Work & the Economy

A man protests against a pumpjack representing the oil industry.

Pipeline bill’s backers, critics both lobby Evers as signing deadline nears

BY: - November 18, 2019

Pressure is building on Gov. Tony Evers from both backers and critics of a controversial bill that would make it a felony for protesters to trespass on pipeline sites and other forms of energy and water-transmission infrastructure. Assembly Bill 426 formally reached Evers’ office Thursday, Nov. 14, giving him one week to sign or veto […]

Cash advance store

Federal bill would cap loan interest for consumers

BY: - November 14, 2019

Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) introduced bipartisan legislation this week along with several progressive co-sponsors that aimed at protecting consumers from predatory lenders.  “Just on its face, where you’re getting interest rates up over 300%, it’s immoral,” Grothman said in a telephone press conference on Tuesday to mark the introduction of the bill. Citing a […]

Sen. Tammy Baldwin talking to a farmer and petting a cow on a Wisconsin farm.

Democratic report: Trump farm benefits help those who need it least

BY: - November 12, 2019

Payments the Trump administration has made to compensate farmers for losses they’ve incurred as a result of the administration’s trade policies have benefited farms with less damage while providing insufficient help to the hardest hit, according to a new report commissioned by Senate Democrats, including Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin. The report looks at the impact […]

Ag Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff talks with farmers in Trempealeau and Buffalo Counties

Meet Gov. Evers’ new ag advisor, Brad Pfaff

BY: - November 11, 2019

The state Senate was able to fire former Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff from his dream job leading the agricultural agency, but Gov. Tony Evers will still be getting advice on rural development from Pfaff.  Today Pfaff took a new job in the state Department of Administration (DOA) as director […]

Rally for Fight for $15 minimum wage in Milwaukee via MTEA flickr

Chancellor Blank and Gov. Evers lay out a $15 minimum wage for their workers

BY: - November 8, 2019

While the push on state government to raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 appears to be nothing more than a Democratic pipe dream, low-wage earners with the UW-Madison and state employees could soon see more money in their pockets.  The UW-Madison put out a release late on Friday saying it will increase the […]

Pipeline presser

Pipeline protest bill now goes to Evers

BY: - November 6, 2019

The state Senate passed a bill escalating penalties for trespassing and vandalism at pipelines and other energy-related sites on a voice vote Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Tony Evers. A final effort to narrow the bill’s scope failed on a party-line vote. Assembly Bill 496 — backed by business interests as well as by labor […]

Milwaukee VA Hospital

Health care expert warns of VA privatization risks

BY: - November 6, 2019

Several years ago, as veteran health care journalist Suzanne Gordon was exploring patient safety, her research led her to a model medical provider: the Veterans Administration. “The Veterans Administration is one of the only health care systems in the country that takes teaching teamwork really seriously,” Gordon said in a telephone interview. That’s important, she […]

David Riemer with book

Rebooting the New Deal

BY: - November 5, 2019

Eighty-six years ago, a new president undertook the most sweeping revision in American economic and social policy the United States had seen since the nation was born. The New Deal fulfilled what Franklin Delano Roosevelt had called for during his campaign in 1932: “a complete change in concept of what are the proper functions and […]

Joint Finance Committee co-chairs John Nygren and Alberta Darling (Bluebook by Joe Koshollek)

State jobs will go unfilled

BY: - October 31, 2019

Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) sent the Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan an aggressive letter on Oct. 31, instituting a new requirement on executive branch agency positions and simultaneously rejecting a request from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration to create 60 new state jobs. The co-chairs […]

Paul Ryan speaks from the stage at the CPAC conference in 2016

Paul Ryan’s new foundation keeps him in the spotlight 

BY: - October 31, 2019

Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) announced this week that he is using some of the millions of dollars left over in his congressional campaign coffers to launch a nonprofit think tank called the American Idea Foundation. The group’s website features campaign-style videos with images of the Statue of Liberty, George Washington, the Constitution, […]

Boy selling newspapers--black and white photo

Wisconsin newsrooms brace for GateHouse/Gannett merger

BY: - October 24, 2019

As a shareholder vote approaches in three and a half weeks, the pending deal that would make Wisconsin’s largest daily newspaper part of the single largest newspaper chain in U.S. history looks like it’s stumbling toward the finish line. And while the two companies, GateHouse and Gannett, have already been cutting employees, observers expect that […]

Help wanted ad (Creative Commons 2.0)

One answer to the labor shortage: end ageism

BY: - October 24, 2019

You’re welcome, Wisconsin. I’m a Boomer and I’m working.  Now, now, stop. I’m blushing. No need to thank me so effusively.  We have a win-win here. I get to continue doing something I love (and supplement my retirement income) and you get to claim one early victory in what will become an increasingly frantic effort […]