Sunday January 24, 2021

Moving Forward with Facts & Reason

News Feeds:
The News

Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity Releases Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 17 December 2020 14:09

wisconsin_farmTop 10 recommendations included would commit state government to rural prosperity, create new partnerships with rural and tribal communities, and invest to address rural Wisconsin’s most promising opportunities.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity has released “Rural Voices for Prosperity: A Report of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity,” which calls for coordinated measures across state government to meet the needs of Wisconsin’s rural communities.

The report features 10 overarching recommendations that, taken together, would commit state government to a comprehensive approach to rural prosperity, create new partnerships with rural and tribal communities in the designing and delivering state services, and invest more thoughtfully to address rural Wisconsin’s critical challenges and most promising opportunities. The report can be found here.

tony-evers“I want to thank the members of the commission who’ve done an extraordinary job this year seeking out and listening to rural voices and communities to make recommendations to move our state forward together,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “This report provides a critically important view of what rural residents and community leaders across our state need as we begin crafting our 2021-23 state budget and other important priorities.”

Gov. Evers created the commission in January as part of his State of the State address. The 12 commission members are community leaders from across the state who reflect the breadth of rural and tribal economies, professions, and populations.

From August through mid-October, the commission conducted three virtual conversations open to all rural Wisconsinites, invited anyone to submit written ideas through the Commission website, and met in-person or virtually with stakeholder groups. Over 500 people from across the state provided their ideas to the Commission.

Commissioner Gina Tomlinson of Buffalo County echoed the reaction of all the Commissioners, “Wisconsinites took this opportunity to come forward and share their rural communities’ challenges and concerns. It is my hope and dream that this report will help rural Wisconsin move forward to not only to survive but thrive.”

The 10 overarching recommendations include:

  • Create and appropriately resource a place within the Wisconsin state government that understands and champions the unique attributes of rural Wisconsin—including Native Nations;
  • Continue the governor’s efforts to make the needs and priorities of rural communities and Native Nations a forethought, rather than an afterthought;
  • Take an “all-of-government approach" to doing right by rural and tribal communities;
  • Ensure rural places and Native Nations in rural Wisconsin get a fair shake in accessing state and federal resources;
  • Look beyond Wisconsin’s borders for good ideas;
  • Unleash the full power of communities to innovate and act by updating state laws that restrict local agency;
  • Reinvest in the Wisconsin Idea and the University of Wisconsin, its satellite campuses, and our state’s network of community and technical colleges as unique and valuable assets;
  • Rebalance state business incentives to ensure economic development prioritizes the assets of Wisconsin people, communities, and businesses;
  • Invest in vital ingredients for our better future; and
  • Continue the work of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity.

In addition to the 10 overarching recommendations, the report summarizes what residents told the Commission –  including challenges that are stifling rural prosperity, how the state and local governments have been helpful, and promising ideas worth exploring. Those ideas include:

  • Establishing a strategic roadmap for Wisconsin’s forestry sector;
  • Investing in agricultural supply chain gaps that inhibit market development, such as meat processing infrastructure and workforce development;
  • Supporting childcare professional development, mentoring, and information sharing;
  • Elevating success stories from rural Wisconsin communities that have succeeded at providing better broadband and coverage;
  • Examining how the state could encourage more investment in renewable energy projects; and
  • Boosting state support for outdoor recreation project implementation.

Commissioner Dave Falk of Wood County noted, “The passion the participants in our listening sessions have for their communities was evident during every session.  While our rural communities are very diverse, spanning all four corners of the state, there were many common areas of concern.”

Commissioner Tom Landgraf of Dane County added, “The readers of this report will gain insight into the unique and significant issues facing rural Wisconsin residents. They will also get a glimpse at strategies to enhance rural economic and community development, education, health systems, housing, technology, innovation, and agriculture.”

Commissioners were assisted in their work by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC) Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP), with assistance from the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group (Aspen CSG). The public input received by the Commission is already being used to tackle a top issue in rural communities—broadband. This fall ORP launched the Broadband Connectors Pilot Initiative in partnership with the Public Service Commission to provide technical assistance to six communities in qualifying for public- and private-sector broadband expansion funds.

“The commission’s report and the Broadband Connectors Pilot Initiative are just the first steps in our efforts to ensure vibrant, successful rural communities that will be home to many more generations of Wisconsinites,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “I am excited to receive their report and get to work implementing many of these suggestions.”

Wisconsin is one of only few states to establish a rural-specific coordinating office in state government.

“The need for a rural lens when designing both state and federal policy and programs – and for engaging rural people in that design – is emerging across the country as critical to changing rural prospects,” said Janet Topolsky, executive director of Aspen CSG. “The fact Wisconsin has established its new Office of Rural Prosperity and this commission is clear evidence that state leaders recognize that need.”

Commissioner Pamela Boivin of Menominee County said, “As a Menominee tribal member, I am proud to have been a part of this process to give our rural communities the platform to showcase their values along with their unique assets.”

The commission hopes to continue the discussion with rural Wisconsinites beyond this report – and for opportunities to move forward with ideas discussed in the report, whether that’s through the upcoming biennial budget process, working with state agencies and programs, or looking for support through federal government and new public-private partnerships.

Commissioner Jeff Tucker of Eau Claire County summed up these hopes: “I truly believe our work will help our state leadership develop a plan for the prosperity and sustainability of rural Wisconsin for generations to come.”

To learn more about the work of the Commission and to read the full report, please visit:

Budgeting to Reflect the Will of the People PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Wednesday, 16 December 2020 08:35

amstuck-and-othersSen. Smith writes about the budget process and People’s Budget listening sessions hosted by Governor Evers. Wisconsinites need to know they can get involved and advocate at every stage of the process.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 16:01
DHS has Activated the Federal Government's Pharmacy Distribution Program for COVID-19 Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 16 December 2020 06:31

walgreensProgram is a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the national pharmacy chains Walgreens and CVS.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 17:06
Software Firm Expert Institute Selects Milwaukee for Midwest Office PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 15 December 2020 16:25

milw-3rd-wardCompany is latest tech business to invest in southeastern Wisconsin

Wisconsin Receiving First Shipment of Pfizer Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 15 December 2020 15:03

covid-19-vaccine-shipmtState ready to enact the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Program

WI Electoral College Votes Go Unanimously To President-Elect Joe Biden, VP-Elect Kamala Harris PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Tuesday, 15 December 2020 10:53

biden-harris-pusaWisconsin Electoral College met Monday to assign Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 December 2020 14:54
Biden hits 270 votes, clinches Electoral College victory PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Monday, 14 December 2020 17:16

biden-winner-thillThe traditionally pro forma process received top billing this year as Trump and his allies sought to sow doubt in and overturn the results.

Supreme Court rejects Texas' push to overturn Biden victory PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Hill Press   
Friday, 11 December 2020 22:06

donald-trump-littleThe ruling was a repudiation to Trump, as well as the 18 GOP state attorneys general and 126 House Republicans who had backed the lawsuit.

Flags to Half-Staff as a Mark of Respect for Capt. Durwood "Hawk" Jones PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 December 2020 11:16

f-16-wi-natl-guardWisconsin Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing pilot lost Dec. 8 on routine training mission in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #98 ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for Capt. Durwood "Hawk" Jones. Capt. Jones was a pilot with the 115th Fighter Wing out of Truax Field Air National Guard Base in Madison and passed away on Tues., Dec. 8, 2020 while participating in a routine training mission in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

tony-evers“Capt. Jones was a decorated combat veteran, a selfless hero serving both at home and abroad, and a caring father, husband, and son,” said Gov. Evers. “Our hearts break for his wife and kids and his family, and Kathy and I join the people of our state in offering our condolences. We will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers. We're thinking of all of Capt. Jones' loved ones and his fellow service members in the 115th Fighter Wing and the Wisconsin National Guard.”

Executive Order #98 is effective at sunrise on Dec. 12, 2020, until sunset on Dec. 18, 2020, and is available here.

Wisconsin to receive $60,000 Grant to Restore State Capitol Statues PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Friday, 11 December 2020 10:38

wisc-capitol-domeAdministration Provides Update on Vel Phillips Memorial

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced that the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) was awarded two federal grants totaling $60,000 to assist with the restoration costs of the "Forward" and Col. Hans Christian Heg statues that were damaged earlier this year. The grants are from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

In July, Gov. Evers encouraged the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board (SCERB) to consider diversifying the State Capitol statues to more accurately represent the leaders who have contributed to Wisconsin's history by honoring the late Vel Phillips with a statue on the Capitol grounds.

tony-evers-democratic-gov“This is great news and we appreciate the NEH and NEA for their support in restoring and preserving our state history,” said Gov. Evers “I look forward to not only getting Col. Heg and Forward back up on their feet at the Capitol, but also exploring new options to make the Capitol grounds a more accurate reflection of our state's diversity and history.”

The restoration process for both statues began following approval of the SCERB in July. The statues are anticipated to be reinstalled in the summer of 2021.

Gov. Evers also announced a community advisory committee working on a proposal to SCERB to erect a monument on the Capitol grounds honoring the late Vel Phillips. The committee is chaired by Dave Endres, Corporate Legal Counsel for American Family Insurance, and includes:

  • Michael Phillips, son of Vel Phillips
  • Michael Johnson, President and CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County
  • Jessica Cavazos, President and CEO, Latino Chamber of Commerce
  • Anthony Cooper, CEO of Focused Interruption Coalition
  • Shelia Stubbs, State Representative, 77th Assembly District
  • Angela Arrington, Senior Attorney for Alliant Energy, Delta Sigma Theta
  • Jake Brown, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County
  • Lucy Mathiak, Former MMSD Board member, Historian

The community committee anticipates bringing a proposal to SCERB in early 2021. Phillips was the first African American woman to graduate from UW-Madison Law School, to win a seat on Milwaukee’s City Council, and to become a judge in Wisconsin. She also made national history when she became the first statewide elected African American in the state of Wisconsin as secretary of state.

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 December 2020 11:13
$3.25 million Goes to Wisconsin Ethanol Producers PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Thursday, 10 December 2020 11:22

farmer-wicornBesides producing a renewable source of fuel, ethanol plants in Wisconsin help drive demand for high-value corn crops.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 7 of 100
Tweet With Us:


Who's Online

We have 218 guests online

Follow on Twitter

Copyright © 2021. Green Bay Progressive. Designed by