Work & the Economy

Republican bills would curtail benefit programs to boost hiring

BY: - January 19, 2022

Proposals that the Republican authors rolled out Tuesday would address Wisconsin’s workforce shortage by increasing barriers to government aid programs, including Medicaid, Foodshare and unemployment insurance. As employers have reported increased difficulty in filling job openings in the last year, analysts have pointed to a range of obstacles that have kept potential employees from being […]

CAMBRIDGE, WI - APRIL 25: Cows walk from a barn after being milked on Hinchley's Dairy Farm on April 25, 2017 near Cambridge, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Bipartisan group of legislators discuss supporting Wisconsin agriculture at dairy event

BY: - January 19, 2022

A group of four legislators from both sides of the aisle discussed how state policies can support Wisconsin agriculture and the dairy industry at an event hosted by the Dairy Business Association (DBA) on Tuesday.  Sens. Brad Pfaff (D-Onalaska) and Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Reps. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and Don Vruwink (D-Milton), spoke […]

Blatnick Bridge

Bridge funding in infrastructure law on the way to states

BY: - January 18, 2022

The federal government will begin releasing more than $5 billion for distressed bridges in the first year of funding under the recent infrastructure law, President Joe Biden said in a Friday video message. He specifically mentioned the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and […]

Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of State AFL-CIO (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Union backers rally to urge Colectivo to drop appeals, start contract talks

BY: and - January 13, 2022

A band of pro-union employees of Colectivo Coffee and their supporters marched on the company’s Milwaukee headquarters Wednesday, demanding that management end its litigation seeking to overturn the 2021 union election at the coffeehouse chain. Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, who along with several other alders had endorsed the union organizing drive as it got […]

pigs in the field

State program to support training, recruiting more meat processing workers

BY: - January 12, 2022

After the COVID-19 pandemic made the shortage of meat processors in Wisconsin worse than ever, the state is spending $5 million to help train a new generation of workers who can prepare beef, pork and other meats for sale to the public. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and Gov. Tony […]

Evers endorses UW Health nurses’ union campaign

BY: - January 7, 2022

Nurses who want union representation at UW Hospital and Clinics amped up their campaign this week, meeting online with Gov. Tony Evers as the governor reiterated his support for their cause. The COVID-19 pandemic “has really underscored how critical your roles are in keeping our state healthy,” Evers told several hundred UW Health nurses and […]

Snowplow tossing huge piles of snow into the air and off the road

Snowplow driver shortage could mean slower road clearing

BY: - January 5, 2022

The nation’s snow belt is facing a severe snowplow driver shortage: Montana is down half its temporary snowplow drivers this year. Kansas is missing nearly a third of all snowplow operators. Pennsylvania needs almost 60% more temporary drivers. “As much as states want to do a good job, they may not be able to provide […]

Carcasses in a meat processing plant

Biden debuts $1 billion meatpacking competition plan

BY: - January 4, 2022

President Joe Biden unveiled plans Monday to allocate $1 billion in federal money to increasing competition in the meatpacking industry.  “Without meaningful competition, farmers and ranchers don’t get to choose who they sell to,” Biden said. “Put another way, our farmers and ranchers have to pay whatever these four big companies say they have to […]

Male farmer pouring raw milk into container with dairy cows in background on a dairy farm with cows

Our food system needs a major overhaul 

BY: - January 4, 2022

My youngest son has a nervous tic that causes him to do a quirky series of rapid-fire squints when he’s anxious. It is rather endearing but became concerning last month when paired with daily headaches and eye pain. A trip to the eye doctor revealed strain from farsightedness. Maybe it is the contemplative mood  that […]

‘A wake-up call for employers’: Survey uncovers dissatisfaction among working women

BY: - January 3, 2022

In the autumn of 2021, Kimberly Kane saw a dramatic data point: One in three women had considered leaving the workforce or cutting back on their careers. That was from a national survey, but there were no state-specific numbers. Kane wanted to know if Wisconsin working women were feeling the same way, so her consulting […]

Barber cuts hair

In Prairie du Chien, Main Street is bouncing back

BY: - December 27, 2021

After six years of cutting hair in his home country of Macedonia, Mendim Tairi emigrated to the United States and began working in the trade in Wisconsin — in Janesville for a year, then moving to Prairie du Chien, where a close friend from his native land owned a restaurant. There Tairi took a job […]

U.S. Flag and money

Change backed by business group would cut taxes for the top 1%

BY: - December 22, 2021

A group of big business lobbyists is pushing a radical change to Wisconsin’s tax structure — one that would give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and powerful while shifting the responsibility of paying taxes to people with lower incomes. The change would also require significant cuts to the critical services that Wisconsin businesses, schools, […]