Thursday, April 28, 2016

Walker herds seniors, disabled, as cash cow for insurers

Walker and his legislative allies have found yet another way to screw the poor in our once-proudly progressive state by preparing to let private, profit-driven businesses make a buck off other people's suffering:
Gov. Scott Walker's administration wants to shift multibillion dollar programs serving more than 55,000 elderly and disabled people from long-standing nonprofits to national for-profit health insurance companies.
Having eyed some Wisconsiites' medical needs as a big-business profit center last year, too: 
Walker budget upends Long-Term-Care patients; private insurers' win 

Here we go again - - another Walker surprise, 'because-I-can' budget bombshell - - this one upending thousands of families utilizing in-home Long Term Care assistance and routing some to out-of-state private insurance providers.

Prosser request would have Walker undergo total personality transplant

David Prosser - - retiring State Supreme Court Justice - - you can't be serious.

After years of rubber-stamping Scott Walker priorities like the partisan and anti-labor Act 10, a Voter ID law based on non-existent voter impersonation fraud, and the killing of a high-profile investigation that freed Walker from further inquiry and deeply embedded special interest money and campaign coordination in state campaigns   - - and after years of Court conservatives' subservience to several of their major institutional campaign donors - - and after being at the center of a personal uproar on the Court and part of a process over adopting recusal rules which helped earn the Court a grade of "F" from a national rating service - - retiring conservative Justice David Prosser actually wrote these words to Walker as the Governor contemplates which GOP toady with which he can replace Prosser and  serve free of pesky election requirements until the spring of 2020:
Justice David Prosser is asking the guv to pick someone "fully committed to the important mission of the judiciary" to replace him on the Wisconsin Supreme Court"Such a person will understand that promoting the reputation and integrity of the institution is more important than the promotion of any individual," Prosser wrote. 
You might as well ask Ronald McDonald to begin serving McTofu. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Supreme Court appointment double-standard, Wisconsin style

I'm waiting for one Republican policy-maker in Wisconsin who supports US Sen. Ron Johnson's obstruction of President Barack Obama's nomination to fill a vacancy on the US Supreme Court to  object to Scott Walker's appointment of a replacement for the soon-to-retire Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.

Johnson's obstruction is purely for partisan advantage.

As will be Walker's move.

So - - somewhat different processes, both deeply political - - but Johnson and his block-Obama pals are hypocrites if they do nothing but applaud Walker's partisan appointment when he makes it.


Walker can extend righty chokehold on WI Supreme Court

Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser - - who escaped a nail-bitingly tight re-election in 2011 and also managed to deflect subsequent allegations that he'd choked fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley - - announced his intention to retire in July.

That's good news for the far right, as it leaves the ultra-partisan and reactionary GOP Gov. Scott Walker free to appoint to the state's highest court yet another young corporate tool to a long tenure.

A court managed by recusal rules the court let major donors draft.

Under state law, there can't be an election to fill the position for about four years,so the new incumbent will have served and gained advantage until 2020.

Walker promoted the far-right Rebecca Bradley to a State Supreme Court vacancy last fall after the sudden death of Justice Patrick Crooks.

Bradley won a 10-year-term outright earlier this month.


Will Walker, GOP legislature fund Voter ID education?

I doubt it. The whole point of the GOP's voter suppression program - - fewer early voting hours, registration obstruction, and especially Voter ID - - is voter suppression in cities and on college campuses, not not voter education - - with a price tag of $250,000.

That's money the state could spend waste defending Voter ID or drug-testing food stamp recipients, or fighting clean air rules or John Doe jurisdictions or any of the ruling party's special-interest programs or self-serving priorities.

Besides, having government offer educational information suggests government has credibility and something important to say, which is the opposite of the denigrate-and-mistrust/government misinformation message which the Walkerites are busy promoting.

Widespread voter participation directly threatens pro-corporate, anti-government authority.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why do adults leave loaded guns within children's reach?

[Updated from 4/26/16, 7:55 p.m.] Concealed gun carry mad recklessness:

Idaho.  

HAYDEN, Idaho — A mom shopping at a Walmart store died Tuesday after her toddler, who was left in a shopping cart, reached into her purse andaccidentally discharged her handgun, authorities said. 
Veronica J. Rutledge, 29, of Blackfoot, Idaho, had gone to the store in this Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, suburb with four children in tow at mid-morning.
Her 2-year-old son, who was sitting in the shopping cart, reached into his mother's purse, causing the small-caliber handgun to discharge one time, said Lt. Stu Miller, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office spokesman.
 
And now, Milwaukee, on a busy, familiar stretch of city highway north of Miller Park.

A 26-year-old woman was shot to death while driving in Milwaukee Tuesday morning and the shot came from a child in the back seat who somehow got hold of a gun.  
The woman was struck once in the back as she drove south on U.S. 41/Highway 175 near W. Vliet St., at the southwest end of Washington Park, about 10:30 a.m., the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said.
And who could forget the Waukesha County husband and wife who left their guns in different bathrooms near children in different episodes and different counties. Mercifully, no one was shot.  

Update: It appears that the gun in the Milwaukee fatality slid onto the backseat floor from under a front seat where the two-year-old, not restrained in a car seat, managed to fire it. The car and gun belonged to the deceased driver's boyfriend, a security guard.



Must-read/distribute/save Scott Walker report card

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign outdoes itself - - and wannabe documentarians like me - - with a dynamite, annotated list of Scott Walker's attacks on Wisconsin people, law, environment and quality of life.

Must read./save/archive/distribute:
New Report Details Assault on Wisconsin’s Way of Life by Walker, Legislature
April 26, 2016 Fist
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign issued a report on Tuesday that covers 100 items approved by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the legislature that have collectively assaulted Wisconsin’s democracy and the common good.
The report, “Walker’s Worst 100,” details measures approved since 2011 when Walker became governor and the Republicans took control of the legislature. These measures run the gamut:
Consumer Protection
Disability Rights
Environment
Immigrant Rights
Justice and the Courts
Labor Rights
Local Control
Public Education and School Vouchers
Safety Net
Taxes and Corporate Welfare
Voting and Elections
Weapons
Women’s Health 
Collectively, these 100 items drew support from more than a dozen powerful special interests, mostly because the items signed into law benefited them at the expense of the general public. These special interests, including business, manufacturing, construction, real estate, energy, transportation, agriculture, and banking, contributed $14.4 million to the legislature, including $12.2 million to majority Republican lawmakers, and $32.2 million to Walker, between January 2011 and December 2015.

New WI wetlands bill so awful newspaper shouts headline twice

I've written for years on this blog about Scott Walker's politicized degradation of wetlands - - see real estate, special interests - - Wisconsin's air, waterways, and land- - one example among scores of posts - - and I think the awareness of Walker's harm to the environment has finally sunk in at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which repeatedly endorsed him for Milwaukee County Executive and Governor and at 2:25 today posted this story about his signing a wetlands-filling bill:

Scott Walker signs wetlands bill Scott Walker signs wetlands bill

Walker signed Senate Bill 459, which designates areas as specialized wetlands, allowing property owners to conduct more building activity in these areas. 
The law will also allow dredging in artificial bodies of water, require disputes over piers to be handled by circuit courts, instead of through administrative hearings, and curb the ability of the Department of Natural Resources to block municipalities from constructing storm-water management ponds. 
Update - - the headline is corrected to just: 

Scott Walker signs wetlands bill 

Walker's WI bests Kansas in food stamp denial

[Updated from 4/25/16, 6:11 p.m.] On, Wisconsin!

While Kansas, the poster state for failed GOP economics, has stripped 15,000 of its citizens of their food stamps:

Kansas Governor Justifies Kicking 15,000 People Off Food Stamps
 Walker's Wisconsin has nearly tripled Kansas' cold toll:
Report: 41,000 lost food stamps in Wisconsin last year
Which brings this to mind:
FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2013 
Scott Walker: Cutting Govt Aid To The Poor Is Love
And this, when it comes to food stamps and health insurance in Wisconsin
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2015 
About Walker's "love" for the poor 
Nothing shows your "love" for the poor - - watch the video - - then again turning down federal health insurance funding for 57,000 Wisconsin adults supporting a family of four who earn $1 more than $23,850-a-year.
So let's finish with this last expression of Walker love
 07/13/2015 10:02 pm ET | Updated Jul 14, 2015
Scott Walker Strips Wisconsin Workers Of ‘Living Wage’ In New State Budget  
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the new state budget into law on Sunday with a last-minute change that strips the words “living wage” from state laws and replaces it with “minimum wage.” 
The change means [$7.25] ]minimum-wage Wisconsin workers will earn nearly $6,000 per year less than what the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculates is a living wage in the state. And they will have no recourse, according to the Center for American Progress. MIT says a living wage would be $10.13 an hour. 
And a discussion today that ties this all together: 
 APR 26, 2016 8:00 AM
Fast Food Industry Looks To Skirt Labor Law, With An Assist From Scott Walker
And reminds us how little this man with a state-provided mansion and $144,000 annual salary with unlimited time off to campaign across the country knows or cares about low-income working people
By  Dave Umhoefer on Monday, January 13th, 2014 at 5:00 a.m.
Scott Walker says minimum wage jobs are ‘overwhelmingly’ for young people 
False
That strikes us as overstated given that workers older than 24 make up 45 percent to 49 percent of federal minimum wage workers. Teenagers are less than one-third of the overall low-wage group. 
We rate his claim False. 





Monday, April 25, 2016

DNR wants more well monitoring at Central Sands CAFO, but...

[Updated from 1:15 p.m. Monday] Groundwater in the Wisconsin's central sands region is both over-pumped and contaminated at high levels by animal waste runoff, but officials have been unable or unwilling to stop it.
File:Confined-animal-feeding-operation.jpg
Several large animal-feeding operations known as CAFO's (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) are under review by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, including a 26,000-pig feeding CAFO - - the largest of its kind in Wisconsin - - which Iowa owners want to locate in NW WI near the City of Ashland and within smelling distance of Lake Superior.

Draft permit documents newly-posted by the DNR show that the the Central Sands CAFO operation in Juneau County - - one of the state's most controversial - - will be required through changes in its DNR-issued operating permit to install additional monitoring wells and other improvements on-site.

The proposed permit modifications will not require that groundwater meet designated quality standards - - as sought often by concerned citizens - - which continues a trend and recent state actions which also required a huge Kewaunee County dairy cattle CAFO to add more groundwater monitoring - - but which also allowed the operator to substantially expand the CAFO's capacity even though a state administrative law judge had put a cap on it.

A public comment period about the Central Sands CAFO permit modifications, and a two-hour hearing on the matter will be held in the Necedah village hall on May 9th, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Here's a 2015 newspaper story with some of the Juneau County/Central Sands CAFO's history and information about another big CAFO - - Golden Sands - - which has been proposed in Wood County by the same owner as Central Sands, and is still under a DNR review:
...report filed in August with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that shows monitoring wells at Central Sands Dairy, in the town of Armenia in Juneau County, recently contained nitrate levels substantially higher than state drinking water standards. 
...groundwater tests of four wells at Central Sands Dairy found nitrogen levels ranging widely — some far below state standards, but other tests that indicated nitrogen levels well above what the state considers safe. 
Tests in one well showed nitrogen levels at 77 parts per million in July, an increase from 60 parts per million in December. The state considers nitrate levels above 10 parts per million unsafe, particularly for infants...Testing also showed the presence of E. Coli in two wells, and levels of ammonium exceeding a lower standard of concern.
More about those CAFOs and their common ownership, here:

Below are the links to the new DNR documents about the Central Sands CAFO, and some excerpts:

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wastewater/documents/central-sands-modfs.pdf

Central Sands Dairy LLC is a currently Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES)-permitted dairy Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Its current WPDES permit became effective on January 1, 2012 and will expire on December 31, 2016. At issuance, the operation housed approximately 3800 dairy cows and 400 calves, or 5300 Animal Units. In response to concerns about potential groundwater impacts associated with the operation’s production area, the Department is proposing to modify the current permit to include requirements for Central Sands Dairy LLC to install a production area groundwater monitoring system... 
Reasons: The Department is modifying the WPDES Permit for Central Sands Dairy to require additional groundwater monitoring for the reasons listed here. Additional information is in the attached report from the Drinking Water and Groundwater Program dated March 31, 2016. 
A. The above listed submittals from Central Sands Dairy included new information that a septic system drain field exists immediately upgradient from the groundwater monitoring well nest CSD-1. 
B. The Department has reviewed the production area groundwater monitoring results submitted to date, and finds that additional groundwater monitoring locations are needed to identify the source or sources of groundwater contamination. The monitoring results to date do not support, Central Sands Dairy's position that the causes are from off-site, and possibly from on-site limited facilities that the WPDES Permit does not regulate (a septic system drain field) or that are no longer in use (a feed runoff treatment infiltration strip). 
C. Central Sands Dairy performed what it refers to as a "comprehensive integrity analysis" ofthe manure storage lagoon, which included emptying, cleaning, and inspection, and repair ofthe cracks identified. The Department believes most ofthe cracks were narrow enough that significant liquid leakage seems unlikely. Unfortunately, soil samples taken from below the cracks did not receive chemical testing to help determine if leakage had occurred. Also, Central Sands Dairy has still not acknowledged the groundwater found within 2 feet below the floor elevation at the time of repair, and the analysis also did not address this finding. This groundwater found was mentioned only in a field note, with no photos or resulting soil test results provided, and no other information or mention ofthis groundwater elevation was made in the analysis report (prepared by AECOM). 
D. The Department and Central Sands Dairy have determined the digester floor elevation appears to not have the required minimum 2 feet from saturation, based on the groundwater level monitoring results from groundwater monitoring wells, and the digester design plans (no as-built record is available). 
E. The Department does not agree that the manure lagoon and digester were in compliance with the minimum required separation to saturation specified by the NRCS 313 Standard in effect at the time of construction. (September 28, 2015, Non-Compliant Evaluation letter from the Department).
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wastewater/documents/central-sands-mod_perm.pdf

Also - - the number of CAFOs statewide has gone from 50 to more than 200 since 2000, according to DNR data:

CAFO Graph

Walker's so-called 'WI-tough-on-OWI' boast deconstructed

Props to WISC-TV Channel 3000 and the AP for deconstructing changes in Wisconsin's OWI laws: 

Walker...said the bill sends a message that Wisconsin is serious about drunken driving. Wisconsin remains the only state, however, that doesn't criminalize a first offense.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Stick-it-to-Milwaukee Walker defunded city crime-fighting tool

The Washington Post today offered readers a fascinating look at the gunshot sound-gathering/crime-fighting-computerized tool known as ShotSpotter
Last year, there were 165,531 separate gunshots recorded in 62 different urban municipalities nationwide, including places such as San Francisco, Washington, D.C., St. Louis and Canton, according to ShotSpotter, the company behind a technology that listens for gunfire's acoustic signature and reports it to authorities.
In addition to the program's instantaneous notification of gunshots to police officers on patrol, the data can be used to craft specific and community crime-fighting, life-saving strategies, for example:
The Urban Institute looked at gunfire near Washington schools during the 2011-12 school year. The policy think tank found four schools faced a disproportionate share of shots fired nearby, with nine to 11 each, and called for more study of how gun violence affects students... 
“We need more data like this,” [University of Virginia faculty member Jennifer] Doleac said. “It allows for a much better understanding of gun violence.”
Quite a tool, and one, you'd hope, that no one could politicize or contort into any sort of us-versus-them.

Wrong you are, Bucky, as the Walkerites spotted a way to use a cut in ShotSpotter funding to send a 'stick it to Milwaukee' message to the state's largest city.

The record shows that GOP Gov. Scott Walker and his party's legislators cut from his own 2013-'15 budget a state ShotSpotter grant for Milwaukee, as I noted at the time.
Hard to believe, but Gov. Walker and GOP budget-writers chose not to include a mere $445,000 in a $68 billion state budget to fund an electronic gunshot tracing system for the City of Milwaukee...
And please do not call this "pork."  It would have funded, at a modest level, a crime-fighting tool to help get guns and criminals off the streets. Pretty much Public Safety 101. 
If you want to talk about pork, look at the $5 million budget amendment - - that's twelve times the amount of the ShotSpotter grant - - somehow miraculously approved for the hometown of a Joint Finance Committee co-chairman to assist a business development center.
ShotSpotter: The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee rejected an attempt to restore $445,400 from a community policing grant for the Police Department's ShotSpotter program. Walker had not included the money in his budget...
A year later - - and who knows after how many diverted dollars, flying Milwaukee bullets, terrorized neighborhoods and subsequent fallen victims were left in the wake of his budget game-playing - - Walker signed a separate bill that provided a smaller sum of state funding for Milwaukee's ShotSpotter effort:
The Republican governor had proposed a budget last year that eliminated $445,400 in grants that police hoped to use to expand the program. Walker's administration considered the grants an earmark for a single city, according to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau report.  
Republicans who control the Legislature went along with the governor's  wishes, wiping out the money in the budget that took effect in July. 
Walker said he had no regrets about removing the money from the budget, but said he eventually changed his mind after he learned more about how the system works.    
In fact, if you didn't know the entire story, you'd think this headline told the whole story:
Walker signs extension of Milwaukee's gunshot sensor program
What Walker did was force the city and county to did into their heir already state law-limited funding and pay the difference - - as if locals aren't picking up enough of these costs already to make the entire state safer and more attractive to those business Walker says he's attracting.

He called it leverage. A better word is callous. 

Why Walker shrugs off WI student debt crisis

Gotta take care of #1 first:
Walker owes just under $1 million from presidential race 
UPDATED 1:28 PM CDT Apr 23, 2016
His latest campaign filing this week shows Walker owes just over $952,000. That is down about $141,000 from the previous month. His debt stood at $1.2 million at the end of 2015. 
Walker has frozen UW tuition, but never introduced a bill to directly address student loan debt.

And he's said student loan debt - - which would be reduced through the state's low-interest borrowing authority which his WEDC shovels to friendly businesses - - might just be politics.

Horrors. Good thing he's never been involved in anything like that - - politics - - 
Scott Walker ends his 2016 Presidential run
- - thought I note that his 'no-poliics' declaration seem a a default trope and rationalization when he's crafting a Mr. Reasonable sound bite.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

And what did Scott Walker say about Earth Day 4/22/16?

Nothing on his official website, as I predicted - - or anywhere else, says The Google.

If you were expecting a proclamation or salute to former Wisconsin Governor and Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, it basically looks like this.


However, his office on the day celebrated as Earth Day around the earth did post this breaking news:

Executive Residence 2016 Spring and Summer Public Tours are Underway

Friday, April 22, 2016 - Press Release

Madison – Tours of the Wisconsin Executive Residence and Executive Residence gardens will be held each Thursday through the end of August between the hours of 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM.
Tours are free of charge, and cameras are allowed.  Parties of 20 or more are asked to make a reservation by calling (608) 246-5501.  Parking is available directly outside the residence gates.  The Executive Residence is handicapped accessible.  Handicapped parking is available upon request at the time of arrival.
The Executive Residence is located at 99 Cambridge Road on Madison’s northeast side in the Village of Maple Bluff.
###
But don't take the absence of an Earth Day proclamation as evidence that Walker isn't on the job and busy with his agenda. The man has his priorities and, in your name, is busy addressing a "crucial issue" like this, as his 4/12/16 news release indicates:
Governor Scott Walker Takes the Lead, Nations’ Governors Join in Signing SNAP Welfare Letter to Congressional Leaders 
Madison – Governor Scott Walker, joined by the Governors of Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah, signed a letter addressed to Congressional leaders expressing support for legislation confirming states’ rights to drug test Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.  Governor Walker released the following statement:
Programs like SNAP typically require job training as a condition to receive benefits, and implementing drug-testing requirements as well makes it easier for recipients with substance abuse to move from government dependence to true independence. That’s why we’ve put in place drug screening, testing, and treatment mechanisms to help SNAP recipients enter a job training program where they’ll receive the valuable skills and knowledge they need to obtain a family-supporting job. The legislation authored by Congressman Robert Aderholt confirms states’ rights to drug test SNAP recipients, and we look forward to working with him on this crucial issue and implementing this common-sense reform in Wisconsin.
Press Release | April 12, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

For the record: How controversial Waukesha diversion map was drawn

Given today's news about Great Lakes officials telling Waukesha it cannot pipe diverted water to several neighboring municipalities Waukesha included in a service territory map included in the diversion application,

I'm reposting a blog item below from 2012 that shed light on how and by whom that map was drawn. 


Separately, I'm including details and the map provided to Waukesha laying out the new water delivery area as drafted by the regional planning commission that were in a 2012 Daily Reporter story, here, that tied the deal's map to development:
Waukesha ties water deal to developments
...Waukesha, in its plan to tap Lake Michigan as a water source, estimated the water would serve an area that, if fully developed, would have a population of 97,400, an increase of 21,900 people from the total in the 2000 U.S. Census.  
“I would say the majority of it is in the residential area,” said Dan Duchniak, general manager of the Waukesha Water Utility. “There is some commercial and industrial growth, but most of the commercial and industrial growth would be more redevelopment or infill development.”
You might be surprised at how few people and with how little publicity the map got made:
Skimpy Record Supporting Controversial Waukesha Water Service Map 
TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2012 
Milwaukee has asked the DNR to step in and referee Milwaukee's disagreement with Waukesha over how Waukesha's proposed new and broadened water service area's boundaries should be drawn as part of Waukesha's application for a Lake Michigan water diversion.  
Milwaukee is a potential water seller to Waukesha, but does not want to extend the sale beyond Waukesha to portions of four smaller communities - - The Towns of Genesee, Waukesha and Delafied, and the City of Pewaukee - - that Waukesha included in its application's water service area - - an area that was mapped by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission,(SEWRPC). 
I've already opined that the DNR has evaporating credibility to referee the dispute.  
What follows is more of the story about how the controversial map got drawn that has escaped much publicity.  
The dots I've connected tell a lot about how this map was created, and also about how major public policies can be born and set in motion almost invisibly by technocrats and obscure committees before their work hits the front pages, decision-making by elected officials and public budgets that impact everyone...

























Diversion reviewers cite long-standing flaw in Waukesha water bid

Decision-making officials from eight Great Lakes states and advisers from two Canadian provinces reviewing Waukesha's request for a precedent-setting diversion of water from Lake Michigan - - an application that took years to write and large sums of staff and consulting time to prepare, and which Scott Walker's DNR had said was up to snuff - - have chopped from the application the so-called expanded service territory beyond Waukesha's municipal borders and into neighboring communities which had bumped up the diversion's daily demand and its underlying controversy.

Big surprise, as I'd pointed out the obvious nearly six years ago:
The weakest link in the application - - and what will raise questions all the way from the Town of Waukesha to the City of Milwaukee, and with reviewers and regulators in all the eight Great Lakes states, is Waukesha's plan to send Lake Michigan water into parts of Pewaukee, Genesee and the Town of Waukesha. 
Expanding the current service territory land mass by 80%. 
That expansion - - mapped out and green-lighted by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission for the Waukesha application administatively, without public review…[means] you have the application resting on the shakiest of premises, because: 
Water for growth is not the goal of the Compact. Take it from a Compact expert's superb analysis, here.
Lake Michigan Landsat Satellite Photo.jpg 
And which Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett warned about four years ago: 
The City of Waukesha will run into "a buzz saw" of opposition from other Great Lakes states if it persists in its bid to distribute Lake Michigan water to a future service area extending beyond its boundaries, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Thursday...
He made his comments to representatives of environmental and conservation groups from Wisconsin and the other states…. 
Barrett insisted Waukesha's diversion request was vulnerable on the issue of a future water service area designated by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. The larger area encompasses portions of the City of Pewaukee and towns of Delafield, Genesee and Waukesha.
The reviewers made the decision to remove the expanded service territory from the application during the second of two days of meetings in Chicago.

The application's reviewers will make a final decision in June. 



Trust Walker to oversee Lake Michigan diversion in public trust spirit?

Reviewers from the eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces are devoting a second day of work today in Chicago on Waukesha's controversial and precedent-setting application for a diversion of Lake Michigan water
Lake Michigan Landsat Satellite Photo.jpg
under the terms of a US-Canadian water management Compact designed to strictly limit such diversions essentially to last-resort cases.

A non-diversion alternative has been prepared, but Waukesha has rejected it.

Among the stumbling blocks to Waukesha's diversion application - - already backed by Scott Walker and given a technical thumbs-up by his Department of Natural Resources - is Waukesha's insistence since it drafted the application six years ago that it is allowed under state law to send a portion of diverted water beyond its borders that includes some undeveloped land in an expanded service 80% larger than its current municipal land mass and to several neighboring communities which did not ask for the diversion and have no demonstrated need for it.

The application asks for a daily average diversion of about ten million gallons day, while the city's current usage is around six million gallons daily; the reviewers will decide if they are bound by Wisconsin's expanded service territory legislation, and will assess the DNR's evaluation of the application as well asWaukesha's options, conservation practices and more,

Keep in mind Waukesha's long history of property annexation and its inclusion of the neighboring towns in its diversion application without those municipalities' prior approvals.

I'd add some additional concerns:

*  Walker's "open for business" sloganeering, also remembering that Waukesha is the hub city in Walker's strongest base voting county and noting this Milwaukee Business Journal December editorial (paywall warning) which makes the water-and-development connection:
Waukesha water case also about development
The attempt by the city of Waukesha to tap Lake Michigan for its water supply is getting intense scrutiny for its potential environmental impact, as it rightfully should. But the move by Waukesha is also about determining the future economic development of one of the most populated areas of southeastern Wisconsin.  
*  Can the same "open for business" Governor and corporate-friendly Legislature which has long defied federal water standards and enforcement, cut DNR staff, diminished its science focus, eased waterway phosphorus removal schedules statewide - - a summary Wi water crisis posting here - - encouraged sand and iron ore open pit mining, increased wetlands-filling and shoreline development procedures, softened environmental inspections and prosecutions, and enabled the expansion of large animal feeding (and manure-producing) operations be entrusted with making sure that diverted Lake Michigan water is not used to fuel sprawl, and will not harm the quality of, or add flood risk, to the diversion's Root River discharge route?

*  Should a Wisconsin DNR that is intentionally defined and managed by Walker with "a chamber of commerce mentality," and which is increasingly run with business interests at the fore be made responsible for diversion oversight in the public interest? 

Simply put, should the Great Lakes governors turn over Compact diversion compliance to sharply politicized policy-makers and their hand-picked, ideological agency managers in Wisconsin who have shown little respect for the water they are supposed to manage for everyone as the public trust laid out in the Great Lakes Compact and guaranteed by the Wisconsin State Constitution?