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.

Carcasses in a meat processing plant

Baldwin continues focus on meat industry

By: - May 15, 2020

In the latest of several actions by Sen. Tammy Baldwin to pressure the federal government for closer regulation of the meatpacking industry, the Wisconsin Democrat signed on Friday to a letter calling on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to address worker safety. The letter, authored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and signed by 29 Senate Democrats, […]

American Players Theatre scene

Spring Green’s American Players Theatre cancels its Summer 2020 season

By: - May 15, 2020

American Players Theatre is canceling its Summer 2020 season of plays because of continuing concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced Friday. “Right now we’d like nothing more than to be together and gather and take care of each other, but the only thing we can really do is stay apart to keep each […]

Road sign reads Save Lives Now Stay Home #COVID19

Evers: Stay the course, but voluntarily

By: - May 15, 2020

The legal authority to enforce Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order was ripped away by Wednesday’s 4-3 state Supreme Court ruling. On Thursday, the Department of Health Services (DHS) and Gov. Tony Evers vowed to press ahead with a voluntary approach to reopening the state’s economy while seeking to curb the virus responsible for COVID-19. “We […]

"We Love Obamacare" by LaDawna's pics is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Wisconsin joins brief to support Affordable Care Act before Supreme Court

By: - May 14, 2020

Wisconsin once helped lead a lawsuit to throw out the Affordable Care Act, but on Thursday the state Department of Justice announced it was joining a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to keep the law intact. “This effort to take down the Affordable Care Act threatens to cause severe damage to public health and […]

Wisconsin Capitol and the Forward statue wearing a protective face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Nazan Gillie

Wisconsinites respond to Supreme Court tossing out Safer at Home

By: , , and - May 13, 2020

Late Wednesday afternoon, at the request of Republicans in the Legislature, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home plan, which was ordered by Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. Responses came flooding in from local government, elected officials, businesses and groups responding to the chaos created by the late-in-the-day […]

Meat at a grocery store in Fairfax, Virginia. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

AG Josh Kaul, unions seek stronger meatpacking safety rules

By: - May 12, 2020

Attorney General Josh Kaul and union leaders are calling for tougher regulation of the meatpacking industry after President Donald Trump issued an executive order  to keep packing companies operating despite  the fact that thousands of workers have been infected by COVID-19. Kaul is one of 20 state attorneys general who signed a letter from the […]

A collection of open signs in different languages

Small retailers open up with restrictions under new state order

By: - May 11, 2020

Small retailers are getting the go-ahead to reopen for in-person shopping, so long as they impose limits of five customers at a time and require people to follow physical distancing guidelines, state officials announced Monday. The newest executive order represents “another turn of the dial” on the Safer at Home order imposed March 25 and […]

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

State publishes guidance for businesses anticipating eventual reopening

By: - May 8, 2020

Signaling that the state is moving toward gradually reopening businesses shuttered before the Safer at Home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 took effect March 25, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) released a series of guidelines documents advising industries on ways to change their operations to keep employees and customers safe from the […]

"Unemployment" by Philippe Lhote picturing a mural of headless workers in uniform on the wall of an abandoned factory in Völklingen, Germany

Unemployment: Trust fund shrinking, Wisconsin misses out on $25 million federal boost

By: - May 8, 2020

With claims reaching record levels, Wisconsin’s unemployment trust fund could run out as soon as October, the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said Thursday. The trust fund balance — financed by unemployment insurance tax payments made by employers — stood at $1.86 billion as of Wednesday, DWD announced. The department released data projecting three […]

YouTube Screen Grab of Gov. Tony Evers

Pummeling the straw men

By: - May 8, 2020

It’s probably not the metaphor that anyone involved in its creation would appreciate, but the public discussion of Wisconsin’s Badger Bounce Back plan for economic recovery from COVID-19 bears some resemblance to a famous Victorian-era illustration.  From one angle, the image looks like a woman sitting at her dressing table, cosmetics arrayed before her. From […]

ACA backers reiterate warning of threat to health law

By: - May 7, 2020

On a day marked by developments in two Affordable Care Act lawsuits before the Supreme Court, backers of former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare plan renewed their call to stop litigation that could crash the 10-year-old law. On Wednesday, lawyers argued in the high court over a Trump administration rule allowing employers claiming religious grounds […]

Open sign

Is ‘Back to Business’ ready for its close-up?

By: - May 7, 2020

In the face of a lawsuit by state Republican legislative leaders to overturn the extension of the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Safer at Home order, Gov. Tony Evers has more than once asked, “What is their plan?” Indeed, neither Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) nor Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) has specifically embraced […]