Wisconsin roundup: State tax collections coming in lower than expected; more state news stories
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is projecting Wisconsin revenue collections to be significantly lower than previous estimates.
Gov. Tony Evers will use the new figures as he constructs his state budget proposal. The newest economic analysis is forecasting a growth in tax collections of 3.3 percent. That would mean about $282 million less than the previous estimates had suggested.
Democratic lawmaker introduces comprehensive health care protections bill
A Democratic state senator is proposing a bill that would guarantee Wisconsinites access to affordable health care regardless of their previous conditions.
Sen. Jon Erpenbach of Middleton says his legislation would take federal protections from the Affordable Care Act and put them into Wisconsin state law. He says the Comprehensive Health Care Protections Bill will prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against people with a pre-existing condition and prohibit lifetime and annual limits for coverage. Erpenbach said, "No one should be discriminated against, or denied coverage based on the history of their health, and this legislation is a comprehensive step towards protecting Wisconsin families."
Foxconn officials, Evers deny another story about plant
Officials with Foxconn Technology Group and Wisconsin's governor are denying a report that construction in Racine County will be halted.
That story was published in Japan one day after a previous report that said Foxconn was dramatically changing the focus of the $10 billion project and replacing thousands of manufacturing jobs with a similar number of research and development positions. Foxconn said Thursday its plans are unchanged. A spokesperson for Gov. Tony Evers says the report that Evers was trying to renegotiate the deal is "false."
Wisconsin DOJ: Avery appeal should move forward after delays
Attorneys for the Wisconsin Department of Justice argue a motion by convicted killer Steven Avery's attorneys shouldn't delay his appeals process any longer.
The state says last week's motion to send the case back to circuit court has nothing to do with the issues in his appeal. Avery attorneys say their client's right to due process was violated when bones thought to be the remains of Teresa Halbach were given to her family. The DOJ says if Avery wants to litigate a new motion, he should abandon the current appeal. Friday is the deadline for his attorneys to file their brief before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
Trump claims Ryan failed to deliver border wall funding
President Donald Trump is blaming ex-House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin for not getting $5 billion in funding for his border wall.
Trump tells the conservative "Daily Caller" that the Janesville Republican assured him that he could deliver border wall money — in exchange for not vetoing the omnibus spending bill last year. But Trump complains that Ryan reneged on the deal when he decided to retire. Trump says, "He went lame duck."
Lawmakers consider new fine for anyone soliciting prostitutes
Lawmakers are working to make it more expensive for people who hire prostitutes.
Four Wisconsin state senators from both parties are circulating a bill increasing the penalty for such a conviction to $5,000. An estimate from the Wisconsin Justice Department indicates the average of 300 convictions each year would generate about $1.1 million. Those funds would pay for treatment and services for sex-trafficking victims and cover the cost of investigating internet crimes against children.
Delay granted for man accused of killing 3 Girl Scouts, 1 mother in crash
A Chippewa County judge has granted a defense request for a delay in the trial for the 21-year-old man accused of killing three Girl Scouts and a parent last year.
The preliminary hearing for Colten Treu is now scheduled for April 12. Prosecutors say he had been huffing chemicals shortly before driving off a highway and hitting the girls who were part of a troop picking up trash. Nine-year-old Janya Kelley, 10-year-old Autumn Helgeson, 10-year-old Hayle Hickle and her mother, Sara Jo Schneider, were killed Nov. 3. Treu faces 11 charges, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
2 people found frozen in 2 seperate Milwaukee locations
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office is examining two cases which involved the discovery of people who had frozen to death.
Investigators blame a malfunctioning apartment thermostat for causing the death of a 38-year-old woman. Her frozen body was discovered Wednesday morning. A Cudahy man was found frozen in his backyard the following day. Authorities haven't released the names of the two victims yet.