February 18, 2014 09:34
This week the MMAC hosted Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and WI Secretary of Revenue Rick Chandler at a meeting to discuss Wisconsin's tax and regulatory climate. They asked for suggestions on how Wisconsin could improve its tax climate and make life better for business. Chandler and Kleefisch also asked for suggestions on how Wisconsin could improve its tax climate and make life better for business. Keep the conversation going on this topic and submit your own thoughts to at taxreform.wi.gov.
February 18, 2014 09:33
For Milwaukee County to develop a sustainable master plan for transit aligned with its economic realities, it is critical that folks like you - who provide the engine for that economy - speak up. >>Take MKE County Exec Chris Abele's survey to help him develop a vision for the future of transit.
February 18, 2014 08:45
The Public Service Commission has issued a ruling that will save downtown Milwaukee businesses and residents millions of dollars on their utility bills. Last summer, We Energies announced its intention to convert its Menomonee Valley Power Plant from coal to natural gas. This change will result in a cleaner, more efficient plant and lower electric rate costs. We Energies had to get its plans for this plant, which also produces all of the steam for downtown Milwaukee, approved by the PSC. As part of that process, the Citizens Utilities Board (CUB) challenged We Energies’ conversion proposal. CUB argued that, as part of the changeover, downtown steam customers should be made to pay a larger share of the cost of running the Valley plant than they have for the last 40 years. CUB’s proposal would have resulted in almost doubling costs for downtown steam customers, with rate hikes of hundreds of thousands and in some cases even millions of dollars per year for large Milwaukee companies. Recognizing the devastating impact that rate shock would have on our Milwaukee economy, MMAC organized a coalition including Marquette University and Aurora Health Care and brought on a legal team from Foley and Lardner to fight the CUB proposal before the PSC. In a decision that specifically pointed to MMAC’s arguments concerning the negative economic impact a massive increase in steam costs would have on our metro Milwaukee economy, the PSC rejected CUB’s rate increase request and retained the current cost allocation formula proposed by We Energies. This legal fight was not an inexpensive one to wage but, given the prospective costs and economic ripple effects the CUB rate hike would have had on our area and our members, it was one MMAC could not afford to sit out. We are pleased that the PSC ruled in our favor.
January 29, 2014 09:42
Over the last several months, new standards for college and career readiness known as the Common Core have been the focus of political controversy here in Wisconsin and nationwide.
New state tests scheduled to be administered in Wisconsin beginning with the 2014-15 school year that align with these standards represent a major step forward in improving the ability to assess student performance. The new tests will provide academic proficiency measures that are far more rigorous than existing standards and, equally important, will accurately and credibly benchmark Wisconsin students’ performance against their peers nationwide.
Last week, Gov. Walker proposed creation of a state commission, chaired by State Superintendent of Instruction Tony Evers, to review the Common Core standards and assure that academic benchmarks at Wisconsin schools remain up-to-date. MMAC will continue to advocate for the timely implementation of the new higher college and career readiness standards and support tools to make them even stronger moving forward.
December 4, 2013 09:42
The continuing problems with the federal HealthCare.gov website have also spurred Wisconsin to join with several other states in requesting permission to allow residents to buy federally subsidized health care directly from insurers rather than go through the HealthCare.gov website. Florida, Ohio and Texas have already received permission from the federal Department of Health and Human Services to allow direct purchase from health insurers. Wisconsin hopes to receive similar approval and provide a way for consumers to bypass the glitches of the federal enrollment website.
December 4, 2013 09:42
The Milwaukee Common Council has approved a proposal to sell off the vacant Malcom X School property to a private developer. The city’s action effectively blocks St. Marcus School’s efforts to purchase the vacant property and renovate it to accommodate an expansion of its high-performing school. As a result, hundreds of low-income students hoping to get into St. Marcus will remain on waiting lists and will continue to be denied the opportunity to attend one of the highest-performing urban schools in the region.
December 4, 2013 09:34
In the wake of the continued frustration, dysfunction, and delays associated with the rollout of the new national health care system, Gov. Walker and the legislature will convene a special legislative session this week to make state law changes aimed at protecting Wisconsin health care consumers. Expected to pass are bills delaying modifications to the state’s Badgercare program that had been approved in the most recent state budget. These changes had assumed an operational federal health care exchange on schedule – an assumption that has unfortunately not been borne out as the federal government continues to struggle to get the HealthCare.gov national insurance exchange portal operational. The governor has proposed a three-month delay in implementing the new state health care changes. We join with Gov. Walker and the legislature in hoping that by spring the federal system will be operational and the budget’s reforms can be put into effect.
November 7, 2013 14:05
We Energies’ exciting proposal to upgrade its Menomonee
Valley Power Plant and convert its fuel sources from coal to cleaner and more
efficient natural gas should be great news for Milwaukee residents.
Unfortunately, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) is trying to throw ants on our
picnic by asking the Public Service Commission (PSC) to saddle downtown
Milwaukee steam users with massive new rate hikes. CUB’s proposal would force
rate hikes of between 40% to 50% on businesses and residents on the downtown
Milwaukee steam network. MMAC has been fighting this CUB proposal in Madison
Next week the public has an opportunity to let its voice be
heard on this issue at a public hearing held Thursday, November 14 at the
Ambassador Hotel, Embassy Room, 2308 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, from 3:00 –
6:00 p.m. Come and let the PSC know that the cost reallocation and rate hikes
proposed by CUB would have a devastating effect on the heart of our downtown
November 7, 2013 14:01
The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) test scores are out detailing national educational achievement and point
to some serious challenges for Wisconsin and Milwaukee. Black eighth graders in
Wisconsin posted the lowest scores in reading tests of any state and the
achievement gap in Wisconsin between white and black students was the highest
in the nation in both math and reading for fourth and eighth graders, according
to results of the NAEP. >>View the results These sobering statistics highlight the critical importance of MMAC’s efforts
to dramatically increase the number of available seats in high-performing
schools for the children in Milwaukee.
October 2, 2013 12:15
One of the most effective ways to increase quality education
options does not involve reinventing the educational wheel, instead it involves
expanding access to those schools and education models that are already working
in our city. That’s the idea behind a provision in new charter school
legislation that would streamline the process for expansion or replication of
independent charter schools that are performing significantly above the average
of their surrounding school district. Given the urgent educational and
workforce challenges we face, we ought to be begging these “best of the best”
schools to grow. It is our hope that removing bureaucratic roadblocks to that
growth will provide the incentive needed to convince these star schools to
provide more educational opportunities to more kids in Milwaukee.