News

Flooding in Eau CLaire

The city of Eau Claire has issued a warning about potential flooding in the city. At 5 AM today the Chippewa River gauge at Grand Avenue read 770.6 feet, approximately three feet below the flood stage reading. 

The current crest projection is 771.7 feet for Tuesday, May 21. Some of the Chippewa River Trail will be below water at that point. 

As a safety precaution, the following areas are closed:

Sen. Jeff Smith - We are All One Wisconsin

Senator Jeff Smith

This past week, I met with several healthcare leaders from around the state. Dentists, dental hygienists, physicians, nurses, social workers and others discussed a whole gamut of healthcare topics.

Menomonie School District Board Meeting 5/13/2019

Menomonie School Board

Menomonie School Board 5/13/2019

Meeting agenda is attached/

1. Presentation of community awards

2, Student presentation on internship at Westconsin Credit Union.

3. Student Representative Presentation - last presentation for this school year.

5. Community Communications - new policy on community communications was read.

Jeff Smith - Knowledge is Power

Senator Jeff Smith

How many times have you heard the expression, “Knowledge is Power?” I heard it from an unexpected source last week during one of our public hearings in the Senate Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection Committee.

Constitutional boundaries need enforcement - League of Women Voters

On May 15, the Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning the legality of the December 2018 “extraordinary session.” The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is one of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit. In recent weeks, there have been some misconceptions perpetuated by those who oppose the merits of our case. Here are some facts of the lawsuit:

Valuing Our Voices

Senator Jeff Smith

During the past two months, I traveled throughout the 31st Senate District and met with constituents to hear their thoughts on the budget introduced by Governor Tony Evers. I joined Governor Evers at listening sessions in Eau Claire, Oshkosh, Kenosha, Superior and sat alongside Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members in River Falls for a public hearing. These were opportunities to listen to the comments and reactions from hundreds of Wisconsinites.

Why Wisconsin Presents A "Perfect Opportunity" For A Measles Outbreak

The United States declared measles eliminated in 2000, thanks to a sustained public health effort built around near universal use of a safe and effective vaccine. But less than two decades later, measles is back, and at a level not seen for a quarter-century, meaning a generation of healthcare workers have little experience with the disease.

Jeff Smith - Mental Health is Real Health

Senator Jeff Smith

So much can be said about mental health and yet so little has been done. We all know someone struggling with mental illness. So few receive the help they need.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been at eleven budget listening sessions. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive about Governor Tony Evers’ budget. Time and time again, many of the conversations I have with attendees is about mental health.

Wisconsin's Place In A Bewildering Milk Pricing System

A stubborn slump in milk prices is hammering Wisconsin's dairy industry. In 2015, prices plummeted, and have yet to recover. In 2018, the state lost dairy herds at a record-breaking pace, and led the nation in farm bankruptcies.

Jeff Smith - Earth Day Should Be Every Day

Jeff Smith

It’s been eight years since anyone in our executive branch of government uttered the words “climate change.” Thankfully, Governor Tony Evers brought science, common sense and the term climate change back to Wisconsin.

Menomonie School Board 4/22/2019

School Board Photo

Menomonie School Board 4/22/2019 Organizational Meeting

Reorganization Meeting - 5:30 PM

1. Call Meeting to Order \

2. Seating of Newly Elected Members

3. Roll Call and Quorum

4. Election of Board Officers

President nominations - David Styer, Amy Riddle-Swanson - results, Styer  4, Riddle-Swanson 5

Vice President nominations - David Styer, Tricia Thompson - results, Styer - 4, Thompson - 5

Treasurer nominations - David Styer - elected by consent

Budget Listening Session in Eau Claire 4/16/2019

Tony Evers

Tony Evers Eau Claire Budget Listening Session

The Governor's Budget Listening Tour rolled into Eau Claire on April 16 at the Western Wisconsin Technical College. This session was unusual in several ways for Wisconsin. For one, it has been a long time since a Wisconsin Governor has held open listening sessions where the public was invited. For another, the new Governor held this somewhat differently than normal. After an address from the Governor, Lt.

About the New Richmond Detention Center

Recently a private corporation, ICA, requested a zoning change in New Richmond for the purposes of building an ICE detention center for immigrants.  ICA already runs in Virginia and is under contract with ICE to hold immigrants there. The proposed 500-bed detention center received quite a lot of resistance in the community, especially in social media.

Breaking - ICA withdraws zoning request for ICE detention facility in New Richmond

In a press release just sent out by the City of New Richmond, the city announced that ICA has withdrawn their request for rezoning for an ICE detention facility in the city. The city recently produced a staff report on the request, and after obtaining the report ICA withdrew. According to the press release

Heavy Turnout at JFC Budget Hearing in River Falls

River Falls JFC Budget Hearing

Turnout was very heavy at the JFC Budget Hearing in River Falls on Monday. The general tone of this hearing was very different than the hearings during the Walker administration, as almost all of the testimony this time around was in favor of the Evers budget, which is much more liberal in its spending plans.

Passing the Baton

Senator Jeff Smith

The number of times I’ve heard people say, “We need to help young people engage in our community,” or “We need more young people in politics” is so common I won’t even venture to guess. It’s almost inevitable someone will say something like that at every meeting I attend.

So That Happened 4/14/2019

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I'll be poking myself in here from time to time with rambling discussions of what is happening at Wis.Community, observations, and things you may or may not find interesting. This may at some point become a podcast. Or not. Bear with me. Call it a blog. Call it the musings of a quickly-aging guy. It's an experiment.

New Richmond ICE detention center planning update

The City of New Richmond released further information on the zoning process for the proposed ICE detention center this afternoon. The city will hold a community meeting on April 23 at 4:30 PM at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, New Richmond. This is an informal discussion and will not include any action on the part of the city.

New Richmond receives zoning request for ICE detention center

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On April 4 and 5, the city of New Richmond received applications for zoning changes for a 500 bed detention center for ICE. The detention center would be built by Immigration Centers of America, a private company located in Virginia. It's not clear from the date of the application whether this will be heard in the May plan commission meeting or the June meeting. The zoning request is for a space of approximately 35 acres. The facility would be constructed near the corner of 115th St.

Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax.

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom based in New York. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox as soon as they are published.

Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system.

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.passed the Taxpayer First Act, a wide-ranging bill making several administrative changes to the IRS that is sponsored by Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa.

In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing. Companies like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied for years to block the IRS from creating such a system. If the tax agency created its own program, which would be similar to programs other developed countries have, it would threaten the industry’s profits.

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