|Central Wisconsin Days Set for March 9-10 |
No surprise to anyone, the upcoming state budget process will be actively debated with severe budget cuts, policy changes, and organizational reform. Centergy annually takes a group of business, educational and civic leaders to Madison where meetings are held with the Governor, his cabinet, and State legislators to articulate the needs of the region and discuss the merits of current legislative activity.
Central Wisconsin Days' Tentative Itinerary
Wednesday, March 9
11:00 a.m. - Briefing session with team members to go over issues and assignments (participants will be prescheduled to make their visits in teams of four)
12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Team visits with Governor, Cabinet, Members of State Legislature
5:00 - 6:30 p.m. - Reception
Thursday, March 10
7:30 a.m. - Team Breakfast briefing
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Team visits with State Leadership
2:30 p.m. - Team Debriefing - issue follow-up
This year's event will be extremely important as we enlighten our newly elected Governor, his cabinet, and a large number of newly elected State Senators and Representatives on the strengths and needs of our region. While our agenda and supporting documents will be released in the next few weeks, we are paying close attention to Governor Walker's proposals and his priority agenda items:
- Civil Liability Reform: Lawsuit reform bill to change the legal environment by requiring plaintiffs to prove that damages were actually caused by a manufacturer's product and protecting retailers from liability of defects caused by manufacturers or distributors. The legislation would require a plaintiff to prove that the defendant acted with the intent to cause injury to collect punitive damages. It would also discourage plaintiffs from filing frivolous claims, cap non-economic damages for medical malpractice, improve rules of evidence, and protect best practices peer review information from being subpoenaed.
- Make health savings accounts more affordable by creating a non-refundable tax credit for income deposited in a health savings account.
- Grant income and franchise tax credits for two years for businesses that have done business in Wisconsin for ten years or more.
- Increase the amount available for economic development tax credits from $75 million to $100 million.
- Legislation that would require 60 votes in the Assembly and 20 votes in the Senate to pass any bill that raises taxes.
- Draft legislation to transform the Department of Commerce into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). This new authority would be led by a "chief executive officer" and a twelve member board of directors. The board of directors would be comprised of the Governor, who would serve as chairman, and eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. WEDC would be required to report to the legislature annually and subject to annual audits by the Legislative Audit Bureau.
- Small business legislation that would provide tax relief for businesses with gross receipts of less than $50,000 per year. The legislation would allow a business with gross receipts of $250,000 or less to claim a tax credit of 15 percent of its total tax liability. The credit fades gradually until a business reaches gross receipts of $500,000. Businesses would be able to claim the credit on income earned starting on 1/01/11.
- Executive Order #2: Create Governor's Commission on Waste, Fraud, and Abuse.
- Regulatory reform in which the draft legislation would state that an agency may not create rules more restrictive than the regulatory standards or thresholds provided by the legislature, that it will allow rules to be challenged in the county circuit court where the plaintiff resides, and that it would require the Governor to approve proposed rules.
We encourage a good mix of business, educational, community and civic leaders to join us. Please contact the Centergy office to register for the event.
We look forward to seeing you at Central WI Days!
Barb Barb Fleisner