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Volume 6, Issue 26, Nov 13, 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


Last chance to register...
Eggs & Issues: Charles Franklin, Marquette Poll
   With an election year approaching - including a spring Presidential Primary - and a number of critical issues still being debated by the Governor and State Legislature, here's a unique opportunity to get credible insights into the mood of Wisconsin voters right now.
   Dr. Charles Franklin, nationally recognized government scholar and director of the prestigious Marquette Law School Poll since its inception in 2012, will join us for our next Eggs & Issues this Friday morning, November 17. Dr. Franklin will dig into new data off just-released Wisconsin and national polls. He will explore what polling says about the current mood of Wisconsin public opinion, and what that tells us about the future of top policy issues and next year's elections. Dr. Franklin not only leads the poll that is considered the gold standard for Wisconsin, he is also an excellent communicator who brings that data to life. 
  Friday, Nov 17, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

New polls:
Marquette Law School Poll Survey of Wisconsin Finds Biden Leads Trump by 2 Points, Trails DeSantis and Haley (Marquette Law School) 

Marquette Law School Poll to release results of national surveys on U.S. Supreme Court, political topics, Nov. 15-16 (Marquette Law School)

Next legislative forum...
Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast
 • 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
 • Wednesday, Feb 18, 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

In this issue:
 • EC City Council to act on 2024 budget
 • Eau Claire County Board adopts 2024 budget
 • Altoona opens survey on zoning code update
 • Eau Claire School Board information meeting for potential candidates
 • Marquette Poll results released, more coming this week
 • US Chamber Sues NLRB Over Joint Employer Rule
 • Food for thought
 • Mark your calendar
Note on article links: A subscription is required for those marked with "$"
Publications known to have article limits for non-subscribers are marked with "+"


Eau Claire City Council to act on 2024 budget
   The Eau Claire City Council meets this week, with the 2024 city budget the top agenda item. It will hold a Public Hearing on the budget on Monday evening, followed by action at its Tuesday Legislative Session.
   The total proposed 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.
   Also on Monday, the Council will hold a Public Discussion of its Schedule of Fees & Licenses effective January 1 (see pages 7-9 of the Monday Agenda Packet, plus the Proposed Fees & Licenses Schedule link posted below). Following the meeting, it will have a closed session to consider potential development agreements for an industrial project in the Gateway Industrial Park and a mixed-use residential and commercial project south of I-94 along Old Town Hall Road, and to confer with the City Attorney regarding litigation with the Town of Washington(see pages 12-13 of the Monday Agenda Packet).
   Tuesday's Legislative Session Agenda includes adoption of the 2024 City Budget, which may include amendments proposed by City Council members. (See pages 5-7 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below, plus the 2024 Budget website). The Consent Agenda includes a Class B Beverage License for a new business, Oh Claire Improv, at 515 Wisconsin Street (see pages 19-47 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet).
More information:
Eau Claire City Council
 • Monday, Nov 13, Public Hearing, 7 p.m., Agenda Packet (13 pages)
 • Tuesday, Nov 14, Legislative Session, 4 p.m. 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)
City Council set to take action on proposed 2024 budget (WQOW News 18)

Eau Claire County Board adopts 2024 budget
   The Eau Claire County Board last week finalized its budget for 2024. The total tax levy will be $41.5 million, made up of $27.3 million for operations and $14.2 million for debt service. Together, the tax levy accounts for about 30% of the county's revenues, with about 43% coming from intergovernmental grants, aids, and charges, 9% from the county sales tax, and the rest coming from other smaller sources. The grand total of the county's annual budget is about $160 million, with its expenditures made up of 37% for human services, 22% to transportation and public works, 19% to public safety, 12% for general government, and the rest going in smaller percentages to culture and recreation, judicial, and conservation/economic development.
More information:
Eau Claire County Board
 • Tuesday/Wednesday, Nov 7-8,  Agenda Packet
County Board district maps and Supervisors
2024 County Budget Website (Eau Claire County)
County approves 2024 budget, amendment to pay for roads with ARPA funds fails (Leader-Telegram $)
County considers potential outlet for excess unassigned general fund (Leader-Telegram $)
County jail may provide continued opioid treatment (Leader-Telegram $)

Altoona opens Zoning Code Survey for residents
   Altoona residents are being encouraged to complete a survey to help shape the future of the city by getting involved in the Zoning and Development Code Update project now underway. "We need to hear your feedback on key topics such as the design of new development, the types of housing that are appropriate in the City, the availability of off-street parking in different areas, sustainability, and more topics," notes the city in announcing the survey:
Click here for the zoning survey (City of Altoona)

More housing information links...
City of Eau Claire holds zoning workshop to address housing (WQOW News 18)
City of Eau Claire Accepting Proposals for Affordable Housing Fund Project (Information with link to application and scoring criteria, City of Eau Claire)
Habitat for Humanity shows future apartments for homeless Veterans (Leader-Telegram $)
Habitat for Humanity hosts open house for Veterans' apartments (WQOW News 18)
Policy and housing efforts to support Wisconsin's homeless veterans (WPR)
Community Haven House open seven days a week (Leader-Telegram $)

Lt. Gov. Rodriguez visits tiny homes in Chippewa Falls (Leader-Telegram $)
Changes To Milwaukee’s Zoning Code Would Encourage More Development (Urban Milwaukee)
Housing shortage holds back Dane County cities, mayors say (The Cap Times)
This is the least affordable national housing market since 1984. It’s getting worse (WQOW News 18)
Bypassing mortgage rates: Share of US homes bought with cash hits highest level in nearly a decade (AP)

Eau Claire School Board 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)

Eau Claire School District news and information...
South Middle School breaks ground on two and a half year renovation project (Leader-Telegram $)
Work on South Middle School facilities begins (WEAU 13 News)
'Eau Claire truly supports their schools': ECASD working on referendum funded projects (WQOW News 18)
ECASD highlight learning environments, sustainability as areas of development (Leader-Telegram $)
Eau Claire Area School District struggling with psychologist staffing (WQOW News 18)
South Middle School, Royal Credit Union bring financial literacy program to students (Leader-Telegram $)

More local news...

Five Area School Districts to Benefit from Rural Collaboration Project
(Volume One)

Entrepreneurs Invited to Startup Chippewa Valley Week Nov 13-17 (Volume One)
Start Up Chippewa Valley Week full schedule (CoLab)

Got an Entrepreneurial Idea? Check Out the Jump-Start Downtown Business Competition
(Volume One)

EPA Administrator visits Huntsinger Farms in Eau Claire
(WEAU 13 News)

Head of the EPA tours Eau Claire horseradish farm to tout investments in climate-smart practices (WPR)
EPA leader says agency is committed to finalizing PFAS standards for drinking water this year (WPR)

Staffing challenges for police departments
(WEAU 13 News)

Costco in Eau Claire to now open Nov. 30
(WEAU 13 News)

Sneak peek of the new Costco before doors open (WQOW News 18)

Humane Society set to open new building next summer
(WEAU 13 News)

Families get a look at new private Christian school coming to Chippewa Valley
(WQOW News 18)


New Marquette Polls: Potential Presidential results in Wisconsin, political topics poll results coming this week
   A new Marquette Law School Poll released last week shows a tight Presidential Race in Wisconsin in 2024 if the candidates are President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, while other potential candidates Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley potentially fare stronger. 
   With more results on political topics coming later this week, the Eau Claire Chamber will be hosting poll director Charles Franklin for its Eggs & Issues breakfast this coming Friday morning.
More information:

Marquette Law School Poll Survey of Wisconsin Finds Biden Leads Trump by 2 Points, Trails DeSantis and Haley (Marquette Law School)
Marquette Law School Poll to release results of national surveys on U.S. Supreme Court, political topics, Nov. 15-16 (Marquette Law School)
Poll: Biden tops Trump, loses Wisconsin to other Republicans (The Center Square)

Latest Marquette poll shows Biden up slightly over Trump in Wisconsin but trailing DeSantis, Haley (Journal-Sentinel +)
Marquette poll: Trump, Biden race a tossup in Wisconsin with one year until 2024 election (WPR)
The newest Wisconsin poll highlights stark political divides over the Ukraine and Israel wars (Journal-Sentinel +)
Video: Charles Franklin on Wisconsin a year out from the 2024 vote (PBS Wisconsin, 6:19)

Get more insights into public opinion in Wisconsin...
Eggs & Issues: Charles Franklin, Marquette Law School Poll
  Friday, Nov 17, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

More state and regional stories...

"It's okay to talk:" Senator James speaks at event honoring veterans
(Leader-Telegram $)

Wisconsin Assembly delays vote on $2 billion tax cut headed for a veto by Gov. Tony Evers

Wisconsin's Democratic Governor Says He Would Sign Current GOP-Backed Ballot Pre-Processing Bill
(US News & World Report)

Wisconsin election results expected to speed up under legislation (The Cap Times)

Brewers stadium funding deal lacks votes needed to pass in the Wisconsin state Senate but talks continue
(Journal-Sentinel +)

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

In Wisconsin, old fashioneds come with brandy. Lawmakers make it somewhat official

Bill would create reentry center to ease transitions after prison

UW System announces $32M plan to increase STEM, health care jobs
Universities of Wisconsin unveil plan to recover $32 million cut by Republicans in diversity fight (AP)
Universities of Wisconsin enrollment up for the first time at 4-year schools since 2014 (WPR)

UW-Green Bay considers discontinuing programs, citing student demand and budget constraints (WPR)
UW-Parkside cutting 10 percent of workforce (WPR)

A Wisconsin judge orders the former chief justice to turn over records related to impeachment advice

Wisconsin DNR adds 51 waters to its list of polluted waterways

Report: Wisconsin has sped up lead service line removal, but hurdles remain (WPR)

Flood-control dams in Driftless Area failed after catastrophic rain. Some residents say a new approach is needed.

Public Service Commission rejects MG&E proposal to change net metering
(The Cap Times)

'A unique backdrop': Packers announce dates for 2025 NFL Draft in Green Bay

Microsoft to expand its investment in Mount Pleasant, spending 'billions' to grow in Wisconsin
Local government spent hundreds of millions to assemble Foxconn site. Here's how Microsoft will cover those bills (Journal-Sentinel +)

How ‘Top Chef’ came to Dairyland
(The Cap Times)

Kenosha companies win Wisconsin business environmental awards
(Kenosha News)

Milwaukee seeking change in state law to tackle reckless driving

Milwaukee business owner must pay back COVID relief funds after state finds misuse

Sun Country Seeks More Subsidized Air Service at Rhinelander, Brainerd
(Airline Geeks)

Roger Reinert wins Duluth mayoral election
(Duluth News Tribune +)

WMC Future Wisconsin Summit
   Bringing together the business community and other partners to address our state’s long-term systemic, economic challenges and develop solutions that will create sustained economic success. Earlybird registration fee through Nov 22.
 • Tuesday, Dec 5, Madison
    Click here for details and to register


US Chamber Sues NLRB Over Joint Employer Rule
   The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business groups filed a lawsuit against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas over its new joint employer rule. The rule makes it easier for the agency to declare joint employment status exists in business relationships where it traditionally doesn’t, like franchising, contracting, and supply chains. It upends a longstanding precedent by broadening liability for employers and enabling unions to organize across companies rather than store by store. Many companies could find themselves facing liability for workers they don’t employ and workplaces they don’t actually control.
   If the rule is allowed to go into effect, it will have far-reaching consequences for businesses of all sizes. A previously expanded joint employer rule was in place from 2015 to 2017 and cost franchise businesses, a majority of which are small businesses, $33 billion per year. That resulted in 376,000 lost job opportunities and led to 93% more lawsuits.
   “The NLRB’s new joint employer rule is the latest in a string of actions to promote unionization at all costs, even when harmful to workers, employers, and our economy,” said Glenn Spencer, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Employment Policy Division. “It defies common sense to say that businesses can be held liable for workers they don’t employ at workplaces they don’t own or control. The NLRB has been overturning numerous precedents at the behest of labor unions, so the Chamber is suing to rein in this out-of-control agency.”
  The U.S. Chamber is suing the NLRB for violating the National Labor Relations Act and for acting arbitrarily and capriciously in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Chamber is joined by co-plaintiffs: the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of America, Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, International Franchise Association, Longview Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores, Restaurant Law Center, Texas Association of Business, and Texas Restaurant Association.
Click here to view the full complaint (US Chamber of Commerce)
U.S. Chamber Sues National Labor Relations Board Over New Rule Forcing Joint Employment Relationship (US Chamber of Commerce)

More national and economic news...

House Speaker Mike Johnson Unveils Plan to Ward Off Government Shutdown
(Wall Street Journal $)

Johnson announced his pitch to avoid a shutdown. It’s already hitting a wall. (Politico)

Van Orden hears from veterans, addresses their health care concerns
(Leader-Telegram $)

Joe Manchin says he won't seek re-election in 2024

Sen. Tim Scott announces decision to suspend his 2024 presidential campaign
(Fox News)

NewsNation to host next GOP debate Dec 6; Megyn Kelly, Elizabeth Vargas to moderate
(The Hill)

Former Md Gov Hogan drops new ad as he weighs third-party bid for president

How the 2024 Election Could Be the Closest in a Generation
(Wall Street Journal $)

Liberal and moderate candidates take control of school boards in contentious races across US

America’s Population Projected to Shrink by 2100, Census Figures Show
(Wall Street Journal $)

Food for thought...

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

Why Do Young Americans Support Hamas? Look at TikTok.
(Congressman Mike Gallagher, The Free Press)

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

Mark your calendar:

Eggs & Issues: Charles Franklin, Marquette Poll
 • Friday, Nov 17

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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