THU AM News: Virginia lawmaker seeking to add electric vehicle requirement to Oshkosh contract with USPS; SHINE signs supply agreement with California company

— A federal lawmaker from Virginia is leading an effort to prohibit the United States Postal Service from proceeding with a truck contract with Oshkosh Defense unless at least 75 percent of the vehicles are electric or zero-emission. 

The legislation, called the Green Postal Service Fleet Act of 2022, is from Democratic U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly. The contract in question is reportedly worth around $11 billion. 

Connolly wrote on Twitter the bill has 68 cosponsors and aims to “put an end to DeJoy’s contract for gas-guzzling delivery vehicles,” referring to U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. 

His remarks come on the heels of the U.S. Senate passing the Postal Service Reform Act, an over $100 billion effort to overhaul elements of the USPS including how health care coverage for its employees is handled. It would also require USPS to create an online dashboard for tracking delivery times, among other changes. The bill passed the U.S. House last month. 

In response to Connolly’s legislation, Oshkosh Defense said its contract with USPS allows for flexibility in the types of vehicles provided.  

The company said in a statement that USPS “will be able to replace their fleet of 30+ year-old Long Life Vehicles (LLV) with a much more sustainable fleet of both zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEV) and low-emission internal combustion vehicles (ICE), built on a common chassis,” pointing to the company’s “next generation delivery vehicle,” or NGDV. 

“Under the NGDV Contract, Oshkosh can produce any mix of BEV and ICE vehicles, up to 100% BEVs, that the USPS wants. The NGDV contract provides the USPS with the flexibility to order a higher proportion of battery electric vehicles as funding becomes available,” the company said. 

See the bill text here: 

— SHINE Technologies has signed a clinical supply agreement with a California biotech company called ImaginAb to support development of cancer treatments. 

Under the agreement, the Janesville-based nuclear technology company will be providing ImaginAb with a material called lutetium-177, which it will use to develop radioactive drug treatments for various cancers. 

This material can be combined with some form of targeting molecule to irradiate cancer cells while avoiding damaging healthy tissues. SHINE will be supplying the lu-177 now for ImaginAb’s development efforts and therapeutic clinical trials planned for next year. 

ImaginAb CEO Ian Wilson said having a “robust supply chain is key” for these types of therapies. 

“Partnering with SHINE for our Lu-177 supply offers access to what we feel will become one of the largest and most reliable sources in the world for this isotope,” he said in a statement. 

See the release: 

— Outgoing UW System President Tommy Thompson is calling for greater investments in public health and a new division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for communicating with the public. 

Speaking during a recent luncheon in Madison, he said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be focused on its role of analyzing and understanding infectious diseases, rather than issuing public health guidance. 

“That should be left up to the people in Congress and the president of the United States,” said Thompson, who previously served as HHS secretary under former President George W. Bush. 

He advocated for a “reorganization” of the federal agency to create a public health division that could translate the latest findings from the CDC and the National Institutes of Health into effective messaging. 

“Compile that, and use that information to make out the pronouncements for the state of Wisconsin and other states — that’s the direction we should go,” he said. 

Thompson said public health spending has been lacking for many years, noting the United States was relatively unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. He warned the next pandemic or COVID-19 variant is coming, arguing “we have to be ready” when it arrives. 

“That’s why the investment in public health at the state level and the national level is so darn important,” he said. 

Watch the video: 

See more from the luncheon here: 

— The state Senate has voted to ban discriminating against someone over whether they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine and to prohibit governors from declaring some businesses non-essential.

AB 316 would ban the state and local governments from discriminating against someone based on whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or can show proof that they have. It passed on a voice vote.

Meanwhile, AB 912 would ban guvs from declaring some businesses non-essential. During his stay-at-home orders, Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed some businesses essential, which allowed them to stay open while others that didn’t make the list weren’t. The bill was approved 20-12.

The bills now head to Evers. 

See more in Quorum Call: 

— Evers has announced nearly $5 million in more health care infrastructure grants, funding projects in Janesville and Edgerton. 

About $1.1 million of that figure will go to HealthNet of Rock County to expand services including patient transportation and adding more dental clinic capacity. And another $3.8 million is going to Edgerton Hospital and Health Services for a new facility to boost access to mental health care, pain management, pediatric services and orthopedics. 

In a separate release, Evers said more than $97 million overall has been awarded through the Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Investment Grant Program for projects around the state. 

See the release: 

— The Department of Workforce Development is accepting applications for a $3.1 million round of worker training grants through April 15. 

The agency yesterday announced the availability of these Wisconsin Fast Forward grants, which help cover the cost of occupational training for unemployed or underemployed workers, as well as current employees. 

Grants in this latest round will range from $5,000 to $400,000, requiring matching funds of 50 percent, a DWD release shows. Program requirements include 85 percent of participants completing the training, 65 percent gaining employment or getting upgraded to full-time or permanent status, and 75 percent of participating current employees receiving pay raises. 

See the release, including a list of prior recipients: 

— Brady USA’s Milwaukee manufacturing facility has been accepted into the Department of Natural Resources’ Green Tier program as a Tier 1 participant. 

As a Tier 1 participant in the program, the facility is committing to reducing environmental impacts through a management system. The company’s environmental goals include reducing wastewater discharges, air emissions and hazardous waste, as well as reducing energy consumption by improving system efficiencies, replacing cooling towers and more. 

Brady USA manufactures signage, labels and other products related to safety, compliance and environmental regulations. Its other Wisconsin location, located in Glendale, has been part of the Green Tier program since August 2021. 

See the release: 

See details on the facility’s participation: 

See more on the program: 


# Dairyland exploring nuclear energy in NuScale agreement

# Report: Wisconsin’s wealthiest benefit most from declining tax rates

# Milwaukee Film Festival returns to local cinemas next month



– Wisconsin officially sets new milk production record in 2021

– Seefeldt re-elected vice-chair of National Dairy Board


– Integrity Grading on top in bidding for University Avenue rebuilding project

– Building blocks: Resurfacing Green Bay Road in Brown Deer, Mequon

– County’s proposed $45 million contribution to new Milwaukee Public Museum building moves forward


– PDPF launches ‘Plant A Seed, Inspire A Dream’ campaign

– Despite financial hurdles, undocumented college students in Wisconsin chase their dreams

– Wisconsin juniors took the ACT this week. Their scores may be used to gauge pandemic effects — but may not factor into college admissions.


– Milwaukee performing arts organizations easing Covid-19 safety protocols


– Milwaukee County sees record number of drug overdose deaths in 2021


– Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee opens new center focused on job readiness training


– Shari Black named Wisconsin State Fair Park CEO

– Shari Black named Wisconsin State Fair Park CEO

– See 2021 pay for top Kohl’s execs, including CEO Michelle Gass


– Madison, Dane County pick permanent men’s homeless shelter site

– ‘This is the missing piece’: Madison, Dane County pick site for men’s homeless shelter

– Chicago developer revives food, entertainment remake of West Allis factory on National Avenue

– Remotely expanding mid-term rental options in Madison and Milwaukee


– Couple with Harley-Davidson, GE Healthcare engineering experience launch camper van business


– Evers urges Congress to pause 18-cents-a-gallon gas tax

– Sun Country adds four new routes that include two Wisconsin destinations


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