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.

Sad child with tears on his cheeks looking downward

Senate endorses new restrictions against restraints on students

By: - January 23, 2020

Students would get stronger protections from the use of seclusion or restraint under legislation that passed the state Senate on Tuesday. The bipartisan bill, SB-527, passed on a unanimous voice vote and builds on legislation passed in 2012 that became Act 125.  While the earlier law placed limits on the use of seclusion or restraint […]

Welding photo

Frostman confirmed as Workforce Development secretary

By: - January 23, 2020

Amid sometimes contentious battles over aid to combat homelessness, PFAS “forever chemicals” and the so-called dark-store loophole that has cut taxes of big box realtors at the expense of homeowners and small-business owners, the state Senate finally confirmed one more member of Gov. Tony Evers’ cabinet on Tuesday. Lawmakers also took the next step in […]

water faucet

DNR begins PFAS rule-making process

By: - January 23, 2020

Updated, 12:15 PM, 1/23/2020 As concern continues to grow about PFAS contamination, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced plans Wednesday to institute rulemaking procedures to govern the family of ubiquitous chemical substances found in thousands of consumer, household and industrial products. The action, authorized Wednesday by the independent National Resources Board (NRB) that oversees  […]

Members of the state Senate 2019 (Photo by Melanie Conklin)

Impassioned debate and limited action in the state Senate

By: - January 22, 2020

There was a running pattern to the state Senate’s first floor session of the year on Tuesday.  Time after time, a bill would come up that narrowly addressed an ongoing issue — one for which more sweeping legislation was already further back in the legislative pipeline. Time after time, Senate Democrats would offer an amendment […]

The Markle family

Standing up for peace and compassion

By: - January 17, 2020

President Donald Trump was just eight minutes or so into his Tuesday evening campaign speech in Milwaukee’s Panther Arena when for a moment the crowd turned its attention from the podium. Trump’s audience booed at someone off to the side, out of view. Trump looked over, shrugged, turned back to the microphone, and dismissed what […]

Steineke, Vos and press

‘Bipartisan’ bills divide Assembly along party lines

By: - January 16, 2020

In the first Assembly floor session of the new year, the Republicans who make up the majority lost their second veto-override attempt and passed a series of controversial bills that would make it easier to terminate parental rights and streamline the process for adopting children who have entered the child welfare system. It was an […]

MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 14: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at UW Milwaukee's Panther Arena. Trump, who is the third president to face impeached, now faces an impending trial in the Senate. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

At Milwaukee rally, Trump’s facts launch flights of fancy

By: - January 15, 2020

He promised to protect people with pre-existing conditions, while his administration pursues a lawsuit to throw out the Affordable Care Act that protects people with pre-existing conditions. He insisted unemployment had hit the lowest point in history at 3.3% — ignoring that it was less than half that toward the end of World War II. […]

Wind turbine on field in hill

Report ties green energy to economic growth

By: - January 9, 2020

Although the growth of renewable energy has stalled in the last decade, a new report promises Wisconsin has the potential to make major strides in moving to earth-friendly power production that can be an economic boon to the state. The report, “Wisconsin Clean Energy Business Supply Chain: Good for Manufacturing Jobs, Good for Economic Growth, […]

Assembly Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform

Occupational licenses: Consumer safeguard or job barrier?

By: - January 9, 2020

Should a sign language interpreter have to pass a test and obtain a license in order to work? A massage therapist? A real estate agent? A barber or beautician? An architect? A wave of legislation has been spreading across the country relaxing state occupational licensing rules, and for the second legislative term in a row, […]

President Trump signs the USMCA trade agreement with Mexico and Canada

Tammy Baldwin announces she’ll vote to pass ‘new NAFTA’

By: - January 8, 2020

Parting company with her Congressional successor, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) Tuesday announced she plans to vote to ratify the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). “President Trump’s trade wars have hurt our Wisconsin economy and more than 1,900 dairy farms have gone out of business since he took office,” Baldwin said in a statement […]

Downtown Baraboo

Not just a picture: Baraboo one year later

By: - January 6, 2020

It was the pre-prom picture that went around the world.  It was supposed to be a lighthearted, celebratory snapshot. It turned into anything but that: A picture of teenage boys, the majority of them with their arms stuck out in the air, parroting a Nazi salute to the camera.  Many were grinning — smiles that […]

Hand on trigger of military weapon

Wisconsin lawmakers, activists respond to Iranian general’s assassination, U.S. troop escalation

By: and - January 3, 2020

Wisconsin has a history of strong protests, from the anti-war rallies during Vietnam to more recent protests over Act-10 gutting of workers’ rights, women’s marches and climate strikes.  So it isn’t surprising that after President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, followed by an order to deploy an additional […]