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.

Newborn baby being sat down on scale

State lawmakers try again for paid family medical leave program

By: - February 22, 2022

Advocates and lawmakers renewed their call Monday for a state insurance program that would create a worker-funded trust fund to cover paid family and medical leave for workers. “The benefits of paid leave are well established,” said Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) during a virtual press conference to outline the proposed bill. “Providing new parents with […]

Rare COVID-19 complication in kids produces first fatality in Wisconsin

By: - February 21, 2022

A rare but serious COVID-19 complication in children has resulted in one death, underscoring the continued importance of vaccines to curb the pandemic, according to state health officials. The condition, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), causes inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and other organs, It can be found in people younger than […]

Assembly committee knocks down measure to recall 2020 electors

By: - February 21, 2022

Assembly Democrats have attempted to drive a stake in the heart of a resolution from a Republican lawmaker who has demanded that his party recall Wisconsin’s presidential electors from 2020 — a demand that is impossible to fulfill and sparked conflict inside the Legislature’s GOP caucus. The Assembly’s Republican leader twice publicly renounced the rogue […]

GOP, Democrats split on emergency powers, unemployment, benefit programs

By: - February 18, 2022

Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly passed legislation Thursday to block the governor from shutting down businesses statewide in a future emergency along with several bills tightening access to unemployment insurance (UI) and other public benefit programs. Republican authors of the bills to change UI and impose new restrictions on Medicaid and FoodShare portrayed the measures […]

Elephant Republican and Donkey Dems with lightning in front of flag Image by chayka1270 from Pixabay

Senate votes on guns, vaccines, China

By: - February 16, 2022

On a day in which topics ran from firearms on school grounds to COVID-19 vaccination, the longest debate in the Wisconsin Senate Tuesday focused on three bills that the author purported were needed to help the University of Wisconsin stave off threats from China — help that the university has already told the Legislature amounts […]

Omicron punched the hospitality industry just when things were getting better

By: - February 15, 2022

After having closed its dining room for a year and then seeing business improve in 2021, Melissa Buchholz was looking forward to a promising year-end holiday business at her Milwaukee restaurant, Odd Duck. Then, she says, “omicron hit us upside the head.” Until recently, Odd Duck had seen very few staff cases of COVID-19. Buchholz […]

Wisconsin State Supreme Court entrance

High court hears arguments over access to workplace COVID numbers

By: - February 14, 2022

A case in the Wisconsin Supreme Court tests whether the state health department can release the names of businesses where COVID-19 outbreaks occurred. For now, the high court is considering only whether a collection of business groups has the right to try to stop the Department of Health Services (DHS) from releasing data on workplace […]

Starbucks sign and store

Starbucks unionizing wave reaches Wisconsin

By: - February 11, 2022

Employees at a suburban Milwaukee Starbucks outlet on Friday joined a national wave of union organizing at the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain, citing wages as well as concerns about employee safety, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with Starbucks Workers United, the employees working at the chain’s store at 8880 South Howell Ave. in Oak Creek […]

closeup on unemployment worker face at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial work

Unemployment bills, benefits restrictions head to Assembly vote next week

By: - February 11, 2022

A motley collection of bills that would change Wisconsin’s unemployment compensation system passed Assembly committees Thursday, along with other legislation to add new limits on the state’s Medicaid and nutrition programs. All 10 bills have been put on a tentative calendar for the Assembly’s floor session on Thursday, Feb. 17. In the Assembly’s Labor and […]

Mural depicting workers

Bills take away unemployment pay, other aid, to fill more jobs

By: - February 10, 2022

A batch of bills on the fast track in the state Capitol would kick people off of Medicaid if they turn down a job or a promotion, reinstate work and drug-testing rules for people on federal nutrition programs, and add new requirements for jobless workers to maintain their unemployment compensation. The Republican lawmakers advancing the […]

Postal delivery vehicle

Oshkosh postal truck contract becomes political flashpoint, singes Johnson

By: - February 8, 2022

Blowback to Oshkosh Corp.’s plan to build postal trucks at a new plant in South Carolina, creating up to 1,000 jobs there instead of at the company’s home state factory in Wisconsin, spread Monday after Sen. Ron Johnson said he wouldn’t get involved in the company’s decision. “It’s not like we don’t have enough jobs […]

Student of color raising his hand showing only the hand holding a pencil in a classroom background

Evers vetoes bills on teaching about race, extending work hours for young teens

By: - February 4, 2022

A proposed law to ban public schools from teaching about the harms of racism was vetoed Friday by Gov. Tony Evers, along with three other bills that had been passed by the Legislature’s Republican majority but without significant bipartisan support. Evers also vetoed a bill allowing employers to assign younger teenagers to work longer hours […]