Author

Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary.

electric car charging station

Assembly amendment sends EV charging station bill back to Senate

By: - February 26, 2024

Legislation that will open the door to more electric vehicle charging stations in Wisconsin passed the Assembly after being amended last week, sending it back to the state Senate before it can go to the governor’s desk. If the Senate gives its final OK and SB-791 is signed by Gov. Tony Evers, it will allow […]

Divided Legislature approves $15M for Chippewa Valley hospitals, rejects expanded use for funds

By: - February 23, 2024

Legislation to spend $15 million helping emergency departments in the Chippewa Valley expand is headed to Gov. Tony Evers after passing the Assembly Thursday, but lawmakers from the region dispute how helpful it will be. The legislation was drafted after two western Wisconsin hospitals and 19 clinics in partnership with them announced plans to close […]

Preschool children playing with colorful shapes and toys in a child care center

Child care tax credit most likely to survive among tax bills GOP sent to Evers

By: - February 22, 2024

A $2.1 billion tax cut package that Republicans in the Legislature introduced after Gov. Tony Evers vetoed previous tax cut proposals will now go to Evers for his signature, another rejection, or a little of both. The package includes four separate bills that passed the state Senate on Tuesday after passing the Assembly a week […]

Senate Republicans fire four Evers appointees from natural resources, UW Health boards

By: - February 21, 2024

Wisconsin Senate Republicans rejected four appointees of Gov. Tony Evers Tuesday, including one to the Natural Resources Board and three to the board that oversees the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority. One GOP senator said Natural Resources Board (NRB) appointee Todd Ambs was being fired because of a now-deleted tweet attacking Republicans and […]

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

Legislature will take up bills to help western Wisconsin communities facing loss of two hospitals

By: - February 20, 2024

Legislation that would redirect $15 million to help hospitals and health care providers in the Chippewa Valley step in to pick up services lost when two hospitals in the region close this spring will go before the state Legislature this week. Two bills — AB-1078/SB-1014 and AB-1077/SB1015 — will authorize the state Department of Health […]

Legislation would enable state’s signature small business aid program to bounce back

By: - February 16, 2024

A pandemic aid program that gave nearly 10,000 small businesses across the state a boost of $10,000 each would get a boost of its own under legislation that got a public hearing this week. The legislation, AB-963 / SB-891, would turn the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) Main Street Bounceback initiative into a continuing source […]

Power line legislation favoring in-state companies passes Assembly

By: - February 15, 2024

Without debate and on a voice vote — which included audible cries of “No” — the Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would give in-state utilities the right to construct new interstate power lines passing through Wisconsin without competitive bidding. Critics have called the legislation a guaranteed monopoly measure that will drive up utility costs […]

Democratic lawmakers renew their pitch for a paid leave program in Wisconsin

By: - February 15, 2024

With the regular session of the state Legislature on track to end before April, Democratic lawmakers rolled out a draft bill to renew their quest for a paid family leave program in Wisconsin. Advocates nodded to the Valentine’s Day unveiling of the bill, and its lead Senate author said the announcement was also aimed at […]

Assembly passes latest Republican tax package with few Democrats’ votes

By: - February 14, 2024

The Wisconsin Assembly passed four Republican tax cut proposals Tuesday, two of them along party lines. The centerpiece of the Republican package would expand the 4.4% state income tax bracket, the second-lowest, to up to $150,000 of income. A second bill would exempt from the state income tax the first $75,000 in retirement income for […]

Worker scoops ice cream at a retail service job for employment

Assembly Republicans vote to eliminate work permits for younger teens

By: - February 14, 2024

The Wisconsin Assembly concurred in a Senate bill that would eliminate work permits for 15- and 16-year-old teenagers in a party-line vote Tuesday. The vote followed a half-hour debate in which the Republican supporters said they were simply seeking to remove “red tape” and “bureaucracy” from teenage job seekers and their families. They noted that […]

Johnson aims to bolster the state’s health workforce, restore trust in public health

By: - February 12, 2024

As Kirsten Johnson starts her second year as the head of Wisconsin’s state health department, she has a bulging portfolio of responsibilities. The Department of Health Services (DHS) is the second-largest executive branch agency, with nearly 6,000 employees. (Only the the Department of Corrections, which runs the state prison system, is larger, employing  more than […]

A Planned Parenthood Clinic in downtown Milwaukee. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Wisconsin Planned Parenthood employees vote for union representation

By: - February 9, 2024

Employees at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin voted to join the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals union Thursday with an 81% majority of those who voted. The union will cover a total of 133 nurse practitioners, registered nurses and other health care workers at the health care nonprofit that provides a wide range of […]