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.

Double masked teen getting vaccine

Republicans suspend new DHS student vaccine rules

By: - March 9, 2023

Republican lawmakers blocked for a second time updated vaccine requirements for students implemented by the state Department of Health Services on Thursday.  The Joint Committee on the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) voted 6-4 along party lines to suspend three recent updates. The decision removes the requirement that students receive the meningitis vaccine, the requirement […]

Lawmakers announce bill to ban shackling incarcerated pregnant women and create doula program

By: - March 9, 2023

Cheri Branham, a doula, said her birthing experience while incarcerated was terrifying and confusing.  In 2014, Branham said she was handcuffed with chains placed around her stomach and taken to a hospital at 5 a.m. to be induced. There was no  birthing plan. During her 12-hour labor, she said she was unable to contact her […]

A packed hearing room in the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) at a hearing on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Many attendees wore red to show their opposition to updated health rules on vaccine requirements for students. (Baylor Spears | Wisconsin Examiner)

Republicans poised to block DHS vaccine updates for students

By: - March 8, 2023

Republicans will likely block updated rules for student vaccination requirements implemented by the state Department of Health Services for a second time, following a public hearing Tuesday packed with vaccine skeptics wearing bright red clothes. The recent DHS changes announced last month included a shift in when children receive the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular […]

Democrats highlight Evers’ free school meals budget proposal

By: - March 7, 2023

Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Jill Underly and Democratic lawmakers renewed calls on Monday for Wisconsin to provide free school meals to all students, which they say would improve student wellbeing and academic outcomes, ease financial burdens for families and support Wisconsin’s local economies.  Underly, state lawmakers and other stakeholders highlighted the proposal along with two […]

Budget committee co-chairs on potential compromise and Evers’ proposals

By: - March 2, 2023

The Republican co-chairs of Wisconsin’s powerful Joint Finance Committee (JFC) discussed potential areas for compromise in the upcoming two-year budget, while casting doubt on several of Gov. Tony Evers’ budget proposals on Tuesday.   Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) will spend the next several months leading Wisconsin’s budget writing process. […]

Young woman receiving a vaccine shot against a virus

Legislative committee to consider suspending new DHS vaccine rules for students

By: - February 25, 2023

A Republican-led rules committee will consider suspending recent updates to the state Department of Health Services (DHS) immunization requirements for students in early March.  The changes implemented by DHS earlier this month include a requirement that past chickenpox infection needs to be documented by a qualified medical professional and a requirement that 12th grade students […]

The regulatory body that sets and enforces reliability standards in parts of the U.S. power system warns that if certain regions experience extreme weather this winter they may not have sufficient energy supplies. (Photo by iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Evers declared energy emergency to help power restoration after winter storm

By: - February 23, 2023

Gov. Tony Evers declared an energy emergency on Wednesday in preparation for power outages caused by downed trees and accumulating ice on power lines from the winter storm that swept through Wisconsin. Many Wisconsin residents were without power Wednesday night and into Thursday as snow, sleet and freezing rain bombarded the state. The executive order […]

A look at Evers’ proposals for expanding mental health access across the state

By: - February 23, 2023

A recent CDC survey found that 42% of high school students reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2021. The findings were more alarming for teenage girls and LGBTQ students with nearly 60% of female students and nearly 70% of LGBTQ students reporting experiencing these feelings. Gov. Tony Evers referenced the statistics during […]

Knodl wins Republican primary for Senate special election

By: - February 22, 2023

Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) will face Democratic candidate Jodi Habush Sinykin in the general election for Wisconsin’s 8th Senate district.  Knodl beat Trump-backed Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) and Thiensville village president Van Mobley in the Republican primary Tuesday. The seat, which represents parts of Washington, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties — also known as the […]

Conservatives prepare to unite behind Kelly

By: - February 22, 2023

Conservatives seemed prepared to unite behind former Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly in the consequential race for a seat on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, after he beat the other conservative candidate Judge Jennifer Dorow during Tuesday’s primary.  Kelly will face liberal Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz — who was the top vote getter of […]

Democrats spend money in competitive Republican Senate primary

By: - February 16, 2023

Democrats are using a risky strategy — spending money in the Republican primary to boost an election denier’s candidacy — in the competitive race for Wisconsin’s 8th Senate District seat.  Mailers paid for by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and a TV ad paid for by the campaign of Democratic candidate Jodi Habush Sinykin focus […]

Evers proposes $290 million investment in Brewers’ stadium

By: - February 15, 2023

Gov. Tony Evers, as a part of the state budget proposal he will lay out Wednesday night, plans to invest $290 million in upkeep of American Family Field, where the Milwaukee Brewers play. The Major League Baseball team, in exchange, would have to agree to extend its lease through 2043.  Evers said Tuesday the one-time […]