Author

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.

Firefighters use a foam product to suppress a blaze. Photo from National PFAS Contamination Coalition, licensed under Creative Commons

Johnson Controls to pay $17.5M to Town of Peshtigo residents in PFAS class action suit

By: - January 7, 2021

Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls has agreed to pay $17.5 million to families living in a portion of the Town of Peshtigo in Marinette County who were exposed to PFAS chemicals from the company’s firefighting foam training site in the area. The class-action settlement was announced Tuesday. It’s part of a group about 500 cases that have […]

Speaker Robin Vos

GOP COVID-19 bill advances to Assembly

By: - January 6, 2021

The first bill that Republican lawmakers have voted on to address the coronavirus pandemic in eight and a half months cleared the Assembly Health Committee Tuesday, predictably along partisan lines.   While the committee’s five Democrats all voted against it and no Democrats in either house of the Legislature played a role in writing or sponsoring […]

A somber Christmas decoration decks the Capitol steps

By: - December 24, 2020

For about an hour on Wednesday, a construction paper chain made up of nearly 5,000 interlaced rings — red, green, yellow, white and blue — bedecked the steps outside the state Capitol building. Each ring bore the name of one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Each county had one ring for every one of its residents […]

A Christmas tree decorated with gold ornaments, lights and a COVID-19 face mask

Home test, exposure app among state’s new pandemic-battling tools

By: - December 22, 2020

Wisconsin is getting a few little presents in the midst of the continuing pandemic: A new home COVID-19 test. An app that reports if you’ve been exposed to someone with the coronavirus. And confirmation that the new COVID-19 vaccines will be free for the people who get them.  But as state officials unwrapped those gifts, […]

Gov. Tony Evers 11/24/20 media briefing via YouTube

Evers drafts ‘compromise’ bill on COVID-19, urges GOP leaders to act

By: - December 22, 2020

In a move that carried the air of “put up or shut up,” Gov. Tony Evers sent the Republican leaders of the state Legislature a draft bill Monday incorporating what he described as “the items on which all of us can agree” to further address the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin. Evers’ proposal incorporates items from […]

GOP lawmakers wipe out parts of PFAS emergency rule

By: - December 19, 2020

Republican lawmakers voted Friday to strip out portions of an emergency rule to regulate firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals — an action critics charged would gut the rule. Republicans on the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) said the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) rule went outside the bounds of the legislation […]

Supreme Court Room in the Madison Capitol Building in fully spherical panorama by Ryan Wick via Flickr CC BY 2.0

High court hears 25% capacity limit arguments

By: - December 18, 2020

Having stripped the state health department in May of its ability to unilaterally impose wide-reaching public health orders to curb a deadly disease, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday about whether even a more limited order was out of bounds. Thursday’s oral arguments revolved around the ill-fated limit on public indoor gatherings that Gov. […]

Unemployment insurance woes get auditors’ spotlight

By: - December 17, 2020

Tens of thousands of people who have been waiting on their unemployment insurance claims may learn by the end of the year whether they will get paid and start receiving funds, the acting head of the state’s labor department told lawmakers Wednesday. Currently there are about 35,000 who have had to wait longer than three […]

Faith leaders join to lobby lawmakers for COVID-19 legislation

By: - December 17, 2020

Faith group leaders are meeting with state lawmakers this week, urging them to pass legislation to combat the coronavirus pandemic with stronger public health measures. The lobbying visits will include Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist participants, according to the organizers. The campaign is the work of the “Faithful Action for a Healthy Wisconsin” coalition, a […]

COVID-19 coronavirus in USA, 100 dollar money bill with face mask. Coronavirus affects global stock market. World economy hit by corona virus outbreak and pandemic fears. Crisis and finance concept. Getty Images

Assembly COVID ideas fall flat with these small business owners

By: - December 16, 2020

Michelle Tressler recalls the evening of May 13 after the state Supreme Court canceled Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order that had blocked sit-down traffic at bars and restaurants like hers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. People she knew texted her with congratulatory messages. “I had no congratulatory feeling,” says Tressler, who with her […]

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

Regional health insurers hire Nygren to lead trade association

By: - December 15, 2020

A former Republican lawmaker who spent much of his latter career advancing treatment-focused approaches to opioid addiction but who also opposed expanding Wisconsin’s Medicaid program will take the helm of a trade group for regional health insurance plans. John Nygren, who stepped down two weeks ago after a 14-year career in the Wisconsin Assembly — […]

First shipments of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Wisconsin, to be given this week

By: - December 14, 2020

The first COVID-19 shots in Wisconsin will be administered this week to healthcare workers, state health officials confirmed Monday, following the emergency use authorization over the weekend of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its partner, Germany-based BioNTech. The first 10,000 vaccine doses for the state arrived Monday, Deputy Health Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk […]