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Volume 6, Issue 27, Nov 20, 2023
 Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Eau Claire, Wis.
Published the first business day of each week
Business Advocate Past Issues
Public Meetings Calendar
Chamber Events Calendar
The Chamber's Advocacy Principles
The Chamber's Business Issues Agenda
"Talking Po!nt" Podcast
Contact: Scott Rogers, VP Governmental Affairs


Happy Thanksgiving! This is an abbreviated holiday week issue of the Business Advocate. Full coverage will resume on November 27. 

Next legislative forum...
Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast
Our annual preview of the January legislative session. We've invited members of the State Assembly and Senate who represent the Chippewa Valley to join us for an update on action this fall in the legislature, highlight their priorities for the upcoming session in January, and answer questions submitted by participants.
 • Friday, Dec 15, 7:00-9:00 a.m. CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

Registration now open...
30th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
Bringing the Chippewa Valley's voice to Madison. Organized by the Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, and Menomonie Chambers of Commerce.
 • Wednesday, Feb 28, Madison
    Click here for details and to register

Chamber Business Hours:
Mon-Thu 7:30a-5p, Friday 8a-2p  Lobby Hours: Mon-Fri 10a-2p
The Chamber offices will be closed on November 23 and 24 for Thanksgiving.


Eau Claire City Council adopts 2024 budget
   The Eau Claire City Council adopted its 2024 budget at its Legislative Session last Tuesday, with only one amendment. The total operating budget, not including capital, is $179 million. The general fund makes up about $90 million, or 51% of the budget. Its primary sources of revenue include $56.3 million in taxes, $14.8 million in intergovernmental revenue, $5.8 million in intergovernmental charges for services, $4.0 million in charges for services, $2.4 million from licenses and permits, $.64 million in fines and forfeiture, and the rest from various miscellaneous sources. General fund expenditures include 41% for public safety, 16% in non-departmental expenses, 15% for Community Services, 15% for general government, and 12% for debt service.
   Non-general fund portions of the budget include utilities like water, sewer, and transit, as well as the health department, library, Hobbs Ice Arena, Fairfax Pool, and debt service.
   The one amendment adopted by the Council eliminated a proposed increase in rental rates for park shelters, applying to all parks except Phoenix Park and Haymarket Plaza. The Council turned down an amendment that would have reduced increases in transaction fees to pawnbrokers which are used to fund police department data programs to track potential stolen items. 

More information:
Eau Claire City Council
 • Monday, Nov 13, Public Hearing, Agenda Packet (13 pages)
 • Tuesday, Nov 14, Legislative Session, Agenda Packet (133 pages)
    2024 Proposed Operating Budget (City of Eau Claire, 155 pages)
    2024 Budget website (City of Eau Claire)
    2024 Proposed Fees & Licenses Schedule (City of Eau Claire)
Link to videos of city meetings (City of Eau Claire)
City Council Online Comment Form (City of Eau Claire)
Contact information: City Council members (City of Eau Claire)
Latest issue: City Manager's Weekly Update (City of Eau Claire)
Amendment keeps cost of park rentals at 2023 prices (Leader-Telegram $)
Eau Claire City Council approves 2024 budget (WEAU 13 News)
City subscribes to solar power from Xcel Energy (Leader-Telegram $)
Affordable Housing Fund applications underway: Defining "affordable" in Eau Claire (WQOW News 18)

More local news...

Marquette Law School Poll Director discusses political climate in Wisconsin at Chamber's Eggs & Issues breakfast
(WEAU 13 News)
Marquette Professor Charles Franklin speaks on Wisconsin 2024 election polls (Leader-Telegram $)
Marquette Law School Poll Survey of Wisconsin Finds Biden Leads Trump by 2 Points, Trails DeSantis and Haley (Marquette Law School)
Detailed results of the Marquette Law School Supreme Court Poll-November 2-7, 2023 (Marquette Law School)

City Council public comments focus on refugees in Chippewa Valley
(Leader-Telegram $)

Some still protesting refugee resettlement program in Eau Claire (WEAU 13 News)
Digging Deeper: Answering your questions on refugee resettlement in the Chippewa Valley (WQOW News 18)
Frequently Asked Questions: Refugee Resettlement in the Chippewa Valley 
(World Relief)
Who is a refugee and what do they go through to get to the U.S.? (World Relief)

Northstar Middle School hosts “JA in a Day” to inspire students towards their future careers
(Leader-Telegram $)

Evers tours UWEC nursing program, gets hands-on experience
(Leader-Telegram $)

Evers pushing for more funding for UW schools (WEAU 13 News)
Governor Evers speaks about investing in education as he visits UW-Eau Claire (WQOW News 18)

Marshfield Clinic announces pay cuts, benefit suspensions for employees
(WEAU 13 News)

Flights from Eau Claire to Fort Myers Florida resume
(WQOW News 18)

Downtown co-working community has a new name
(WEAU 13 News)

CoLab rebrands as newest Minneapolis-based The Coven location (WQOW News 18)

Small Eau Claire group hopes to connect with the city’s homeless
(WEAU 13 News)

City of Chippewa Falls to receive additional $743K in state aid as budget plans come together
(Leader-Telegram $)

Chippewa County DA recommends no charges against Hakes
(Leader-Telegram $)

Plans to raise Lake Wissota rail bridge fall through
(Leader-Telegram $)

New Menomonie Shelter, the Cairn House, Set to Open in Coming Weeks
(Volume One)

New Menomonie shelter opens and has no vacancies (WEAU 13 News)

Dunn County property taxes dropping by a 26% next year
(WQOW News 18)

Stout simplifies application process for MHS students with guaranteed admission
(Leader-Telegram $)

UW-Stout to introduce online course on strong leadership
(Leader-Telegram $)

Eau Claire school district hosting information session for potential school board candidates
   The Eau Claire Board of Education is hosting an information session for individuals considering a candidacy in the April election. Nominating petitions may be circulated beginning December 1 and must be submitted by the first Tuesday in January.
   For more information or to become a candidate, plan to attend the information session, or reach out to the Business Services Office at 500 Main Street or call 715-852-3010.
Information Session: Eau Claire School Board candidacy
 • Thursday, Nov 30, 7-8 p.m., ECASD Admin Building, 500 Main St.

Election Information - School Board Candidates (ECASD)

Volunteers sought: Employer tours, Junior Achievement events
Career days for middle school students
   The Chamber and Junior Achievement are teaming up to continue their joint efforts to introduce local middle school students to career opportunities in the Chippewa Valley. To help make that happen, they're seeking employers who are open to providing group tours for students, and volunteers for "JA in a Day" classroom events at area middle schools. Upcoming dates include:
 • Altoona Middle School: Feb 15, 2024, Classroom Site & Employer Tours
 DeLong Middle School: Feb 21, 2024, Classroom Site & Employer Tours
 South Middle School: Mar 6, 2024, Classroom Site & Employer Tours
More information:
Click here to for information and to sign up, or Contact the Chamber's Workforce Initiatives Director, Courtney Olsom, at 715-858-0617 or  Olsom@eauclairechamber.org

Meeting this week...

Eau Claire Plan Commission
 • Monday, Nov 20, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet (28 pages)


State and regional stories...

Brewers deal clears Legislature and Gov. Tony Evers promises to sign it

Senate approves sweeping changes to state’s alcohol policies

Chippewa Valley event professionals respond to new liquor laws (Leader-Telegram $)

Republicans pass workforce plan with middle-class tax cut that Evers previously vetoed
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Republicans approve tax cuts, reject Evers' child care package (WPR)

Senate passes 'forever chemical' bill despite concerns over limitations to DNR
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear arguments in case that could overturn Republican-drawn legislative maps

Wisconsin Supreme Court weighs case seeking to end state’s school choice programs

Democrat Evers, Republican Vos both argue against Supreme Court taking voucher lawsuit (AP)
WMC Files Amicus Brief in School Choice Lawsuit (WMC)

Wisconsin businesses need more engineers. GOP is holding up UW-Madison project that would help address shortage
(Journal-Sentinel +)

It's not too late for a Republican to challenge Tammy Baldwin, party leaders say

Gov. Evers, DWD Announce All-Time Record-High Number of Registered Apprentices in Program’s 112-Year History
(Office of the Governor)

Gov. Evers Announces PSC Received 124 Applications Requesting More than $221 Million from Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program
(Office of the Governor)

Public listening sessions upcoming for new UW-La Crosse chancellor selection

Redevelopment of property off La Crosse Street and Losey Blvd concerns neighbors
(News 8000.com)

Bucks, Jeffers Plan Deer District Apartments
(Urban Milwaukee)

'Sea of parking': Could land around Milwaukee Brewers stadium be home to future development? (WPR)

Marcus Corp Moving Downtown Milwaukee Headquarters (Urban Milwaukee)

Bus Rapid Transit stations starting to rise across Madison
(Wisconsin State Journal +)

St Paul Neighbors Give Thumbs Down to I-94 Expansion

Applications open for Manufacturer of the Year Award
  The Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award (MOTY) program is an annual recognition of excellence in manufacturing. It celebrates the successes of manufacturers in the state: their innovations, philanthropy, technological advances, commitment to customer satisfaction and quality jobs.
   The deadline for manufacturers to complete the application is December 1, 2023. Companies are placed in four size categories based on company-wide employee count. Nominees are celebrated and winners are revealed at a black-tie awards ceremony on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Visit the MOTY website to learn more and review the required application information.
   To submit your application, click below or contact John Laux at jlaux@wmc.org with any questions. Apply for MOTY Here


National and economic news...

Biden signs a bill averting a government shutdown for now, with Israel and Ukraine aid still stalled

Roll call vote (US House of Representatives)
House votes to prevent a government shutdown as GOP Speaker Johnson relies on Democrats for help (AP)
House Approves Mike Johnson’s Stopgap Funding Bill (The Dispatch)
House OKs plan to avoid government shutdown with Wisconsin's Tiffany and Gallagher voting against (Journal-Sentinel +)
Van Orden votes yes, while Tiffany votes no on House budget bill (Leader-Telegram $)
U.S. Chamber Applauds House Passage of Short-Term Budget Solution (US Chamber of Commerce)

Tens of thousands of supporters of Israel rally in Washington, crying ‘never again’

Inflation pressures eased in October, Consumer Price Index shows

What’s pushing inflation down? More goods, workers and housing

Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and tireless humanitarian who advocated for mental health issues, dies at 96
(NBC News)

Food for thought...

The Flip Side: Both sides of important issues
(The Flip Side, daily digest)

Are Institutional Investors a Problem in the Housing Market?
(Cato Institute)

COVID-19 Resources:
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub (Eau Claire City-County Health Department)

Mark your calendar:

Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast
 • Friday, Dec 15

Eau What A Night: The Chamber's 109th Annual Meeting
 • Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Workforce Solutions Summit
• Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024 (Rescheduled)

30th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
 • Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Chamber Royale
 • Thursday, May 16, 2024

Golf Day in Eau Claire
 • Monday, Aug 5, 2024

"Bravo to Business" Awards
 • Thursday, Oct 17, 2024

Public Meetings Calendar
Click the link above for the our regularly updated schedule of public meetings.

Thanks for reading this issue of Business Advocate.
If you have comments or questions, contact Scott Rogers, Vice President G
overnmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org

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