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 array of face masks for COVID-19

Milwaukee becomes state’s largest city with mandate for masks to prevent COVID-19 spread

By: - July 13, 2020

A citywide ordinance requiring people in public places to wear masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 passed the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously Monday afternoon, with the support of business groups in the city while a statewide business lobby registered objections. The ordinance requires anyone 3 years old or older in the city to […]

With COVID-19, advocate urges a new look at transitional jobs programs

By: - July 13, 2020

Just a few months ago, employers across Wisconsin and the nation were complaining about widespread shortages of people to do the jobs they were offering. Today, that’s been turned on its head: with unemployment at 12%, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, a jobs shortage has taken the place of the labor shortage that was the […]

chldren playing

Report describes COVID-19’s impact on child care providers

By: - July 9, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained health care and crashed the economy. A report Thursday outlined another major casualty: child care providers. Statewide, as of mid-May, two out of five licensed childcare providers in the state had closed due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, states the report, produced by the Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) drawing […]

Store selling face masks

State to implement mask rule for executive branch employees

By: - July 9, 2020

State employees will be required to wear face masks on the job in state facilities or on state business in other enclosed buildings outside their homes starting Monday, July 13, according to an updated memo from the state’s Department of Personnel Management. “The decision to require face masks was made in response to the increases […]


Assembly GOP pitches loans as unemployment backlog relief

By: - July 9, 2020

At a news conference outside the west entrance of the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, Assembly Republicans renewed their attacks on Gov. Tony Evers and the Department of Workforce Development for the state’s continued COVID-19 induced backlog of unemployment claims — then offered free advice on fixing it. Their proposal: Lend people whose applications have been […]

Gov. Tony Evers with mask

COVID-19 is surging. Evers says state can offer help — but no new orders.

By: - July 8, 2020

The COVID-19 death toll is slowing down, but the infection is spreading in Wisconsin at the fastest rate in months. And Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday that while the state is providing resources to combat it, the most direct tools are in the hands of Wisconsin residents, acting voluntarily. “Folks, we cannot let this trend […]

budget cut money Photo by Images Money | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Evers favors aid for states pinched for funds by COVID-19

By: - July 8, 2020

Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday said he would support federal legislation to help states make up for revenues lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last several months. “Clearly, revenue shortage is a major issue for us here in our state, but also every state in the union,” Evers told the Wisconsin […]

Dollar bills money being pulled away with a fishing hook

Lawmakers who nixed aid for state government got help for their own businesses

By: - July 6, 2020

In early May, 43 state lawmakers sent a letter to the Wisconsin congressional delegation with an emphatic message: Don’t provide financial relief to state governments. The legislators, all Republicans, characterized the act of helping state governments offset revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic as “funding bailouts for irresponsible states across the country, like Illinois, New […]

Lost income, postponed healthcare, skipped rent

By: - June 30, 2020

Nearly half of Wisconsin residents in a federal survey say that they’ve put off medical care because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than one in five are looking ahead to someone in their household losing a job or having their hours cut. Those are some of the newest findings in the U.S. Census Bureau’s […]

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - MAY 15: Customers eat and drink at the Brat Stop, a popular bar, restaurant and tourist attraction about 5 minutes from the Illinois border. In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the state's stay-at-home order, deeming it "unlawful" and "unenforceable" allowing non-essential businesses to reopen. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

After a respite, COVID-19 sickens hundreds more each day

By: - June 28, 2020

Through the first half of June confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin looked like they might be on their way down. In the last two weeks that’s changed. Infections from the virus responsible for the illness have been rising, at times by record numbers each day. Deaths have been increasing as well, though more erratically. […]

New state portal aims to help consumers find health coverage

By: - June 27, 2020

Wisconsin this week rolled out a new website to guide consumers who may be seeking health insurance. The resource,, is starting up as hundreds of thousands of state residents have been left jobless as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and may be in search of new health care coverage. The website, set up […]

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a Super Tuesday campaign event at Baldwin Hills Recreation Center in Los Angeles, California. Biden is hoping his make- (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A pitch to Biden takes cues from FDR — and Wisconsin

By: - June 26, 2020

A public appeal for Joe Biden to embrace a “21st Century New Deal” has the pedigree of the first New Deal and bloodlines that include Wisconsin. Five descendants of people who were part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, crafted to pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression in the 1930s, sent a […]