Wisconsin Roundup: Ryan Says House Is Doing Its Job While Senate Lags; plus more state news
WASHINGTON, DC — House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville says his chamber has passed hundreds of bills that the Senate has stalled. The Republican Ryan tells Fox News host Sean Hannity the GOP controlled House has passed 337 bills so far this year — ranging from healthcare to military support to cracking down on sanctuary cities. The speaker says 274 of those bills are still in the GOP Senate, including this week's failure to pass a replacement to Obamacare. And Ryan says the delays are "frustrating for the House" as it seeks to embark on tax reform. Ryan did say he realizes that the Senate has its own challenges, like dealing with filibusters and confirming various nominees for the administration.
Report: Wisconsin Has Relatively Large Gender Pay Gap
WASHINGTON, DC — Wisconsin has the nation's 33rd largest gap between what men and women are paid. The American Association of University women says the median income for women in the Badger State last year was 78 percent of the men's median — $39,440 dollars for women compared to $50,400 for men. Wisconsin's pay gap of 22 percent is 2 percent higher than the national figure. And officials say the gap has dropped since 1960, mainly because women have made progress in education and participation in the workforce, and men's wages have been rising at a slower pace.
Ryan, Pence To Promote GOP Tax Plan
Vice President Mike Pence will plug the Republicans' new tax plan Thursday at a company in Waukesha, while House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville does the same at a plant near Philadelphia. The package changes individual income tax rates, doubles the standard deductions, ends the alternative minimum tax, and grants a number of tax breaks to businesses. We don't know what the first brackets would be, so it's uncertain how the package would affect families — but President Donald Trump told an audience in Indianapolis it would help the middle class. Trump also refuted Democratic claims that the package would benefit mostly the wealthy, claiming that he would not benefit personally.
Packers Get Steady "Feedback" On Their Anthem Approach
GREEN BAY, WI — The Green Bay Packers say they're getting a "steady stream of feedback" on both sides, following their first real display of protest during last Sunday's national anthem. And the players' attempt at damage control is not doing too well, as they've gotten heavy criticism for their attempt to show unity before tonight's Thursday's Packer/Bear game by inviting fans to lock arms as the players and Coach Mike McCarthy will do. Facebook is full of Packer fans vowing to boycott the NFL and give up their season tickets, saying the players should focus on football instead of politics — but the team says it has received no requests to take their names off the ticket list, and just one of the 355,000 Packers' stockholders has turned in his shares. The Packers say they'll take back stock from those who want to give it up — but they won't pay back the purchase price, which was $250,000 in the last sale a few years ago.
Federal Agencies Probe Plane Crash That Killed Kenosha Man
AINSWORTH, NE — The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate a plane crash that killed a Kenosha man in northern Nebraska. The FAA says 69-year-old Robert Cook was flying alone in a 10-seat Mitsubishi when it crashed last Saturday a few miles from the Ainsworth Regional Airport. A local radio report said the plane could not be spotted on radar, and was not spotted at any of the airports along his planned route to North Dakota.
After Hot Spell, Wisconsin Cools Off
It was only last Friday when much of Wisconsin had temperatures in the 90s, with the heat index in the low 100s. Those seem like a distant memory this Thursday morning, as the mercury fell to 35 degrees in Sparta and Merrill at 6 a.m. It was drizzling at New Richmond in far western Wisconsin, but it was dry elsewhere — and it's supposed to stay dry at least through the weekend. The National Weather Service says we'll have highs in the 60s to around 70 Thursday — cooler readings in the 50s and 60s tomorrow Friday — and a slight warmup for the weekend.
Police Stumped On Murder Suspects
FOND DU LAC, WI — Police in Fond du Lac are still trying to find out who killed a 30-year-old man five days ago. Logan Foster's body was found in a gravel parking lot across from the Press Box Tavern where he spent part of his Friday night. Assistant Police Chief Steve Klein says investigators have been checking out leads, but they're still hoping to hear from somebody who knows the person or persons responsible. Police have determined that Foster was killed between midnight and 2 a.m. last Saturday, but they're not saying how he died.
State Supreme Court Cuts Stipends For Reserve Judges
MADISON — Wisconsin's reserve judges will no longer get daily stipends when they go to their required 15 hours of conferences and classes each year. The State Supreme Court has voted 5-2 to end $454 daily educational stipends for 115 retired judges who fill in to hear cases when necessary. And Justice Shirley Abrahamson says it appears to be retaliation against retirees who urged the court to create tighter rules for withdrawing from cases due to conflicts. The reserve judges would still get expense reimbursements for those days. The Supreme Court's five conservatives who cut the stipends did not say why they did it, although a panel of chief judges voted in 2014 to end them.