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.

wooden chairs in large empty lecture hall classroom education school

Education bills, most likely to be vetoed, dominate state Senate’s wrap-up session

By: - March 9, 2022

With few surprises, the state Senate worked through what is expected to be its last regular floor session for 2022 on Tuesday. The most extensive debate centered on nine controversial education bills backed by the Legislature’s Republican majority in both houses. The debate over the education bills took up three hours of a session that […]

Looking up at the Capitol dome from far below right before the entrance door

Senate poised to pass mix of divisive and unifying bills, then wrap up for the year

By: - March 8, 2022

A proposed state constitutional amendment that would rewrite a decades-old state law and give greater control to the state Legislature over how Wisconsin spends money from the federal government will finish its first round in the Legislature on Tuesday in the state Senate. The Senate is widely expected to approve the amendment, in the form […]

masked worshipers

Church group urges congregations to go slow on relaxing pandemic protections

By: - March 7, 2022

While COVID-19 cases drop and the federal government is suggesting that it’s now safe for people to forgo masks in much of the U.S., an organization of Wisconsin churches is urging congregations to exercise caution. “The COVID pandemic is not over. Safer protocols can be adjusted, but should not be discarded altogether,” states the Wisconsin […]

SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN - MARCH 02: (L-R) U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), speak at an event before the introduction of President Joe Biden at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Biden spoke of his plan to help repair and rebuild the nation's infrastructure including the Blatnik Bridge, which spans the St. Louis River connecting Superior with Duluth, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Biden sweeps into Duluth-Superior to tout projects included in infrastructure law

By: - March 3, 2022

Fresh off his first State of the Union speech for which he garnered the approval of anywhere from more than 70% to nearly 80% of people watching, according to polls, President Joe Biden traveled to Superior, Wis. and Duluth, Minn., Wednesday to promote projects included in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law. The visit  brought to life talking […]

face masks in different colors hanging on a clothesline

New COVID-19 mask guidelines focus on individual judgment over mandates

By: - March 3, 2022

New federal guidelines on community levels of COVID-19 and whether and when people should wear masks for protection are forcing public health providers to rethink recommendations for individuals and communities. The new guidelines emphasize individual decisions rather than public health orders. Nevertheless, they can still be used to encourage communities and groups to adopt shared […]

While requirements end, health officials say masks remain an important protection

By: - March 2, 2022

COVID-19 mask requirements are ending in the only two jurisdictions that required them, but public health officials said Tuesday they would still encourage some people — especially those who are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus — to continue wearing masks in public spaces to prevent the virus from spreading. Mask orders in Dane County […]

Piggy bank

Bill would offer every Wisconsin child a chance to start saving from birth

By: - March 1, 2022

A bipartisan proposal that would create a special savings account for every Wisconsin child at birth or adoption will get a public hearing Tuesday in the state Assembly. The legislation — AB-974/SB-947 — was introduced by Reps. John Macco (R-Ledgeview) and Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) and Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Bayfield). If it is enacted, every child […]

UW nurses informational picket

Nurses seeking union at UW Health raise their campaign’s public profile

By: - February 26, 2022

A campaign that began more than two years ago by nurses who want union representation at UW Health is stepping up its appeal for public support and attention, while the hospital system continues to reject collective bargaining. On Thursday, several hundred nurses and their supporters set up an informational picket line across the street from […]

Picture of US dollar bill Washington wearing a face mask

National report: ‘Robust’ pandemic relief helped economy rebound quickly

By: - February 25, 2022

Federal relief programs, the first enacted early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the most recent about a year later, helped power a swift economic recovery and ward off poverty for millions, according to a new report issued Thursday. The report, prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in Washington, D.C., found that […]

Carrots or Sticks? Lawmakers can’t agree on how to help employers who can’t fill jobs

By: - February 24, 2022

For more than a year, Wisconsin employers have been complaining about their inability to fill countless jobs. Restaurants have cut hours for lack of staff, factory workers are putting in extra shifts and help wanted notices go unanswered. In response, policymakers in Madison have pursued widely divergent strategies to address the problem. In the Capitol, […]

Senate GOP election proposals pass without support from Democrats

By: - February 23, 2022

Once again on Tuesday, Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature locked horns on voting. In the Senate, Republicans passed a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would bar outside donors from helping local governments defray the cost of managing an election. They also passed a dozen bills on voting that Republicans said were necessary […]

Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill Protest photo by Mark Danielson CC BY-NC 2.0

Wisconsin’s union presence shrinks dramatically, new report finds

By: - February 22, 2022

Wisconsin union membership has been cut in half over the last two decades, according to a new report released Tuesday. Former Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10, which passed in 2011 and largely eliminated collective bargaining rights for public employees, is the single biggest reason for that decline, according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, which produced the […]