Prayer Pastor Dan Schneider 012219-02.JPGTuesday was a special day as my Pastor, Dan Schneider of Immanuel Lutheran Church Brookfield, gave the prayer before session. He quoted from Dr. Martin Luther King, as he reminded members about how we should treat each other and our enemies. Thank you Pastor Dan for setting such a beautiful example.

A True Middle Class Tax Cut

Last week Thursday, my Republican colleagues and I announced our plans to pass a middle class tax cut for Wisconsin taxpayers. The permanent $340 million proposal was in part inspired by the budget surplus of $588 million that had been realized due to Wisconsin’s vibrant economy. Individuals with income of up to $100,000 and families with income of up to $155,000 will benefit from the tax cut. It will provide an increase in the allowable deduction, which diminishes as income approaches $100,000 for individuals and $155,000 for families. Governor Evers wants to raise taxes on farmers and manufacturers, who are major contributors to our economy. Hence, he wants to create a new tax, and then turn around and give it to the middle class. I cannot support a new tax when we have a surplus.

Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions

All of us have a family member with a pre-existing condition, myself included. Tuesday the Republican-led Assembly voted to require insurance companies in Wisconsin to cover pre-existing conditions; because no matter what happens with Federal ACA, we want to make sure we cover the citizens of Wisconsin. Governor Evers also asked the legislature to remove the lifetime caps on insurance coverage, which we added to the bill. The bill requires a 45-day open enrollment window to purchase insurance without being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. We can work together to build a better, healthier Wisconsin. The bill passed 76 – 19 with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill now heads to the Senate.

FoxConn Misses Targets

FoxConn announced that the company created 178 Wisconsin jobs in 2018. The target number of jobs to qualify for the tax credits were 260, thus, FoxConn will not receive the credits. The company reiterated their intention to still create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin. It deserves mention here that Governor Walker and the Republican-led Legislature put together a package of incentives for FoxConn that was carefully crafted to protect Wisconsin’s taxpayers. Critics of the FoxConn deal certainly raised several false flags about the number of jobs that would be created and the state being “on the hook” for money even if FoxConn did not meet their projected job creation goals. Critics also accused the Governor of “giving FoxConn a blank check.” The fact remains that when FoxConn misses the agreed upon goals, FoxConn doesn’t get the agreed upon tax credits. That should silence all of the FoxConn nay-sayers once and for all.  FoxConn’s financial commitment to the state has been substantial. In addition to the massive Racine facilities being built, they have purchased a major building in downtown Milwaukee, made investments in Eau Claire and Green Bay, and have announced extensive partnerships with UW-Madison and Aurora Health Care. FoxConn has also partnered with Northwestern Mutual, which will offer small business loans here in Wisconsin.