Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Wheeler News - Afternoon State News #1 - 12/4/13

Wheeler News Service - Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - Afternoon State News #1

Editor on Duty: Thom Gerretsen (715) 389-2373
Story Contributions:
Wheeler Blog:

Here are the headlines:
The Wisconsin Assembly votes to wait three months before dropping state health insurance coverage for almost 100-thousand residents...
Kathleen Vinehout puts out another signal that she's running for governor...
Wisconsin invites Boeing to build its next generation of commercial aircraft in the Badger State.  

Here are the details:

The Wisconsin Assembly voted this afternoon to wait for three months before dropping state health insurance coverage for almost 100-thousand residents. All 59 Republicans voted for the measure along with five Democrats -- Janet Bewley, Amy Sue Vruwink, Stephen Smith, Janis Ringhand, and Brett Hulsey.  The vote was 64-to-32 in favor of Governor Scott Walker's legislation to delay the dropping of Badger Care for 77-thousand recipients above the poverty line.  Those people would not have to buy coverage under the federal Obama-care insurance exchange until March instead of later this month.  The same is true for 20-thousand other Wisconsinites who will lose state-funded coverage when the insurance pool for high-risk patients expires March 31st instead of December 31st.  Democrats objected to the bill, saying it delays the start of Badger-Care for 83-thousand childless adults below the poverty line.  Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca called that delay "shameful," and said Republicans should take federal Obama-care Medicaid funds to cover the extra three months for those making less than poverty.  The bill now goes to the Senate.


State Senate Democrat Kathleen Vinehout put out another signal today that she might run for governor next year.  The Alma lawmaker tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram that she has hired a person to run a statewide campaign.  She has not confirmed yet whether she'll make a second try for governor in 2014, after failing to win the Democratic primary for the state's top office in last year's Walker recall contest.  Many Democrats have already gotten behind former Trek Bicycle executive Mary Burke to face Republican incumbent Scott Walker next November.  If Vinehout or another Democrat runs, a primary would be held next August.  Former Congressman David Obey of Wausau is among those concerned that a primary would hurt the party's chances of winning the governor's office.  Some say a primary would sap too much campaign money, leaving Walker with a huge financial advantage in the final two-and-half months before the November Election Day.  Vinehout has said she's mostly amused by those trying to discourage her from running.


Wisconsin's job creation agency is working on a proposal to encourage Boeing to build its newest type of commercial airplane in the Badger State.  Boeing is looking for a place to construct its next-generation commercial 777-X plane.  That's after union machinists in Boeing's home state of Washington refused to accept contract concessions for health insurance and pension costs.  The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation told the Associated Press today that the state was not one of those Boeing invited to submit proposals.  However, the Badger State will still submit an application soon.  The W-E-D-C says over 140 suppliers in Wisconsin already work with Boeing, and the state is uniquely qualified to meet the company's needs.  Missouri is also working on a plan to attract Boeing.  Officials in the Show-Me-State are considering a one-point-seven billion-dollar package of incentives.