{{CFirstName}}, you are receiving this e-newsletter because you have shown interest in public policy issues. Contact us if you don't want to receive future issues.


Volume 5, Issue 26, Nov 14, 2022
 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


Last chance to register

Eggs & Issues: Post-Election Analysis with the

Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin

For the third election season in a row, we'll be joined at Eggs & Issues by Charles Franklin, Director of the Marquette Law School Poll, to provide a valuable post-election analysis of what's inside the votes of Wisconsin citizens on Election Day. The Marquette Poll is the gold standard of polls in the state, and Franklin's remarks are always insightful.

 • Thursday, Nov 17, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

    Click here for details and to register


Previewing next year's legislative session

Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast

Invited are members of the State Senate and Assembly who will represent our region beginning with the January legislative session, including newly-elected members. 

 • Friday, Dec 16, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

    Click here for details and to register


Registration now open

29th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally

Organized by the Chippewa Valley Chamber Alliance - the Chippewa Falls, Menomonie and Eau Claire Chambers of Commerce. A valuable opportunity to bring the collective voice of Chippewa Valley business and community leaders to Madison.

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023, Madison

   Click here for details and to register

In this issue: 

 • Eau Claire City and School District referendums approved

 • December 1 Regional Housing Conference planned

 • EC City Council moves forward with Half Moon trail bids

 • ECASD to increase substitute teacher pay

 • Eau Claire, surrounding counties selected for USDA rural partners program

 • Last chance to register for the Chamber's Workforce Solutions Summit

 • Election: Evers wins, Republicans increase legislative majorities

 • GOP reelects Vos, LeMahieu as legislative leaders

 • State and regional stories

 National and economic news

 • COVID-19 updates 

 • 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 and School District referendums

approved by wide margins

Riewestahl wins narrow race over Henning for Sheriff

   The tax levy referendums for the City of Eau Claire and Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) passed by wide margins on November 8. 63% voted yes on the City's request to hire public safety officers, and 64% yes for ECASD's capital request to undertake building projects at a number of schools. Click here to continue reading for full details...

   In the open race for Eau Claire County Sheriff, Democrat Dave Riewestahl won 51% of the vote over Republican Don Henning with 49%.


More information and local election results:

Both City and School District Tax Referendums Pass (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

Local Legislative Election Results (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

Riewestahl defeats Henning in EC sheriff's race (Leader-Telegram $)

Riewestahl elected as Eau Claire County Sheriff (WEAU 13 News)

CF $1.277 million referendum approved by voters (Leader-Telegram $)

Boyd referendum wins by 1-vote margin (Leader-Telegram $)

Hakes beats Kowalczyk in Chippewa County sheriff’s race (Chippewa Herald +)

Voters chose Hakes as next Chippewa County Sheriff (WQOW News 18)


Scroll down to next section for legislative and statewide election results...


Regional Housing Conference to tackle affordability, supply

   An Eau Claire City commission tasked with addressing local housing supply and affordability is sponsoring a Regional Housing Conference on Thursday, December 1. The hybrid event, organized by the Housing Opportunities Commission, will begin with an opening keynote from statewide housing expert Kurt Paulsen of UW-Madison, who will provide insights into the status and challenges of the housing market in the state. Other sessions will focus on the impact of zoning, green building design, universal and inclusive design, housing and EDI, and the relationship between housing and transportation. Anyone involved in or interested in the local housing market is encouraged to attend.

More information:

Housing Opportunities Commission (City of Eau Claire)

Regional Housing Conference

 • Thursday, Dec 1, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (in person or virtual)

    Chippewa Valley Technical College, Business Education Center

    Click here for program and registration information


EC City Council moves forward with Half Moon trail bids

Closed session held to discuss transit center housing

Plan Commission to discuss annual work plan

   The Eau Claire City Council last week approved a proposed site plan and rezoning related to a new building at 602 Water St. by John Mogensen to replace the historic Ottawa House, which was determined to be structurally unsound. The developer plans to replace it with a new two-story building with similar architectural elements that would include two small retail spaces and six two-bedroom apartments (see pages 5-18 of the Monday Agenda Packet linked below).

   The Council also decided to move forward and ask for bids for a trail project to link the Menard YMCA Tennis Center with Rod and Gun Park. After extensive discussions and public input, a revised plan was drawn up in response to concerns raised by community members, while still accomplishing the objectives of the trail (see pages 26-37 of the Monday Agenda Packet). Final decisions about the location of the trail will come after bids are received and evaluated.

   The Council met in closed session following Monday's meeting to discuss the terms and conditions, and negotiating strategy, for a development agreement with Merge Urban Development for a residential housing project above the transit center currently under construction (see page 39 of the Monday Agenda Packet).

   This Monday evening, the Eau Claire Plan Commission meets. The primary item on its agenda is to discuss its annual work plan for 2023.

Meeting information:

Eau Claire Plan Commission

 • Monday, Nov 7, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet (11 pages)

Eau Claire City Council

 • Monday, Nov 7, Public Hearing Agenda Packet (39 pages)

 • Tuesday, Nov 8, Legislative Session Agenda Packet (59 pages)

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)

City is 'cautiously optimistic' about grant deadline for housing atop new center (Leader-Telegram $)

Petitioners urge Eau Claire City Council to rethink boardwalk proposal (Leader-Telegram $)

Lakefront boardwalk, trail tweaked before Eau Claire City Council vote (Leader-Telegram $)


EC School Board votes to increase substitute pay,

approves Student Transit contract

   The Eau Claire Area School District's Board of Education last Monday approved a proposal to increase the substitute teacher pay rate from $140 to $160 per day, putting it in line with some local districts who pay at that rate. The board also consider approved a new five year contract with Student Transit for bus transportation.

More information:

Eau Claire Area School District Board of Education

• Monday, Nov 7, Agenda Packet

Board of Education members and information

Substitute pay increase OK’d by EC school board (Leader-Telegram $)

EXPLAINER: What comes next in lawsuit against school district? (Leader-Telegram $)


Eau Claire, surrounding counties selected for

USDA rural partners program

   A network of six counties including and surrounding Eau Claire has been selected to participate in an expansion of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Partnership Network (RPN). 

   RPN is an all-of-government program that partners with rural people to access resources and funding to create local jobs, build infrastructure, and support long-term economic stability on their own terms. 

   One of five newly-designated regions in the state, the Northwestern Wisconsin Community Network includes Eau Claire, Dunn, Clark, Buffalo, Pepin, and Chippewa counties. 

   Community networks within these states will receive on-the-ground support from full-time federal staff members assigned to provide technical assistance tailored to the community’s unique needs and objectives. These community liaisons live and work in the rural communities they serve, allowing them to develop partnerships with local leaders to promote growth and prosperity for rural families and local communities. These federal staff members will help rural communities navigate federal programs, build relationships and identify community-driven solutions, and develop successful applications for funding.

More information:

USDA Expands Rural Partners Network to Wisconsin (USDA)

Biden Administration officials stop in Wisconsin to announce program aimed at helping rural communities (WPR)


"Adapting to the New Reality: The Ever Changing Workforce"

2022 Chamber Workforce Summit - November 16

   The current labor shortage and after effects of the pandemic have upended the workforce landscape for many employers. The Chamber's annual Workforce Solutions Summit is designed to bring area employers together with practical solutions they can implement to solve immediate and long-term workforce challenges. This year’s topics can really help employers in the area learn how they can keep the workplace environment healthy so they can continue to carry out their company’s mission. Continue reading...

More information:

2022 Workforce Solutions Summit

 • Wednesday, Nov 16, Pablo Center at the Confluence

    Click here for details and registration

    Profiles of event speakers


More local news: 


Micon to take over Oakwood Mall theater (Leader-Telegram $)

Micon Cinemas coming to Oakwood Mall (WEAU 13 News)

Micon Cinemas is moving into the Oakwood Mall (WQOW News 18)


EC County could enter carbon offset program (Leader-Telegram $)


Leinenkugel's makes list of top brewery tours in U.S. (Leader-Telegram $)

USA Today: Leinenkugel's makes top 10 best brewery tour list (WQOW News 18)

Top 10 Brewery Tours (USA Today)


Chippewa Valley Startup Week Nov 14-18 (Co-Lab)


Wisconsin divided government to continue

Evers wins close race for Governor, Republicans

increase legislative majorities

   The results of the November 8 election mean that Wisconsin will continue to have divided government over the next two years. 

   While Democratic Governor Tony Evers was elected to a second term, Republicans increased their majorities in the State Legislature. They picked up one seat in the State Senate to hold a 22-11 majority, enough to override a Gubernatorial veto. In the Assembly, Republicans picked up 3 seats to increase their margin to 64-35, but not enough to hold a veto-proof supermajority. 

In close 31st Senate race, Smith has 678 vote lead over Estenson

   Incumbent Democrat Jeff Smith appears to have won the closest State Senate race in Wisconsin, leading by 678 votes out of the current count of 77,152 cast (50.44% to 49.56%). Although Smith has declared victory, Estenson said on his Facebook page, "Due to the closeness of Tuesday’s election results, my team and I will continue to review the results of the official canvassing and certification then decide what steps to take once all of the votes have been counted."

Area Incumbents win, Republicans hold open seats

   In other area races, all current incumbents were winners. In open seats, current 68th District Representative Jesse James held the 23rd Senate District for Republicans, and Fall Creek Village Board Member Karen Hurd, a Republican, won James' current seat. Current 23rd District Senator Kathy Bernier did not seek reelection. Click here for complete results of local legislative elections...


As we go into the new session, who will represent our area in Madison, and what are their views on business issues? Click here to see Chamber video interviews with winning candidates and their answers to our Candidate questionnaire


More information:

Local Legislative Election Results (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

Republicans don't reach veto-proof majority in Legislature but make slight gains under new maps (Wisconsin State Journal +)


Join us for more analysis this week...

Eggs & Issues: Post-election Analysis with the

Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin

 • Thursday, Nov 17, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

    Click here for details and to register


Other Wisconsin election stories:


Wisconsin midterms leave status quo largely intact (Wisconsin State Journal +)


Ron Johnson wins third term in U.S. Senate (The Cap Times)


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers defeats Tim Michels to win second term in 2022 midterm election (Journal-Sentinel +)


Tony Evers spotlights K-12 education following reelection victory (The Cap Times)


Inside how Mandela Barnes and Tim Michels lost their statewide races (Wisconsin State Journal +)


Results for statewide races for Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer (Journal-Sentinel +)


Derrick Van Orden defeats Brad Pfaff in nationally watched congressional swing district (WPR)


Wisconsin Democrats lost a battleground House seat. They're pointing fingers at the national party (Journal-Sentinel +)


Wisconsin's top elections official cautions against replacing the Wisconsin Election Commission (WPR)


Election officials braced themselves. But in the end, voting in Wisconsin was smooth. (Journal-Sentinel +)


Full Wisconsin Election Results (WisconsinVote.org)


GOP reelects Vos, LeMahieu as legislative leaders

Summerfield, Pronschinske win Assembly leadership positions

   Members of the Republican caucus' in the Assembly and State Senate met last Thursday and reelected Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Sen.Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) to serve as their leaders. 

   In the Assembly, this will be Vos' sixth term, making him the longest serving speaker in state history. Other members of GOP Assembly leadership are: Speaker Pro Tempore: Rep. Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca), Majority Leader Rep. Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva), Assistant Majority Leader: Rep. Jon Plumer (R-Lodi), Majority Caucus Chair: Rep. Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer), Majority Caucus Vice-Chair: Rep. Cindi Duchow (R-Town of Delafield), Majority Caucus Secretary: Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah), and Majority Caucus Sergeant at Arms: Rep. Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi).

   In the Senate, Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) will serve for his second time as Majority Leader. Others in leadership posts are: Assistant Majority Leader: Sen. Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac); Majority Caucus Chair: Sen. Van H. Wanggaard (R-Racine); and Majority Caucus Vice Chair: Sen. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan).

More information:

Rep. Vos re-elected Assembly Speaker (WisPolitics.com)

LeMahieu re-elected Senate Majority Leader (WisPoltics.com)

Legislative Republicans reelect top leaders during closed caucus (Wisconsin Examiner)

Vos reelected Assembly Speaker, says it's time for GOP to move on from Trump (WPR)

Can Wisconsin Gov. Evers and GOP Legislature work together? (AP)


Previewing next year's legislative session

Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast

Invited are members of the State Senate and Assembly who will represent our region beginning with the January legislative session, including newly-elected members. 

 • Friday, Dec 16, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

    Click here for details and to register


More state and regional stories:


DFL wins control of Minnesota Senate; House for first trifecta since 2014 (MinnPost)

House stays in DFL control, Senate flips to create trifecta (Minnesota Legislature)


After an explosion 4 years ago, Wisconsin's only oil refinery is on track to start up early next year (WPR)


34th Annual Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award Applications Now Being Accepted (WMC)


National and economic stories:


U.S. consumer prices rise less than expected; weekly jobless claims up (Reuters)


US consumer inflation eased to 7.7% over past 12 months (NewsNation)


U.S. judge strikes down Biden's student debt relief plan (Reuters)

Biden Administration stops taking applications for student loan forgiveness (CNBC)


Sam Bankman-Fried steps down as FTX CEO as his crypto exchange files for bankruptcy (CNBC)


The Flip Side: Collection of Right and Left viewpoints on national issues


COVID-19 Updates 


COVID-19 Resources: 

COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing (EC City-County Health Department)
Local COVID-19 Testing Sites (EC City-County Health Department)
Interactive COVID Data Tracker (CDC)
COVID-19: Staying Safe in Your Community (EC City-County Health Dept.)
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub 
Eau Claire weekly COVID Situation Report 
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Vaccination Page 
Metrics Dashboard
Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force


Mark your calendar:


Workforce Solutions Summit

 • Wednesday, November 16, Pablo Center at the Confluence


Eggs & Issues: Election Analysis with Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin

 • Thursday, November 17, Pablo Center at the Confluence


Regional Housing Conference

Organized by the City of Eau Claire Housing Opportunities Commission.

 • Thursday, December 1, CVTC Business Education Center


Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast

 • Friday, Dec 16, Pablo Center at the Confluence


"Eau What A Night:" The Chamber's 108th Annual Meeting

 • Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Pablo Center


29th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally

 • Wednesday, February 22, 2023, Madison


Business Salutes Eau Claire Annual Golf Outing

• Monday, August 7, 2023


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 Governmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org 

This email was sent on behalf of {{TCDisplayName}} located at {{TCADDRAddress1}}{{TCADDRAddress2}}{{TCADDRCity}}{{TCADDRStateProvince}} {{TCADDRPostalCode}}To unsubscribe click here. If you have questions or comments concerning this email contact {{TCDisplayName}} at {{TCEmailAddress}}.