TUE AM News: A tale of two key central locations: Wisconsin and Luxembourg kick off trade mission; Court rules tomorrow on Evers’ COVID emergencies

— Collaboration between a variety of Wisconsin and Luxembourg industries have begun via a state virtual trade mission that aims to build on ties dating back to the 1800s. 

The relationship between Wisconsin and Luxembourg dates back to the 19th century with the emigration of nearly one-third of Luxembourg citizens to the U.S. — notably to the Village of Luxemburg in Door County. 

Today, you can find a community of 350,000 Wisconsinites with Luxembourg ancestry, areas where Lëtzebuergesch is still spoken and stores selling Luxembourg wine, beer and traditional mustard.

“The ability of business and leaders from our state and your country to connect virtually at this time is a testament to the strength of our bonds, and the resourcefulness and creativity that makes Wisconsin such a great place to do business,” Gov. Tony Evers said in his opening address yesterday.

He touted Wisconsin’s vaccination rate and pandemic recovery before telling viewers that the state’s attention is turning to economic recovery. 

“We need to bounce back better and ensure we’re looking forward and beyond the pandemic. So our state is making big investments in the things that make us competitive on the global stage,” Evers said, noting schools, roads and broadband are key investments. 

“Global trade and investment are key parts of our plan to move forward,” he added.

Read the full story at WisBusiness.com: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2021/a-tale-of-two-key-central-locations-wisconsin-and-luxembourg-kick-off-trade-mission/  

—  The trade mission’s second day focuses on financial technology. 

WEDC Deputy Secretary Sam Rikkers and Fiserv Inc. Chief Digital and Data Officer Byron Vielehr will give an opening introduction today. 

The “Future of Banking” roundtable will feature Vielehr and Wisconsin Bankers Association President and CEO Rose Oswald-Poels representing Wisconsin. The “Future of Insurance” roundtable will feature Wisconsin panelists Northwestern Mutual Managing Director Craig Schedler, Madison-based Understory Weather CEO Alex Kubicek and CUNA Mutual Group analyst Laura Sievert.

Cindy Tereba, the director of international affairs at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce said the country has a strong fintech industry. Luxembourg is also a very important European financial hub — the second-biggest hub of funds after the U.S., Tereba said. 

The final day of the virtual trade mission, tomorrow, is all about startups.

“You have a very vibrant startup community,” she told WisBusiness.com. “We also of course are looking into developing our startup community. It’s a very international community, so they are much more eager to go abroad and see what other countries are doing, especially the U.S. market.”

Learn more about the virtual trade mission and register at: https://www.tradeandinvest.lu/event/digital-trade-mission-to-wisconsin-2021/ 

— Gov. Tony Evers has announced plans to spend at least part of the $3.2 billion the state is slated to receive from the $1.9 trillion federal relief bill.

Evers announced $2.5 billion of the new funds for economic recovery efforts. That includes $600 million for small businesses and another $50 million for the state’s tourism industry.

Along with that, Evers wants to spend $500 million on the state’s pandemic response with another $200 million in infrastructure spending.

Evers said the infrastructure portion will include helping expand broadband access. The guv proposed in the budget spending $200 million on broadband access, and Republicans have indicated support for the effort. But they haven’t signaled how much of the $200 million plan they’re willing to embrace.

The federal funds would be in addition to what’s approved in the budget.

Evers said he wants to give money to those areas because it’s all taxpayer dollars and “the money belongs to them, the people.”

The new relief will be distributed once the state receives more guidance on how to best spend it. Once that happens, “we can work to get these funds out quickly to make sure they don’t get tied up in some political fight in the Legislature,” Evers said.

“I’ve said this time and time again, I don’t care who gets the credit. It’s never been about that for me and it never will be,” he said. “I just want to get this done and get money in the pockets to make sure that our state bounces back, and better than before.”

— The Wisconsin Supreme Court tomorrow will release a long-awaited court ruling on whether Gov. Tony Evers has the power to issue multiple public health declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the guv first issued a public health emergency a year ago, the state Supreme Court last May overturned the extended order Evers’ administration issued.

Evers then followed that with a new public health emergency in late summer that served as the foundation for his first mask mandate. Evers has issued multiple declarations since to continue extending the mask mandate, including one last month after the Legislature voted to rescind one of his declarations.

The court heard oral arguments in the case Nov. 16; the statewide requirement for face coverings ends a week from today.

A top official from the state Department of Health Services said during a Milwaukee Press Club/WisPolitics.com event yesterday that another mask mandate is currently under consideration. See below for more from that event.

— Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says people 16 and older will be able to get vaccinated before May 1.

“I anticipate that very soon we’ll be making an announcement that it will be sooner than May 1,” she said in yesterday’s Milwaukee Press Club/WisPolitics.com virtual luncheon.

She said making the decision to start eligible groups is a moving target based on vaccine supply and how many people want to get vaccinated.

The agency already moved the eligibility for the next group — people 16 and older with a chronic condition — up by a week. The group started eligibility last week, but originally was going to have to wait until today. That new group is the largest group of any phase, so opening up eligibility for the remainder of the general public in the next month will be a smaller addition to the candidate pool than previous updates.

“It was very important to us that we gave people with chronic conditions a head start before the general public because of the risk the virus poses to them,” she said. “We continue to evaluate supply, which is thankfully increasing each week, and we’ll make a decision about when we’ll be ready for the total population very soon here.”

— Meanwhile, the Evers administration announced 1 million Wisconsinites have been fully vaccinated.

See the release: https://www.wispolitics.com/2021/gov-evers-dhs-announce-one-million-wisconsinites-have-been-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-19/

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— DATCP expects to publish an emergency rule in May that would provide a pathway for hemp growers to remediate their crop if an initial regulatory THC test exceeds the limit. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a final rule for the establishment of a domestic hemp production program. Wisconsin will continue operating under the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill through 2021, but the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is working to establish an emergency rule that will allow growers to take advantage of some provisions of the final rule this year.

In accordance with the federal final rule, the department’s emergency rule will provide a pathway for hemp growers to remediate their crop if an initial regulatory THC test identifies that the crop exceeds the regulatory limit of 0.3 percent total delta-9 THC. 

While the remediation options are limited to certain federally permitted methods, they do provide an alternative to crop destruction. This will help reduce the risk of being suspended from the program due to elevated delta-9 THC levels, which is not uncommon as growers continue to learn about hemp and evaluate its different varieties, according to DATCP.

See more: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/HempLicensing.aspx

— Seven Northwestern Mutual financial advisors have been named to the 2021 edition of the Forbes Top Women Wealth Advisors in America list.

Northwestern announced the advisors recognized are Delynn Alexander, Christina Collins, Jacqueline Fish, Shannon Ouellette, Monica Sinha, Jennifer Torrey and Tracy VanDyke.

“I’m incredibly proud of these talented advisors and the impact they make,” said Northwestern Chief Commercial Officer Aditi Javeri Gokhale. “As we close out Women’s History Month, it’s fitting that we are celebrating this distinguished group of advisors who are making a difference at Northwestern Mutual, in the industry, and for clients.”

— Wisconsin Counties Association Services, Inc. presented a Racine County homeless shelter, the Traditional Living Center, with a $5,000 donation to support its work providing families with temporary shelter and services. 

President Mark D. O’Connell made the donation yesterday in partnership with the Public Finance Authority to Transitional Living Center Executive Director Cristen Chaffee. State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave, both supporters of Transitional Living Center, were in attendance. 

WCA Services, Inc. donates each year to organizations that provide services to benefit Wisconsin communities. The Transitional Living Center, which has been operating since 1993, assists families undergoing homelessness due to job loss, mental illness, domestic abuse and abandonment.

“The Transitional Living Center has played a vital role in providing hope, services and a shelter for those experiencing homelessness,” said Vos, R-Rochester. “As a longtime supporter of this organization, I know that this donation from WCA Services, Inc. will provide Transitional Living Center with additional resources to assist homeless individuals and help them get back on their feet.”

— North Shore Bank says it has raised over $23,000 to support efforts by local nonprofit hunger relief organizations in Wisconsin.

North Shore locations in Southeastern Wisconsin donated $4,500 through donation matching during the Bank on Kindness community give-back program in February. Local residents donated over $17,000 to the program. The rest of the dollars were raised during North Shore Bank’s 12th annual “Race for the Hungry” event at a Menasha Piggly Wiggly.

“We’re thrilled that together we were able to fundraise almost $22,000 for food banks across the state in just one month,” said Susan Doyle, senior vice president of retail banking at North Shore Bank. 

North Shore Bank donated the month to seven food pantries in southeast Wisconsin, and two pantries in Green Bay and Menasha.


# Wisconsin’s Vaccine Rollout Has Scored Well. Experts Say Mass Sites, Clear Messages Can Help In Next Phase 


# New hotel near Fiserv Forum passes first city review 


# ‘Every little bit helps’: Wisconsin bars take advantage of cocktails to go law 



– Nomination forms due for position on Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin board https://www.weau.com/2021/03/29/nomination-forms-due-for-position-on-dairy-farmers-of-wisconsin-board/

– Hemp Growing Rules Are Changing to Benefit Wisconsin’s Farmers https://shepherdexpress.com/hemp/cannabis/hemp-growing-rules-are-changing-to-benefit-wisconsins-farme/


– Port Of Duluth-Superior Hopes To Rebound From ‘Pandemic Plague’ In The 2021 Shipping Season https://www.wpr.org/port-duluth-superior-hopes-rebound-pandemic-plague-2021-shipping-season


– UW Oshkosh seeks critical investment in teacher education https://uwosh.edu/today/95670/uw-oshkosh-seeks-critical-investment-in-teacher-education/

– Education Dept. Restores Debt Cancellation For Some Borrowers With Disabilities https://www.wpr.org/education-dept-restores-debt-cancellation-some-borrowers-disabilities


– Making a Difference: “Can Man” passionate about recycling and the environment https://www.nbc15.com/2021/03/29/making-a-difference-can-man-passionate-about-recycling-and-the-environment/

– ‘I can’t trust them anymore’: Residents of Fort Atkinson shocked that 2019 petroleum spill by Enbridge went unreported for over a year https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/wisconsin/2021/03/29/enbridge-energy-2019-wisconsin-spill-went-unreported-over-year/7007012002/


– Wisconsin’s 7-day positivity rate stays under 3% as 1.7M residents receive at least 1 dose of COVID vaccine https://www.channel3000.com/wisconsins-7-day-positivity-rate-stays-under-3-as-1-7m-residents-receive-at-least-1-dose-of-covid-vaccine/

– DHS advises against unnecessary travel amid rise in cases, detection of COVID-19 variants https://www.wrn.com/2021/03/dhs-advises-against-unnecessary-travel-amid-rise-in-cases-detection-of-covid-19-variants/


– Mounting Bills And Sleepless Nights: Self-Employed, Gig Workers Struggle Through Months-Long Wait For Unemployment https://www.wpr.org/mounting-bills-and-sleepless-nights-self-employed-gig-workers-struggle-through-months-long-wait


– Undocumented immigrants qualify for rent relief, but Wisconsin sends mixed signals https://www.channel3000.com/undocumented-immigrants-qualify-for-rent-relief-but-wisconsin-sends-mixed-signals/


– No action from Wisconsin lawmakers more than a year after National Guard sex assault scandal https://madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/no-action-from-wisconsin-lawmakers-more-than-a-year-after-national-guard-sex-assault-scandal/article_7f2e2c2b-b2f1-5397-bfde-d35a8900f4e3.html

– Gov. Evers vetoes bill that would have required legislative oversight over COVID relief funds https://www.channel3000.com/gov-evers-vetoes-bill-that-would-have-required-legislative-oversight-over-covid-relief-funds/


– Real estate spotlight: Lessons learned from adaptive reuse projects that transformed Milwaukee-area communities https://biztimes.com/real-estate-spotlight-lessons-learned-from-adaptive-reuse-projects-that-transformed-milwaukee-area-communities/


– In the 608: Local tortilla company getting statewide recognition https://www.channel3000.com/in-the-608-local-tortilla-company-getting-statewide-recognition/


– Green Bay Packers’ Titletown Development welcomes Breakthrough as first company to join Titletown Office https://www.packers.com/news/green-bay-packers-titletown-development-welcomes-breakthrough-as-first-company-t


– WI Idea Spotlight shines on future of the dairy industry https://www.wisfarmer.com/story/news/2021/03/29/wisconsin-idea-spotlight-shines-future-dairy-industry/7041753002/


– SubFest, Kites Over Lake Michigan and more popular events will return to Manitowoc in 2021 https://www.htrnews.com/story/news/2021/03/29/subfest-parades-and-more-events-return-manitowoc-summer/7020030002/


– DOT looking for insight on second train going through Columbus, Dells and Portage https://www.wiscnews.com/portagedailyregister/news/dot-looking-for-insight-on-second-train-going-through-columbus-dells-and-portage/article_ad568476-8f92-5fc5-8990-be9082a92ae0.html


– Nathan Houdek: Innovative prescription drug budget proposal will help Wisconsin families https://madison.com/ct/opinion/column/nathan-houdek-innovative-prescription-drug-budget-proposal-will-help-wisconsin-families/article_153c071c-0cb8-54ad-a83c-1a3c736342e3.html

– We need a new state history museum that represents all of us https://milwaukeenns.org/2021/03/29/opinion-we-need-a-new-state-history-museum-that-represents-all-of-us/


<i>See these and other press releases: 

https://www.wisbusiness.com/press-releases/ </i>