will serve as executive director, while Joe Fadness, whose experience in politics include Scott Walker’s campaign operation, will be senior adviser.
See one of the digital ads:
See the release:
— Baldwin Telecom is getting an $8 million loan from the USDA to upgrade broadband infrastructure in the villages of Baldwin and Woodville.
The funds are one piece of more than $152 million in new funding recently announced by the USDA, supporting 19 projects in 14 states.
In Wisconsin, the loan will go toward a system-wide fiber network upgrade for Baldwin Telecom, supporting higher broadband internet speeds for 2,352 customers in the two villages. A release from USDA shows the loan is expected to support local business growth while also improving public services.
See the full list of awards: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/USDARD_CommunityConnect_CHART100719.pdf
— Lawmakers last week circulated nine bills for co-sponsorship, including one to ban the sale of fetal tissue from an abortion.
The legislation is from Sen. Andre Jacques, R-De Pere, and Rep. Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls. A co-sponsorship memo shows the bill’s text was recently modified to strike the word “cell” from the definition of fetal body parts, among other changes.
Due to the modification, the lawmakers are extending their co-sponsorship deadline until noon Friday.
See the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyist’s summary of last week’s bills circulated: http://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/191006AWL.pdf
— SHINE Medical Technologies and Phoenix have set a world record for a nuclear fusion reaction in a steady-state system, the strongest of its kind ever produced on Earth, SHINE recently announced.
According to a release, the reaction yielded 46 trillion neutrons per second, which beat the previous record, held by the Rotating Target Neutron Source II facility in Livermore, Calif., by nearly 25 percent.
“The world record proves the accelerator technology is suitable to produce medical isotopes at the scale required to support a robust business case,” SHINE CEO Greg Piefer said in a statement.
The world record was set this summer during a demonstration of Phoenix’s third-generation gas-target neutron generator.
See more at Madison Startups: http://www.madisonstartups.com/shine-phoenix-set-world-record/
# Marquette University accepted $65K donation from family behind OxyContin maker
# Uncertainty growing in Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector as survey finds job cuts
# DNR survey detects PFAS contamination in creeks, rivers
# Milwaukee 7 completes 100th jobs win, looks to the future
– Wisconsin to benefit from ‘Farmers Grow Communities’ program
– Wisconsin cattle compete strong at WDE
– Lakefront Brewery plans open-air shelter near Milwaukee River
– School participation in e-sports grows as supporters fight for relevance
– Co:Lab civic accelerator to focus on Clarke Square, Lindsay Heights and Riverworks
# FOOD AND BEVERAGE
– New sushi restaurant proposed in downtown Milwaukee
– Fire destroys popular pub in Waushara County
– Paranet Group, STUCK want to make it easier for small manufacturers to grow
– Democrats push agenda Republicans have repeatedly opposed
– Wisconsin Senate to take up five of Gov. Tony Evers’ cabinet picks, series of bills on Tuesday
– Democrats cite public opinion, renew push for gun control, medical marijuana proposals
# REAL ESTATE
– Innovation Drive office building sold for nearly $5.7 million
– Milwaukee Bucks guard plans downtown apartment development
– Luther Group buys office in Milwaukee County Research Park, seeking tenants
– People living in Milwaukee homeless camp told to leave
– WhirlyBall opens today at Brookfield Square
– PDPF hosting Oktoberfest at the Barn this weekend
– Plain Talk: Perdue has no respect for Wisconsin’s farmers
– Jessie Opoien: Atwood’s Ice Cream Imbroglio reveals a Rocky Road ahead
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: