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. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

Student cuts wood

What’s really behind a controversial tuition tax break bill

By: - November 2, 2021

A proposed state tax break on tuition that apprentices pay is heading to Gov. Tony Evers’ desk. The legislation — SB-125 — passed both houses of the Legislature on near-party line votes. With almost uniform opposition from Democratic lawmakers as well as from labor unions, a veto seems likely. The bill has been advanced by […]

Mask required sign

New reports: COVID-19 active, but easing slightly in Wisconsin

By: - November 2, 2021

Reflecting the hope that the August-October COVID-19 surge may be easing, Dane County’s health director announced Monday that she expects to end the county’s mask mandate by the end of the month. Janel Heinrich, director of Public Health Madison & Dane County, said the county’s current mask order will be renewed Friday, Nov. 5, with a […]

Emergency lights on a us police cop car arrest

Bell takes fight for new look at son’s death to DOJ, governor

By: - October 30, 2021

The Kenosha man who has been crusading for a new investigation of his son’s death at the hands of police 17 years ago has launched a new complaint, this one directed at Attorney General Josh Kaul and the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Michael M. Bell’s complaint, delivered Friday morning to an aide for Gov. Tony Evers, […]

Mail carrier sorting the mail via Getty Images.

Union challenges postal service over moving Oshkosh truck building to South Carolina

By: - October 29, 2021

The union that represents employees of a Wisconsin truck builder is invoking federal environmental regulations as it pressures the U.S. Postal Service — and indirectly the company — to assemble new postal vehicles in Wisconsin instead of South Carolina. A lawyer representing the United Auto Workers has submitted a comment on the draft environmental impact […]

The ambulance responds to a call at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., July 10, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)

Report: EMS operations across the state struggle with costs, personnel

By: - October 28, 2021

Wisconsin’s emergency medical services agencies are battling a shrinking pool of potential employees and volunteers as they face growing fiscal strains, a report released Wednesday finds. The Wisconsin Policy Forum, which issued the report, suggests that local EMS departments may need to consolidate in order to address the challenges they face. It also concludes state […]

Protesters against abortion bans march in St. Paul, including one dressed up as a Handmaid

GOP lawmakers send abortion restrictions to Evers for expected veto

By: - October 27, 2021

Assembly Republicans passed five bills restricting abortion rights Wednesday, setting the stage for what Democrats said were certain vetoes when they reach their next stop: the desk of Gov. Tony Evers. Democratic lawmakers voted against all five measures. At a pre-session meeting with reporters, Assembly Democrats dismissed the package of bills as a calculated ploy […]

Woman receiving a vaccine

‘We are already in a situation where the virus is endemic’

By: - October 27, 2021

Following the announcement from the federal government that, in addition to booster shots for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots will be available for recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer in the Department of Health Services (DHS) Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Stephanie Schauer, Ph.D., immunization […]

row of town homes

Assembly passes seven housing bills, puts homeless camps on pause

By: - October 27, 2021

After a divided committee vote a week ago, the Wisconsin Assembly passed seven bills Tuesday that Republicans had proposed to address Wisconsin’s affordable housing shortage. Six of the bills passed on voice votes with little or no audible dissent. A seventh passed with only Republican support. There was no debate on any of them. All […]

construction worker in safety googles covered in dirt and debris

Apprentice tuition tax break gets cold shoulder from construction unions

By: - October 26, 2021

Legislation that passed the state Senate on Monday and will be up for a vote Tuesday in the Assembly would give apprentices a tax break on required classes. But construction industry unions oppose the bill, because for their apprentices, tuition is already paid. SB-125 and its Assembly companion, AB-115, would allow apprentices to deduct tuition […]


Monthly job growth flat in September, but well ahead of a year ago

By: - October 22, 2021

Wisconsin manufacturing jobs grew in September along with financial and real estate jobs and jobs in the hospitality industry, the state’s labor department reported Thursday. But offsetting those gains were losses in education services, other segments of the service industry and  in state and local government. The result was that the state saw no net […]

Help wanted sign up close in window jobs for workforce workers

Senate votes to extend work hours for some teens under 16

By: - October 21, 2021

Certain small employers could schedule younger teens to work later hours under legislation that passed a divided state Senate on a voice vote Wednesday. The legislation would only apply to workers who are not covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — including those with annual revenues of less than $500,000 and those […]

meat in vat for scooping, Ground beef, USDA photo

State’s meat processors will vie for grants to grow, modernize

By: - October 20, 2021

A new state grant program will spend up to $200,000 a year to help meat processors, their capacity severely strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, expand and modernize their facilities. On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee took the formal step of authorizing the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to spend the […]