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.

Lawmakers consider how Wisconsin’s mental health policies could improve

By: - March 29, 2023

State agency representatives and mental health advocates testified Tuesday about how Wisconsin could improve when it comes to addressing mental health issues, asking lawmakers to consider supporting different policies and additional investments, including certain items proposed by Gov. Tony Evers for the upcoming biennial budget.  Rep. Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc), chair of the Assembly Mental Health […]

Abortion drug pills and drinking water

Republicans propose bill to bar state employees from promoting or providing abortions

By: - March 28, 2023

A bill being circulated by Republican lawmakers would prohibit state and local government employees from promoting, providing or facilitating abortion services while acting within the scope of their job.  The “Taxpayer Abortion Subsidy Prevention” bill is meant to continue severing ties between taxpayer dollars and abortion services, according to the co-sponsorship memo being circulated by […]

Photo courtesy School District of Tomahawk

Tomahawk mother calls for action after racially insensitive performance

By: - March 27, 2023

A Tomahawk mother is asking her daughters’ school district to take action, following a fourth grade performance of a Black folk song that featured what seemed to be a student pretending to be a slave catcher chasing another student, pretending to be an enslaved person. “Run, chillun, run, the pattyroller will catch you,” fourth graders […]

Republican lawmakers reject Evers’ capital budget proposal

By: - March 24, 2023

Republican lawmakers rejected Gov. Tony Evers’ entire proposed $3.8 billion dollar capital budget during a Wisconsin State Building Commission (SBC) meeting Thursday.  Evers’ proposal — one of the largest state government building plans in at least a decade — includes $1.8 billion for building projects within the University of Wisconsin System as well as investments […]

Senate passes public safety bills, confirms Evers’ nominations and retains conversion therapy

By: - March 23, 2023

The Wisconsin Senate passed public safety bills that would increase penalties for delivering drugs that lead to death and carjacking, confirmed Gov. Tony Evers’ appointees, called on Evers to hold a special election for secretary of state and voted to retain the practice of conversion therapy during a Wednesday floor session. Lawmakers considered several public […]

Evers, Democrats call for repealing Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban

By: - March 22, 2023

Gov. Tony Evers and Democratic lawmakers announced a bill Tuesday that would repeal Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban to effectively “restore Roe” in the state.  The action comes two weeks before Wisconsin’s consequential Supreme Court Election. It follows Republicans’ announcement of a bill last week that would add rape and incest exceptions during the first trimester […]

“If you can remember, the Legislature didn't convene for over 300 days in the 2020 session," business owner Christy McKenzie said as Rep. Robert Wittke, the author of a resolution to give the Legislature control over federal emergency funds, looked on during an Assembly Ways and Means committee hearing Thursday, March 16, 2023 (Baylor Spears | Wisconsin Examiner)

Committee considers constitutional amendment to give Legislature more control over federal funds

By: - March 17, 2023

A resolution that would amend the Wisconsin Constitution to give the Legislature more power over how federal funds are appropriated in the state is, again, being considered by lawmakers. The Assembly Ways and Means committee heard testimony Thursday about the constitutional amendments that were proposed in reaction to Gov. Tony Evers’ distribution of federal aid […]

Republicans announce abortion exceptions bill weeks before Supreme Court election

By: - March 15, 2023

Update: This story has been updated to include comment from Sen. Devin LeMahieu.  Republican lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday that would add rape and incest exceptions to Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban, which says anyone who intentionally destroys the life of an unborn child could be charged with a felony, and clarify language about medical exceptions.  […]

Assembly lawmakers pass school crime bills, uphold conversion therapy

By: - March 15, 2023

The Wisconsin Assembly passed two school crime bills and retained a rule change that restores the discredited practice of using conversion therapy to try to change LGBTQ people’s sexual orientation or gender identity during a Tuesday floor session. Republican lawmakers passed a pair of bills that would require schools to report data on crimes and, […]

JFC Democrats host budget roundtable discussion in Milwaukee

By: - March 14, 2023

Understaffed child care centers, Milwaukee’s looming financial crisis and needed investments in public education and the UW system are a few of the issues about 40 Wisconsinites brought to Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Monday morning.  Sens. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) and Kelda Roys (D-Madison) and Reps. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and Tip McGuire (D-Kenosha) […]

Drawing of female reproductive system with judge's gavel and stethoscope

How anti-abortion groups are working to shape Wisconsin law

By: - March 13, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn federal abortion protections in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was one step in the right direction, say leaders of Wisconsin’s major anti-abortion groups. Since the landmark decision and in reaction to ongoing challenges to Wisconsin’s abortion ban, the groups have coalesced around the goal of protecting and […]

Joint Finance Committee announces budget listening sessions

By: - March 9, 2023

Members of Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee will travel across the state throughout April to hear from residents about what they’d like to see included in the next two-year budget.  Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), co-chairs of the powerful committee, announced details of four listening sessions in a statement yesterday.  […]