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.

Governor’s child care funding proposal might get a second life

By: - September 21, 2023

In a surprise move, Senate leaders voted Thursday to formally introduce legislation sought by Gov. Tony Evers to fund Wisconsin’s child care providers. The legislation, based on the draft bill that Evers put out six weeks ago, also includes provisions for a paid family leave program, additional higher education funding, and a state workforce development […]

Child care funding remains dead after Republicans reject special session call

By: - September 21, 2023

The special session that Gov. Tony Evers called six weeks ago to add $1 billion to Wisconsin’s 2023-25 budget for child care, paid family leave, higher education and workforce training came and went Wednesday as Republican leaders in the Legislature opened it and ended it in seconds.  Two hours later, Democrats announced their own bills […]

Will Brewers stadium project need a community benefits deal to fly?

By: - September 19, 2023

When Republicans announced their proposal Monday to put state and local taxpayers’ money into American Family Field, they made a point of comparing the deal to the one Wisconsin lawmakers approved in 2015 to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks legislation, however, passed after a coalition of community groups obtained an […]

UW Health nurses

A year into UW Health union discussions, nurses chafe that pay isn’t on the table

By: - September 18, 2023

A year ago, as UW Health nurses were on the verge of a three-day strike to demand union recognition, they and the hospital system’s management reached an eleventh-hour deal to avert the walkout. In a compact that was brokered by Gov. Tony Evers, UW Health management agreed to meet directly with nurses and their union […]

The Wisconsin State Capitol Building at night. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Republican redistricting plan goes to Senate after passing Assembly with just one Democratic vote

By: - September 15, 2023

After passing a late-night Assembly vote on mostly party lines, a last-minute Republican bill to institute a new system for drawing legislative maps will go to the state Senate, where its future is uncertain. The 64-32 vote on the legislation, AB-415, took place late Thursday night. Rep. LaKeshia Myers (D-Milwaukee) cast the only yes vote […]

State Senate Republicans override three Evers vetoes, including two on the budget

By: - September 14, 2023

After an hour-long exchange of speeches, Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted three times Thursday to override vetoes from Gov. Tony Evers, two of them partial vetoes that Evers made to the 2023-25 state budget.  The override votes now go to the state Assembly, where the GOP is just two seats shy of the two-thirds […]

Federal case sheds light on payroll fraud, wage theft and worker misclassification

By: - September 14, 2023

A Wisconsin drywall contractor was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison last month on charges of ripping off state and federal taxpayers to the tune of more than a half-million dollars. The case in federal court was a rarity — the first big prosecution in the state of a construction labor broker for payroll […]

Union, lawmakers seek legislation that would set staffing requirements for health care

By: - September 14, 2023

Barb Pomasl says she retired as a nurse two years ago after seeing the northern Wisconsin hospital where she worked taken over in a corporate merger. “I have watched our health care system be torn apart by corporate health care,” Pomasl said at a Capitol news conference Wednesday. “My nursing career focused on caring for […]

Assembly to vote on GOP child care bills that providers have rejected

By: - September 13, 2023

The Wisconsin Assembly will take up six Republican bills relating to child care Thursday after they passed committees this week with only GOP votes. Backers said the measures would help expand child care resources by relaxing teacher-to-child ratios and open up the prospective child care workforce by allowing younger employees to work in the field.  […]

Children play at Tiny Green Trees child care center in Milwaukee.

‘It just doesn’t add up’: Why the fees parents pay won’t cover the full cost of child care

By: - September 11, 2023

Over a four-hour Assembly hearing on legislation relating to child care last week, several witnesses returned again and again to a measure that wasn’t on the table. The official agenda for the Sept. 6 public hearing covered Republican  proposals to address the growing crisis in child care in Wisconsin, including a loan program to encourage […]

Democrats push an agenda to restore worker rights

By: - September 8, 2023

Flanked by a phalanx of union members in trades ranging from carpentry to teaching, Democrats in the Legislature rolled out a 10-bill collection Thursday to enshrine workers’ rights in state law after a decade and a half of measures rolling back those rights. “The people of our country are rising up and standing together to […]

At Assembly hearing, providers mostly pan GOP child care bills

By: - September 7, 2023

Six bills that Republicans have released pertaining to the state’s struggling child care services got their first public hearing Wednesday, and among most of the care providers who testified, the reaction ranged from gentle skepticism to sweeping condemnation. The author of five of the bills, Rep. Joy Goeben (R-Hobart) — a former child care provider […]