Politics & Government

Wisconsin Republicans using a ‘back door’ to extend the Scott Walker era

BY: - June 1, 2021

Wisconsin Republicans are using quirks in state law to retain power over the administrative levers of government — extending the control gained during Scott Walker’s governorship deep into Gov. Tony Evers’ term.  In the first months of 2021, Evers was finally set to gain control of many of Wisconsin’s most powerful boards and commissions as […]

Gavel on top of a book placed on piles of US dollar bills

Out-of-control campaign spending and weak recusal rules undermine Wisconsin’s courts

BY: - June 1, 2021

Wisconsin, from statehood in 1848 to about a decade and a half ago ago in 2007, had a national reputation for having one of the most respected, impartial, nonpartisan, fair and trusted state court systems in the nation. Much of this was because there was a generally held belief among Wisconsinites of all political persuasions […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters enter the Senate Chamber. Congress held a joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Ron Johnson not swayed by fallen officer’s family, blocks commission to probe U.S. Capitol attack

BY: - May 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Friday blocked consideration of a bill creating a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate what happened leading up to and during the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate vote was expected to occur on Thursday, but it was delayed when Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.), and other conservatives raised […]

dog with chew toy

Robin Vos plays with slimy GOP chew toy

BY: - May 31, 2021

When Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos announced on Wednesday that he was hiring three retired police officers and an attorney to look further into allegations of improprieties during the last election, he brought further disgrace upon himself. He just cannot let go of that slimy GOP chew toy. “A sizable chunk of people believe the election […]

Protesters march toward Wauwatosa as the curfew sets in. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Will Wauwatosa police union conflicts bleed into new chief decision?

BY: - May 28, 2021

The Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD) will soon have a new chief, but conflicts and questions remain over the department’s culture and direction. Although Chief Barry Weber officially retires on June 1, and the Police and Fire Commission (PFC) is set to discuss finalists for a new chief later in that month,  the police union, the […]

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

Education Dept.: Wisconsin will lose $1.5B in federal funds under GOP school budget 

BY: - May 28, 2021

In a letter to Wisconsin’s state school superintendent, the U.S. Department of Education confirmed on Friday that the state will no longer be eligible for $1.5 billion in federal COVID relief funds for school districts under the Republican Legislature’s 2021-23 budget plan for education. The GOP plan, which commits $128 million — only one-tenth of […]

wrecked school

Risking state’s federal funds, Republicans decimate Evers’ budget for schools

BY: - May 27, 2021

After voting down Democratic proposals based on Gov. Evers expansive plan to fund K-12 education on Thursday, the Republicans who control the Legislature’s budget committee gave their Democratic colleagues a 20-minute recess to read the revised GOP education budget plan. In summary, according to Department of Administration staff who testified at the Joint Finance Committee […]

Very tight close up on the eye on a one dollar US bill

Memo: Wisconsin’s budget picture is rosy due to feds, Foxconn, Evers

BY: - May 27, 2021

Wisconsin is coming out of a pandemic that devastated lives, employment, health, wellbeing and financial security. One thing it did not destroy was the state budget. In fact, budget projections show a $2.5 billion surplus at the close of the next budget. But listening to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) Republicans discuss the 2021-23 budget […]

Labor secretary’s Milwaukee tour touches jobs, families and immigration

BY: - May 27, 2021

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh toured Milwaukee Wednesday in a sales pitch for the Biden administration’s infrastructure package, including conversations and photo ops to make the case for the legislation. Along the way, Walsh got a reminder from immigrant rights activists of the promises that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have made […]

Piggy bank

Legislature signals no increase for school funding

BY: - May 26, 2021

As the Joint Finance Committee prepares to meet on Thursday to consider funding for Wisconsin schools, Senate President Chris Kapenga told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he doesn’t believe the Republican-controlled Legislature will increase funding for schools. “I think we’re good for right now,” Kapenga said in an interview.  Kapenga said federal COVID relief funds represent […]

Anti-vax influence campaign brought legal threats to Rock County, report says

BY: - May 26, 2021

A New York law firm closely tied to the anti-vaccine movement has been involved in numerous complaints against vaccine requirements across the country — including efforts by Rock County officials to mandate vaccines for employees of a nursing home facing an outbreak of COVID-19, according to a Washington Post report.  Nonprofits and advocacy organizations that […]

Video-conferencing in a Wisconsin courtroom. Defendants in court cases are increasingly having their day in court remotely. (Photo by Henry Redman)

The court system is returning to normal, but virtual court is here to stay (sometimes)

BY: - May 26, 2021

The Wisconsin court system has been trudging along for the last 14 months, doing what it can virtually and trying to make in-person court appearances as safe as possible. But as the vaccination rate rises and the state emerges from the pandemic, people who work in the system want some of the lessons to remain […]