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.

Sen. Chris Larson with mask

Sen. Larson launches petition drive for state mask mandate

By: - July 28, 2020

A Milwaukee state senator’s petition for a statewide mask mandate has garnered  more than 8,000 signatures — and a torrent of abuse on social media. Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) is spreading word of the petition on his official Facebook page. The petition, in the form of a letter addressed to Gov. Tony Evers, the state […]

Guard continues COVID-19 test assistance; federal support in limbo

By: - July 28, 2020

While the Wisconsin National Guard continues to aid with testing state residents for the virus responsible for COVID-19, officials in Wisconsin and other states are urging the federal government to extend funding for the testing deployment through the end of the year. National Guard members are collecting specimens this week at locations in 15 Wisconsin […]

U.S. okays special unemployment pay for disability recipients

By: - July 28, 2020

After weeks of waiting and being told no, laid-off Wisconsin workers who also collect federal disability payments got some better news on Monday: They, too, can get jobless pay. A U.S. Department of Labor official, in a letter sent Monday to the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD), said that Wisconsin residents enrolled in the Social […]

Wisconsin farm cornfield and landscape -- Image by David Mark free use from Pixabay

Small farms get most of first round of COVID-19 aid; 2nd round planned

By: - July 27, 2020

Nearly 12,000 Wisconsin farmers shared in the first round of aid from a special state program to support farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials said Monday. So far $41.6 million has been distributed to 11,884 farms from the $50 million program, funded from the state’s allotment under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relieve and […]

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman

Disabled, jobless and waiting for unemployment compensation

By: - July 25, 2020

Karen Smith was receiving Social Security disability payments and working part-time as a grocery clerk when the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading in Wisconsin. Smith, who is 59, has arthritis and a lung disease, is a recovering cancer patient and also has an autoimmune disorder. She asked her doctor what she should do. “My doctor told […]

PSC halts plan to let power companies disconnect customers behind on their bills

By: - July 24, 2020

A month and a half after announcing it would let utility companies go back to cutting off service to people behind on their bills starting this weekend, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) voted 2-1 Thursday to reverse that decision. Instead, the PSC extended a moratorium on disconnections that was first imposed March 24 until […]

Gov. Tony Evers with mask

Evers ‘considering’ state mask order, but wary that Supreme Court would undermine it

By: - July 24, 2020

Once again imploring Wisconsin to return to the restraint it showed during the Safer at Home order in late March through early May, Gov. Tony Evers stressed Thursday the importance of wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and said he’d like to be able to institute a statewide mask order. A statewide […]

State officials to begin review of Foxconn jobs report

By: - July 23, 2020

Foxconn — and Wisconsin — are another step closer to learning whether the Taiwan-based company will qualify for a portion of the $3 billion in state tax credits that were part of the deal signed three years ago to bring the electronics manufacturer to Racine County. A formal audit of the company’s 2019 jobs report […]

Caregiving nurse putting a bandage on a senior mans arm in his home. (Photo courtesy of Henry Ford College.)

Working Wisconsin faces new challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic

By: - July 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic imposed significant new hardships on American workers — and it’s exposed just how much hardship many of them have been enduring for years. That’s a central conclusion of  a report published today, the 2020 edition of the State of Working Wisconsin. The report is published by COWS — formerly the Center on […]

Health workers kneel for Black Lives

Madison, Milwaukee groups join in observing Strike for Black Lives

By: - July 20, 2020

Hospital workers knelt in silence in Madison and fast food workers walked out in Milwaukee as a coalition of unions and community activists marked the Strike for Black Lives across the country on Monday. Actions were planned in more than 25 cities, organizers said, with participants including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Amalgamated […]

The national flag of USA sticking in a pile of american dollars

What will the next coronarvirus aid package look like?

By: - July 20, 2020

Elizabeth Carey was working part-time at the Eau Claire coffeeshop her husband managed when Wisconsin’s COVID-19 emergency health order went through, shutting down bars, restaurants and many other businesses. Both of them lost their jobs, but the federal $1,200 stimulus check and $600-a-week supplemental unemployment pay allowed them to hang on — so far. “It […]

NY Public Library-unemployment line

Democrats call for unemployment restriction rollback to ease backlog

By: - July 17, 2020

With unemployment claims on hold for more state residents than live in all but two of Wisconsin’s cities, Democrats in the Wisconsin Legislature unveiled a package of proposed bills on Thursday to overhaul the system. The Democratic bills would largely remove measures that Republicans put in place over the last decade that make it harder […]