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.

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Legislative Democrats: Killing Medicaid expansion would cost state another $1 billion

By: - March 12, 2021

With the new American Rescue Plan Act signed into law, Democrats in the state Legislature are warning that the Republican majority would cost Wisconsin more than $1 billion by refusing to accept a federally funded expansion of Medicaid in the 2021-23 budget. A provision in the new federal COVID-19 relief package, which President Joe Biden […]

A Covid-19 vaccine vial and a syringe (Getty Images)

State’s COVID-19 vaccine supply rises, and eligibility list to expand soon

By: - March 12, 2021

Wisconsin’s list of who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine will grow by more than 2 million at the end of March, when people with certain medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus are offered the vaccine. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Thursday that the new group of vaccine […]

State job numbers creep up, but remain well behind pre-pandemic highs

By: - March 12, 2021

Wisconsin added 11,100 jobs in January and the unemployment rate dropped slightly, the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported Thursday, but continued anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit hospitality and related businesses the hardest. “Once people are convinced the risk of getting sick or worse is very low, I think you’ll see […]

Waiting lists end for Family Care, related long-term care programs

By: - March 11, 2021

Wisconsin elderly and people with disabilities who need long-term care and qualify for Medicaid can now get the help they need immediately without going to a nursing home. After more than two decades, state Medicaid waiting lists for long-term care outside nursing homes are empty, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Wednesday. The […]

nurse Suzi Kossel

Madison nurses cite sick leave for COVID among issues in potential hospital strike

By: - March 10, 2021

Saying that they have been overwhelmed by the demands placed on them by the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses at a Madison hospital announced Tuesday they are prepared to go on strike for a new contract if they don’t make progress on key demands that include better paid sick leave and additional compensation for nurses who take […]


On the other side of the pandemic

By: - March 9, 2021

This coming Friday, March 12, will mark the anniversary of Wisconsin’s first COVID-19 health emergency. When Gov. Tony Evers issued the declaration on Thursday, March 12, 2020, five Wisconsin residents had been confirmed positive with the novel coronavirus. A year later that number has multiplied by 110,000. In Wisconsin, the virus SARS-CoV-2 has infected more […]

‘Spring is coming. It’s been a year of coping with COVID-19’

By: - March 5, 2021

With COVID-19 vaccinations soaring and new cases continuing to diminish, Julie Willems Van Dijk is urging Wisconsin residents to guard against one particular side effect: Covid fatigue. “We are all tempted to just be done, right?” Van Dijk, Wisconsin deputy health secretary, said Thursday afternoon at the week’s second media briefing on the state’s COVID […]

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Researchers argue for strong state, local aid in federal COVID plan

By: - March 5, 2021

Attacks on proposed new federal aid to state and local governments are based on misinterpreting the data and minimizing the depth of national need, according to two researchers. Republicans — including Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson — have criticized the $1.9 trillion federal COVID-19 relief package now in the Senate because it includes long-sought additional aid […]

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Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives a boost to educator vaccination plan

By: - March 2, 2021

The newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus will help Wisconsin boost vaccinations for educators, who became eligible for the shot this week. Wisconsin expects to begin receiving its first allotment of about 48,000 doses of the new vaccine by next week, Deputy Health Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk told reporters Tuesday in […]

Act 10 protests at the Wisconsin Capitol 2011. Photo by Emily Mills CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Public employees seek a voice at work that they’ve lacked for 10 years

By: - March 2, 2021

For tens of thousands of Wisconsin workers who lost most or all of their rights on the job a decade ago, one provision in Gov. Tony Evers’ second biennial budget stands out: Evers’ proposal to restore collective bargaining for public employees. Better compensation is one reason, say state and local workers, who argue that their […]

A revival could be coming for Work-Share plans

By: - February 26, 2021

When her Milwaukee restaurant was shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, Amanda Dixon was able to regroup and shift to serving takeout meals with curbside pickup. Thanks to a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, she was able to keep employees working well into June at her establishment, Lazy Susan MKE, […]

Julie Willems Van Dijk

As teachers get ready for their turn for vaccine, DHS hopes to see supply increase

By: - February 25, 2021

As Wisconsin gets ready to give COVID-19 vaccinations to teachers and other educators, state health officials caution that it could take two months to accomplish, while the imminent approval of a third vaccine might allow a faster timetable. The state Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed Thursday that vaccinations will start Monday for child care […]