- Member for
- 5 years 3 months
A change in the way Wisconsin's chief justice is picked will get its first vote in the state Senate today. Republicans are supporting a constitutional amendment to require the seven Supreme Court justices to elect a chief every two years thus ending the 124-year-old practice of having the justice with the longest seniority serve as the chief. The seven-member court now has a conservative majority of four members.
The Wisconsin Assembly is moving quickly to try to pass a compromise for restricting public access at the proposed Gogebic Taconite mining site. The Assembly's Forestry Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the bill for late this morning after Senate Republicans rammed it through their chamber on a party-line vote Tuesday. The original plan was to ban public access on all 3,200 acres of the proposed mining site in Ashland and Iron counties where the property owner gets a tax break for allowing public recreation under the state's managed forest law. The compromise would ban publi
Obamacare costs a lot more in western Wisconsin than across the St. Croix River in Minnesota. Insurance agent Dennis Conger said premiums on the new health exchanges in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties are almost twice as high as in Minnesota's Twin Cities region.
About 900,000 Wisconsinites will get a reduction in their food stamp benefits starting today when a funding increase from the Obama stimulus package expires. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act added $45 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession.
So far at least, Mary Burke has not tried to capitalize on an apparent lag in female support for the man she hopes to replace next year, Gov. Scott Walker. Burke -- the former state commerce secretary and Trek Bicycle executive -- told the Associated Press she does not believe her campaign will focus on gender. However, she'd love to blaze the trail to become Wisconsin's first female governor. A Marquette Law School poll last July shows that 52% of women disapproved of Walker's job performance, while just 39%of men disapproved.
Wisconsin Republicans have scored another legal victory for Act 10. Dane County Circuit Judge John Markson refused yesterday to throw out the 2011 law that virtually eliminated collective bargaining for most public employee unions.
Parts of far northern Wisconsin got an inch of snow Sunday and last night, and a few more inches are possible as the week goes on. Pine County in Minnesota picked up five inches yesterday before the storm rolled into Wisconsin and left an inch at Washburn and Gile. Other parts of the north saw a rain and snow mix. Light rain fell on Packer fans in Green Bay on and off during Sunday’s win over Cleveland. The National Weather Service says a pair of low-pressure systems to the north and east of Wisconsin could bring a few inches of snow tonight to parts of Vilas County close to Lake Superior.
A $100 million property tax cut will be up for a final vote at the State Capitol this afternoon. The Assembly is expected to send the measure to Gov. Scott Walker, who proposed the tax cut last Thursday. At that time, GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he couldn't imagine why any lawmaker would vote against lower taxes. Five senators managed to do so Tuesday when the upper house overwhelmingly passed the tax cut 28-5.
A balmy October continues in Wisconsin. Temperatures were in the 40's and low-50's early this morning. Northern and central areas had spotty light rain during the night while it was cloudy and dry in the south. Some areas of the state normally get their first major frost in mid to late September, but that hasn't happened yet in a lot of places. The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. tomorrow morning for Door County, the Green Bay area and the Fox Valley as far south as Oshkosh.
Gov. Scott Walker said "tough but prudent decisions" are why the state government had a surplus of $759 million when the last budget expired June 30. Officials said Monday that the surplus was $89 million more than what was expected when Walker prepared his new budget last winter. The governor said he promised to be a good steward of the taxpayers' money, and the new report shows, "We're on the right track." GOP leaders vaguely mentioned the higher surplus a week ago when they announced a $100 million property tax cut over the next two years.