THU AM News: Assembly fails to overturn governor’s veto of nurse training bill; Corporate taxes continued to outpace expectations in December

— Three Dem Assembly members voted to uphold Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of a bill that would have reduced the number of training hours required for nursing assistants even though they supported it when the legislation originally cleared the chamber.

Reps. Don Vruwink, of Milton, Beth Meyers, of Bayfield, and Steve Doyle, of Onalaska, joined their Dem colleagues, causing the GOP override effort to fail yesterday 63-36. That was short of the two-thirds majority needed to send the issue to the Senate.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he “would assume a person of integrity would follow through” and uphold the original vote by overriding the veto.

The Legislature hasn’t overridden a gubernatorial veto since 1985, when it rejected one of then-Gov. Tony Earl’s partial vetoes in the budget. The Legislature hasn’t overridden a veto of a full bill since 1981.

AB 76 would’ve prohibited the Department of Health Services from requiring nursing assistants from having more clinical supervised practical training than the federal minimum. Federal law currently requires no less than 75 hours of training for nurses with at least 16 hours of supervised practical training. Current Wisconsin law requires 120 hours of training.

The bill originally passed the Assembly 66-31 and cleared the Senate by voice vote.

The bill’s author Rep. Warren Petryk, R-Town of Washington, said on the floor that it wasn’t a “silver bullet” but rather “this is about getting more care for our parents, our grandparents and yes, eventually us.”

Doyle said that he would turn down the override because the bill wasn’t a “silver bullet” for curing the state’s nursing labor shortage.

See more: 

— Corporate taxes continued to outpace expectations in December, according to the latest figures from the Department of Revenue.

The agency reported corporate collections were up 78.7 percent in December compared to the same month a year ago.

For the fiscal year to date, corporate collections are up 65.2 percent compared to the same period during 2018-19.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau this spring had projected corporate tax collections would drop 14 percent in 2019-20 compared to the prior year.

The corporate numbers helped push growth in GPR tax collections of 7.3 percent for the fiscal year to date. LFB in May projected overall GPR collections would grow 1 percent in 2019-20.

The agency is expected to release new revenue projections later this month.

See the DOR release:

— Apartment rental prices in Milwaukee increased 2.4 percent over the previous year, reaching $1,199 in December, according to the most recent report from RentCafe. 

Meanwhile, West Allis had the fastest annual rent increase out of the 18 Wisconsin cities included in the report. Monthly rent increased 9.9 percent over the year to reach $1,030. Rapid growth was also seen in Menomonee Falls, which increased 6.8 percent over the year to reach $1,308. 

Apartment prices increased over the year in all but one of the cities analyzed in the report, with the only decrease seen in Verona. Average rent decreased 1.2 percent there, reaching $1,242. 

Still, more widespread price decreases were seen over the month, with falling prices in 13 cities as the industry slows during the winter season. 

The most expensive city to rent in Wisconsin is Brookfield, the report shows, with an average of $1,470 per month. The least expensive city, Racine, has an average rent of $823. 

The average rent in the state continues to be lower than the national average, which reached $1,474 at the end of last year. 

See the report: 

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has voted in favor of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement through three Senate committees after announcing her support for the deal last week. 

Dairy farmers in Wisconsin have been calling for quick passage of the USCMA as they struggle with low milk prices and uncertainty surrounding national trade policy. 

The Senate Commerce Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee all voted yesterday on a bipartisan basis to send the legislation to the full Senate. According to a release from the Madison Dem, a Senate floor vote could be held today. 

Baldwin says President Trump’s trade wars have hurt Wisconsin’s economy, highlighting the loss of more than 1,900 dairy farms since he took office.

“The president’s deal with Mexico and Canada fell short but I support the improvements Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats won to make this a better trade deal that I can support,” she said in the release. 

The USMCA passed the House last month and would go to the president’s desk if approved by the full Senate. 

See the release: 

— Rose Higgins is joining HealthMyne as its new CEO, the organization announced recently. 

According to a release, Higgins replaces Arvind Subramanian, who retired after taking the helm in September 2016.

“This is a critical time for HealthMyne as the company scales its customer base and extends its platform to new use cases and new stakeholders,” HealthMyne Board Member John Kuelper said in a statement. “Rose’s broad experience in healthcare technology will serve the company well in this time of rapid growth and development.”

Prior to HealthMyne, Higgins served as president for SCIO Health Analytics, which was acquired by EXLService Holdings Inc. in 2018. 

The Madison company provides an FDA-approved analytics platform to help cancer care providers track medical images over time.

Read an earlier story from on HealthMyne: 

See more at Madison Startups: 


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