Mark Born

Empty Assembly chambers taken from the back of the room facing the dais

What Democrats want versus what Republicans got in the budget

BY: - June 30, 2021

Republicans’ large advantage in the Legislature — courtesy of their gerrymandered district maps — means that the focus of legislative action is generally all on the GOP. Their leaders control which bills get considered in committee, which gets a public hearing, which comes to the floor and which gets sent to the governor’s desk. If […]

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Chef Dave Heide pitch the public on Expanding BadgerCare | Melanie Conklin

BadgerCare expansion push won’t be slowed by a special session flop

BY: - May 25, 2021

Insurance salesperson is probably not the job title most Democratic politicians envisioned when they ran for office, but right now it’s what they are doing. They are pressing hard to sell the public on an expansion to Medicaid, so around 90,000 more Wisconsin residents will have access to good, affordable insurance. And Republicans are hell […]

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

Republicans to cut popular Evers’ budget plan, leaving behind a $3.4 billion hole

BY: - May 6, 2021

Republicans on the state’s powerful budget committee — the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) — are kicking off their work on Wisconsin’s biennial 2021-23 budget by tossing hundreds of items proposed by Gov. Tony Evers in his budget into the trash. The text of the motion, recently released by JFC co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) […]

Looking up at the Capitol dome from far below right before the entrance door

GOP leaders to Evers: We’re spiking your budget, but come talk with us

BY: - May 4, 2021

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) finds it ironic that Republican legislative leaders sent Gov. Tony Evers a letter on Monday inviting him to meet with them to “share your plans for the federal funding as soon as possible.” One year ago, a group of 43 GOP Wisconsin legislators sent Wisconsin members of Congress a […]

Map of the four Joint Finance Committee hearings on the 2021-2023 budget

Heading into Wednesday’s final budget hearing, testimony favors Gov. Evers’ budget 284 to 30

BY: - April 28, 2021

Thinking back on the three in-person budget public hearings the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has held in this month, Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) says the most frequent testimony she recalls hearing was widespread support for public education. “I believe the most comments were on the topic of public education — childcare, K-12, higher ed, […]

Democratic donkey and Republican elephant butting heads.

The GOP budget brain versus the Democratic budget brain 

BY: - April 12, 2021

The process of creating a state budget to fund the next two years is underway with a supposed July 1 deadline in state law. It’s often said that budgets are moral documents that lay bare the priorities of the parties crafting them. In Wisconsin, it’s not as simple as Republicans wanting to cut taxes and […]

Joint Finance co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Mark Born in front of microphones at news conference

Republicans again push their stimulus plan that Evers already vetoed

BY: and - April 7, 2021

The federal government is shipping $3.2 billion in stimulus money to Wisconsin and Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature have dueling visions on how to spend it and who should control the purse strings.  The Republican Legislature began hearings Tuesday on a series of bills, introduced late Friday, that are made up of pieces […]

Groundhog looking straight at the camera, mouth open Groundhog Day

JFC chairs send Evers a snarky Groundhog Day greeting and budget warning

BY: - February 2, 2021

The new co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) sent Gov. Tony Evers a snarky Groundhog Day letter spelling out how they want him to create his 2021-23 budget, which he sends to the Legislature this month. In the last biennial budget process, the Legislature rejected the governor’s document and crafted its own, which Evers […]

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Wisconsin GOP’s COVID callousness

BY: - February 2, 2021

Amid the outcry over the insanity of Republican legislators trying to overturn Gov. Evers’s mask mandate, a particularly outrageous display of Republican COVID callousness hasn’t received the attention it deserves. And that’s the GOP’s effort to block inmates from getting immunizations ahead of the general population in Wisconsin. Never mind that the COVID outbreak has […]

front of main building with flag atWinnebago Mental Health Institute (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Contracting out emergency detention transport

BY: - February 26, 2020

When police arrive at the scene of a disturbance they are supposed to seek a peaceful resolution to the situation. In the case of a mental health crisis, when no crime is committed, often the person at the center of the call cannot be safely left alone. Yet safe options for care — as opposed […]