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.

Spending on AG, secretary of state races skyrocketed in 2022, finance watchdog reports

By: - January 27, 2023

Both the 2022 race for Wisconsin attorney general and the usually low-key contest for secretary of state broke campaign spending records, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported this week, with outside funding driving much of that spending surge. “This is how it’s going in Wisconsin these days,” said Matt Rothschild, the campaign finance watchdog group’s executive […]

Dollar bill and coins

Tax analyst says flat-rate system will benefit wealthy at the expense of the majority

By: - January 26, 2023

The wealthiest Wisconsin residents already pay a smaller share of their incomes in state taxes than the rest of the population, and replacing the state’s current graduated-rate income tax structure with a flat tax would increase that disparity, a national tax expert says. “The most common way that tax equity is evaluated is looking at […]

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

What will it take to get GOP lawmakers, Democratic governor to work together?

By: - January 25, 2023

Can they all get along? At Tuesday evening’s State of the State address Republican lawmakers hinted at potential support for a few of the initiatives that Gov. Tony Evers announced, but kept mum on the details. Otherwise, they largely hewed to their first-term playbook: writing off and vowing to block most of his agenda.  Evers’ […]

Solar farm

Report forecasts clean-energy boost from turning cornfields into solar power fields

By: - January 24, 2023

About 1 million acres of Wisconsin farmland produces corn for ethanol fuel, but an environmental group says the land could produce 100 times as much energy if planted with solar farms instead. In addition, it would take less than one-third of the land currently used for ethanol corn to house enough solar generation to eliminate […]

child and child care teacher

Child care providers, parents campaign for new budget infusion

By: - January 13, 2023

The year 2023 has just begun, but Wisconsin operators of licensed child care programs and the parents who depend on child care so they can go to work are looking ahead nervously to 2024.   Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s child care systems have been teetering as providers work to keep children safe, […]

A basket filled with campaign buttons with the Republican symbol GOP

Trouble at the top roils Kenosha County GOP

By: - January 10, 2023

For the Kenosha County Republican Party, 2022 looked like something of a banner year. In April’s ostensibly nonpartisan elections, candidates with direct Republican connections and financial support won the race for county executive and a majority on the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors. The de facto GOP board majority went on to enact a controversial […]

Survey confirms child care providers’ struggles to find, pay and keep workers

By: - December 21, 2022

With low pay and precarious outside support, child care centers continue to struggle to find workers, making it harder for other employers to hire the parents of young children, a new national survey finds. And matters could get worse a year from now, when supplemental funding for child care is scheduled to run out, according […]

Black mother cradling newborn son in hospital | Getty Images Creative

Milwaukee hospital’s plan to close labor and delivery unit comes under fire

By: - December 21, 2022

A hospital on Milwaukee’s South Side is scheduled to end its labor and delivery services Wednesday, laying off about 20 employees and requiring expectant parents who live in that part of the city to travel farther to give birth. With that action by Ascension St. Francis Hospital, “there will be no labor and delivery services […]

Very tight close up on the eye on a one dollar US bill

As state treasurer’s office swings to Republican, potential for a dramatic shift

By: - December 20, 2022

When 2023 arrives at the Wisconsin Capitol, one of these will be not like the others. Gov. Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul and Secretary of State Doug La Follette, all Democrats, each survived the November 8 election to serve another term. The state treasurer’s office, however, will be occupied by a newly elected Republican: […]

Audit report calls for more information on how state has spent pandemic relief

By: - December 16, 2022

An audit report commissioned by state lawmakers has recommended that the administration of Gov. Tony Evers publish more information about how the state will spend its remaining pandemic relief funds and calls on the Department of Administration (DOA) to document its decision-making process in deciding how to spend the money that has already been allocated.  […]

Technology exec tells Senate panel to sharpen focus on workforce

By: - December 15, 2022

The federal CHIPS Act signed in July has the potential to strengthen U.S. manufacturing, and it can do so more effectively with a focus on developing the country’s high-tech manufacturing workforce, a Wisconsin industrial technology executive told senators in Washington this week. The new measure, “although a great step towards codifying industrial policy, will fall […]

Dad and baby

Report criticizes counties that continue to claw back Medicaid birth costs

By: - December 14, 2022

Despite campaigns to end the practice, Wisconsin counties continue to take some unmarried parents to court to repay the cost of their children’s births covered by Medicaid, according to a new report published Wednesday. The report, produced by ABC for Health, states that altogether Wisconsin counties have won legal judgments declaring that unmarried parents owed […]