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Inside Wisconsin politics. In just two minutes.

You live a busy life and there’s a lot going on in the legislature. But now you just need (about) two minutes. Introducing WMC’s brand new show, the Two Minute Drill! Hear from experts, elected officials and other guests about the issues affecting your business.

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Episode 27: 34,000 Manufacturing Jobs Created After Tax Credit (August 24, 2016)

The Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit will fully phase in this year, nearly eliminating the state income tax liability for those industries. Experts say the state is adding jobs while nearby neighbors like Illinois are experiencing slowed growth, particularly in manufacturing.

In this episode we travel to sheet metal fabricator Argon Industries in Milwaukee and meet with UW-Madison Economist Noah Williams, who studied how the credit is affecting employment levels.

Episode 26: Right to Work Reinstated (June 2, 2016)

A Wisconsin appeals court has reversed the Dane County judge who struck down the Right to Work law in April. Now the law is back in full effect while proceedings continue in the appeals court and possibly state supreme court.

Hear from WMC’s Chris Reader and Ogletree Deakins’ Tim Costello, who submitted a successful amicus brief in the case for WMC.

Costello expects a final decision by the fall. You can learn more about our amicus brief here and even read the full text here. The court’s latest decision is available to view here.


Episode 25: Right Back in court – The Right to Work update (April 28, 2016)

This month a Dane County judge struck down a portion of the state’s year-old Right to Work law. Now Attorney General Brad Schimel and his team at the Department of Justice are heading back to court, attempting to stay the judge’s new ruling while the case heads to an appeals court and possibly the state Supreme Court.

Hear from Attorney General Brad Schimel and WMC’s Scott Manley about why the latest ruling may not affect your company yet, and why it’s important to wait for the court battle to play out before making any changes to agreements with employees.


Episode 24: Reining in the regulators (March 8, 2016)

A new bill would clamp down on overreaching state regulators. Unelected Madison bureaucrats can currently enact expensive regulations without approval from lawmakers, jeopardizing our state’s business climate. The REINS Act (AB 251) would require any regulation that could cost businesses more than $10 million over two years get approval from our elected representatives in the legislature.

The Assembly approved the bill, and a vote in the Senate on their last day in session March 15 could send this major pro-business reform to the Governor’s desk.


Episode 23: The EPA’s $292 billion mistake (November 18, 2015)

The numbers are in, and the Clean Power Plan could cripple major industries like manufacturing with energy hikes in some areas higher than 30 percent. Wisconsin is fighting with 23 other states to stay the rule, all while countries like China continue to add new coal power plants at staggering rates.

Hear from Wisconsin’s PSC Commissioner Ellen Nowak, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Delanie Breuer and WMC’s Director of Environmental & Energy Policy Lucas Vebber about the latest on what the plan could mean for rates and where our legal challenge stands.

The CPP could devastate our job climate while negligibly affecting our actual climate. A new study shows under the plan, even by 2050 greenhouse gas emissions would only be lowered 0.34 percent, or less.


Season One

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Episode 22: Devastating EPA rule could send manufacturing jobs overseas (August 19, 2015)

A major Wisconsin recycler is speaking out against the new EPA rule mandating a switch to expensive energy. Charter Steel spends more than $1 million on energy every month melting scrap into steel, but company leaders fear energy rate hike here might send jobs elsewhere, without even helping the environment.

Charter Manufacturing CEO John W. Mellowes explains why the future of his industry is in doubt in Wisconsin and elsewhere stateside.

Read Scott Manley’s top five reasons the regulation would be bad for Wisconsin.

Episode 21: Wisconsin sues the EPA… again (August 12, 2015)

For the second time this summer the state will join suit against the EPA. President Obama’s newly-announced Clean Power Plan could crush Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector. To comply, it would cost energy companies billions in infrastructure upgrades, an expense that would raise rates at work and at home.

Attorney General Brad Schimel and WMC’s Scott Manley break down where Wisconsin stands and whether we can undo the EPA’s latest job-killing regulatory overreach.

Read Scott Manley’s top five reasons the regulation would be bad for Wisconsin.

Episode 20: Where are we spending $73 billion? The budget breakdown (July 22, 2015)

Find out where Wisconsin will spend billions over the next two years, and where all the cash came from. WMC’s Scott Manley break down the budget numbers and some of the biggest wins for business so far this session.

Watch Episode 12 and the Hay Chix explain why the Manufacturing Tax Credit moved them to Wisconsin

Episode 19: Wisconsin is NOT repealing the weekend (July 15, 2015)

Despite dramatically misleading headlines to the contrary, some Wisconsin workers finally have the choice whether to work overtime. In the new state budget signed Sunday retail and manufacturing workers can for the first time in nearly a century decide for themselves which overtime shifts to work, without first asking state bureaucrats for permission.

Hear from WMC’s Chris Reader, Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Michelle Kussow from the Wisconsin Grocers Association. https://www.wmc.org/2min

Chris Reader’s column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (7/16/2015)

How the voluntary overtime change actually works.

Episode 18: State budget lowers borrowing and taxes (July 8, 2015)

Legislators spent weeks working behind the scenes, but now the new state budget could cross Governor Walker’s desk as soon as this week. The latest plan includes less bonding to fund big road projects and tax tweaks to help married couples. Hear from Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and WMC’s Director of Tax & Transportation Policy Jason Culotta.

Episode 17: Hiring headaches for 70 percent of Wisconsin companies (June 17, 2015)

WMC just heard from hundreds of the state’s CEOs, and a large and growing group say they are having trouble finding qualified workers to hire. WMC’s Scott Manley breaks down the numbers and finds executives are also seeing surging healthcare costs.

Read the survey result summary

Watch or download our video press release with WMC President and CEO Kurt Bauer

Episode 16: $56,000 per person and counting: our national debt nightmare (June 10, 2015)

Every American already owes more than $56,000 and the debt keeps climbing. WMC President and CEO Kurt Bauer explains why political and cultural causes may be to blame for Washington’s inability to drive down the debt. Hear from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport).

“If you’re just paying money on interest on the debt you don’t have the money to invest in education, in schools, in basic infrastructure to grow your economy.”
– Sen. Ron Johnson

Episode 15: Drug screening unemployment recipients could help fill jobs (June 3, 2015)

Lawmakers are working to implement drug screening and testing for some workers on unemployment insurance. The state would provide training and treatment for those that need it to help place the workers in our state’s more than 86,000 open positions. Chris Reader explains why the move could help people off of addictions and our state’s economy.

Hear from Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah), a former human resources staffer, who says many companies are struggling to find workers as unemployment rates continue to fall.

Episode 14: State budget adds funds for skills gap worker training (May 27, 2015)

Lawmakers plan to invest millions more in the Wisconsin Fast Forward program, which started issuing grants last year to help employers pay for job training. As Wisconsin’s workforce ages manufacturers and other industries will also look to programs like SkillsUSA to grow interest and abilities in technical fields.

More about the Future Wisconsin Project

Episode 13: Wisconsin dairies forced to invest elsewhere (May 20, 2015)

Wisconsin’s complex and costly water permitting rules are pushing new projects out of the state and stalling upgrades back at home. Milk Source reluctantly spent $80 million on a site elsewhere in the Midwest after enormous effort failed to find approval here first.

Businesses from farms to golf courses, and even your local water utility, are hoping increased clarity from the state can simplify the high capacity well permitting process.

Episode 12: Manufacturing tax credit targeted! (May 13, 2015)

Short-sighted special interests are trying to stall the Manufacturing and Agricultural Tax Credit before it is fully implemented. The policy, strongly supported by WMC back in 2011, is already bringing businesses over our border, but some lawmakers say they want to raise taxes and grow government spending instead.

The credit would eliminate almost all income taxes for manufacturers next year, by far our state’s biggest industry.

What is the Manufacturing and Agricultural Tax Credit?

How is the credit being phased-in?

Episode 11: Adding auditors would burden Wisconsin businesses (May 6, 2015)

Legislators will consider adding 102 new auditors to help boost funds for the state budget. But some are questioning the kind of message this sends to job creators. We talk to a family business owner who says his ongoing audit is costing time and cash, all while the state will likely end up actually issuing him a refund.

Episode 10: Right to Work under attack! (April 29, 2015)

Despite opposition from employers and Congress, President Obama’s appointees on the NLRB are pressing forward with measures meant to strengthen labor unions. These pro-union appointees have stacked the rules of workplace organizing in favor of labor unions and are now looking at undoing state right to work laws.

Episode 9: Wisconsin sues the EPA over job-killing emissions rule (April 22, 2015)

The EPA wants to pass a power plant rule that would raise electricity rates, send jobs overseas and possibly not even help curb global pollution. We talk with Attorney General Brad Schimel about why he is suing the EPA on behalf of Wisconsin.

Episode 8: UW funding cut up for debate (April 15, 2015)

Lawmakers this week will begin to vote on the state’s new budget. Among the items getting the most buzz is Gov. Walker’s proposed $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System budget over two years. Hear how that number could come down, and what legislators have to say about adding more UW independence.

Episode 7: Are gas taxes going up? Why building roads builds businesses (April 8, 2015)

We get a behind-the-scenes look at the massive Zoo Interchange project in West Allis. Hear how WMC expects the state to fund an extra $1.3 billion in transportation projects in the biennial budget up for debate.

Learn more about WMC’s transportation goals and see our complete legislative agenda for this session.

Episode 6: Repealing paperwork, not the weekend (April 1, 2015)

Recent headlines would have you believe the state is trying to steal your days off. In reality, legislators are trying to make sure some industries no longer have to ask the state permission before letting workers volunteer for overtime when business is booming to earn more for their families.

Hear from Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and WMC’s Director of Health & Human Resources Policy Chris Reader in this week’s episode.

Download a handout with more detail on the Voluntary Overtime proposal.

Episode 5: The top five budget bill items for businesses (March 25, 2015)

The battle over how to spend Wisconsin’s $68 billion budget is underway. We take a look inside the budget listening session in Milwaukee, and save you 1,839 pages of reading with our list of top items businesses should know about the 2015-2017 budget proposal.

See WMC’s current legislative agenda.

Episode 4: Right to Work is already adding Wisconsin jobs (March 18, 2015)

Legislators and business leaders say companies are already planning expansions in Wisconsin, citing Right to Work law, even just two weeks since the law’s signing. One state representative says the vote could have such a big impact on business that it will likely be the signature legislation of his career.

Read more about Right to Work.

Episode 3: Regulation without representation (March 11, 2015)

In Wisconsin, the legislature make the laws, right? Eric Bott explains how an unelected board is stalling entire industries, costing businesses millions, and diverting resources from helpful environmental programs and job creation.

More on businesses banned from the board

The costly rule upheld for 25 years

Episode 2: Right to Work rallies fade, myths busted in Assembly (March 4, 2015)

Scott Manley takes you inside the Assembly hearing on the bill, where WMC and others sort out the facts about worker training and free riders from big union misinformation.

Read more about Right to Work.

Episode 1: Right to Work draws votes, protests in Madison (February 25, 2015)

In the series premiere, Scott Manley maps Right to Work’s route to law and argues why it is critical to keeping competitive with neighboring states.

Read more about Right to Work.