Author

Baylor Spears

Baylor Spears

Baylor Spears is a staff reporter for the Wisconsin Examiner. She’s previously written for the Minnesota Reformer and Washingtonian Magazine. A Tennessee-native, she graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University in June 2022.

Long-serving Republican Sen. Alberta Darling announces retirement

By: - November 24, 2022

Longtime state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) announced her retirement Wednesday, leaving Senate Republicans one seat short of a supermajority and setting the stage for what could be a competitive special election. “For the past thirty-two years, it has been my honor and privilege to represent the great people of Wisconsin. I am especially fortunate […]

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (center) and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (right) at a lunch-time panel moderated by Jeff Mayers (left) of WisPolitics. Photo by Baylor Spears/Wisconsin Examiner

Republican leaders to pursue ‘transformational tax changes’

By: - November 23, 2022

Wisconsin’s top Republican leaders emphasized the potential for compromise in the coming legislative session as they pursue major tax changes and consider changes to school funding on Tuesday.  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R – Oostburg) agreed during a lunch-time panel hosted by WisPolitics that tax reform […]

Religious anti-abortion protesters stand outside a Milwaukee Planned Parenthood building. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Two paths forward on Wisconsin’s abortion ban

By: - November 21, 2022

Wisconsin’s 172-year-old abortion ban, which doesn’t include exceptions for rape or incest, proved to be an influential force in this month’s elections. With uncertainty about the future of abortion hanging over Wisconsin ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federally protected abortion rights in June, Democrats galvanized women and young voters on the message of […]

Rep. Greta Neubauer official photo

Assembly Democratic leadership remains unchanged

By: - November 18, 2022

Minority Leader Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) was unanimously reelected by Assembly Democrats during their caucus meeting Thursday afternoon.  “The cycle was very difficult, but we have won a hard fought victory and prevented illegitimate, undemocratic, single party control in Wisconsin,” Neubauer said in her address to the caucus.  Neubauer, 31, will lead a smaller caucus of […]

BOWIE, MARYLAND - MARCH 25: Nurses draw vaccine doses from a vial as Maryland residents receive their second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine at the Cameron Grove Community Center. The vaccinations were provided by Prince George's County's Mobile Units. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

DHS officials warn about respiratory illness rates, urge vaccinations

By: - November 17, 2022

Wisconsin Department of Health Services officials said there is concern more people than ever before could become sick this holiday season as three respiratory illnesses — influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and COVID-19 — circulate at high rates across Wisconsin and the country.  “All three of these viruses we have seen before and they’re not totally […]

Rep. Janel Brandtjen speaking on the Assembly floor into a microphone

Brandtjen responds to Republicans barring her from caucus meetings

By: - November 17, 2022

Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R – Menomonee Falls) addressed Assembly Republicans’ vote to bar her from closed caucus meetings in a statement Wednesday.  A letter — first obtained by WisPolitics — dated Nov. 11 and written by majority caucus chair Rob Summerfield (R – Bloomer), offered few specifics but said the caucus took the vote because […]

Senate Democrats elect new leadership during Tuesday meeting

By: - November 16, 2022

Senate Democrats unanimously elected Sen. Melissa Agard (D-Madison) as the Senate minority leader during their caucus meeting on Tuesday.  “To my current colleagues and my incoming colleagues, I want to thank you,” Agard said to the caucus. “I am humbled and honored to be taking on this responsibility, and I am eager to begin our […]

Minority Leader Greta Neubauer on the floor of the Wisconsin Assembly

Legislative Democrats consider paths forward following election losses

By: - November 14, 2022

Legislative Democrats staved off a Republican supermajority in the Wisconsin Assembly last week that would have allowed the GOP to override Gov. Tony Evers’ vetoes. The results — while viewed as a victory — still leave Democratic state lawmakers in a tough spot.  Democrats lost one seat in the state Senate and three seats in […]

Exhibit in Capitol honors Wisconsin veterans killed during Vietnam War

By: - November 11, 2022

The photos of 1,163 Wisconsinites killed during the Vietnam War are on display in the Capitol Rotunda through the weekend for Veteran’s Day, honoring those who lost their lives during the 20-year conflict.  The “Wisconsin Remembers” exhibit puts faces to the names of the veterans who are listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in […]

Legislative Republicans reelect top leaders during closed caucus

By: - November 11, 2022

Assembly and Senate Republicans reelected their top leaders during closed caucus meetings Thursday.  Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu both won reelection. The leaders will guide larger caucuses in the coming biennium, after Republicans won an additional Senate seat and three additional Assembly seats during Tuesday’s elections.  This will be Vos’ […]

GOP Republican campaign buttons Red election message

Republicans fall short of legislative supermajority

By: - November 9, 2022

This piece was updated to reflect vote totals as of 12:45 p.m. Wednesday. It seems unlikely that Republicans will secure the veto-proof majorities in the Legislature that would give them the power to override Gov. Tony Evers’ vetoes. State Sen. Melissa Agard (D – Madison) said while it was too early to tell in some […]

Wisconsin’s least competitive legislative races happening Tuesday

By: - November 8, 2022

A handful of Wisconsin’s legislative races are expected to be competitive and play a decisive role in whether Republicans win supermajorities in the Senate and Assembly. The remaining races are mostly noncompetitive with candidates facing weak opposition or none at all. While election seasons typically include less competitive races, recent redistricting has played a role […]