The impact of a controversial bill that would restrict local government regulation of frac sand mines might be broader than originally thought, affecting the proposed iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin and factory farms across the state, opponents said Thursday at a Capitol hearing. Continue Reading
Three weeks after the launch of federal health care exchanges, just one of the six organizations selected to receive a total of $1 million in federal funds to help Wisconsinites enroll is up and running. J.P. Wieske, spokesman for the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, blamed the delay on the federal government. “Functionally, when you don’t get a grant until Aug. 15 and you’re supposed to start Oct. 1, you’re going to have problems,” Wieske said. Continue Reading
Justice Shirley Abrahamson was the top recipient of support from attorneys whose cases reached the Supreme Court, pulling in $188,650 over the past 11 years, a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism analysis shows. Overall, justices tended to rule in favor of clients whose attorneys contributed to the justices’ election campaigns. Continue Reading
How the Center analyzed the relationship between campaign finance data and Wisconsin Supreme Court case outcomes, and a summary of the main findings showing that justices tended to favor their attorney donors. Continue Reading
The draft bill, now being circulated for cosponsors, would bar local governments from regulating some aspects of nonmetallic mining, including its impacts on air quality, water, road use and reclamation.
As hunters prepare for Wisconsin’s wolf hunt, some scientists are warning that a proposal to sharply cull the population could destabilize it — just two years after wolves were removed from the federal endangered list. Continue Reading
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In March, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources restructured the membership of its species advisory committees, reducing DNR staff, removing university researchers and adding more representatives from external interest groups. Continue Reading
Like some other west-central Wisconsin residents, Frances and Dean Sayles are frustrated with the state Department of Natural Resources’ lack of a comprehensive approach to addressing concerns surrounding potential health problems from crystalline silica dust. Now some residents, academics, local government officials and even a frac sand producer have begun taking action. Continue Reading
Prions — the infectious, deformed proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer — can be taken up by plants such as alfalfa, corn and tomatoes, according to new research from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison. The research further demonstrated that stems and leaves from tainted plants were infectious when injected into laboratory mice.The findings are significant, according to the researchers and other experts, because they reveal a previously unknown potential route of exposure to prions for a Wisconsin deer herd in which the fatal brain illness continues to spread.
Gov. Scott Walker has announced plans to change course and seek full federal funding of a program that helps people with disabilities find jobs. Advocates at Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council credit a report by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism for new legislation aiming to fully fund the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, an arm of the state Department of Workforce Development. Continue Reading
Wisconsin’s new Common Core standards for math and English cost the state very little to implement because individual districts are footing the bill, which likely will come to about $25 million. Continue Reading