Newly released numbers show that lobbying in Wisconsin during the tumultuous 2011-12 legislative session totaled $62.9 million — not exactly chump change, but lower than the session before. Continue Reading
There is always more happening in the Legislature than any person can track or every media outlet can cover. Civic groups may want to “Adopt a bill,” like they might a stretch of highway.
Drug companies have paid more than $24 million to Wisconsin health professionals since 2009, according to data compiled by ProPublica. Continue Reading
This column’s prediction a few weeks back that “all signs point to another jaw-dropping spend-fest” seems not to be coming true. The spending is merely substantial, not overwhelming.
The rent-to-own industry seeks to get out from under the thumb of the Wisconsin Consumer Act. Of particular concern is the requirement that it disclose fees in terms of annual interest rate, which can run as high as 300 percent.
Jay Heck of Common Cause in Wisconsin decries the “revolving door” between lawmaking and lobbying: “It feeds a public perception that legislators, at least some of them, are legislators so they can cash in on the contacts they make.” Continue Reading
Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone, Roggensack’s challenger in the April 2 election, is seeking to make recusal an issue in this campaign. He says Roggensack “bears a large part of the responsibility for pushing through” a 2010 change in court rules stating that mere receipt of campaign contributions or endorsements can never in itself require recusal. Continue Reading
The group contends that alternatives like day reporting centers, electronic monitoring and treatment courts for people with substance abuse and mental health problems have been proven to be not only cheaper but more effective. It’s asking the Legislature to add $75 million for such programs to the state’s upcoming two-year budget.
Skyward has lodged a formal protest over the state’s decision to pick a Minnesota company for a new statewide student information system, alleging “numerous irregularities” during the selection process, including overlooked costs and calculation errors.
Roggensack’s foes, as well as her supporters, will likely respond to her perceived vulnerability by digging deep into their coffers. All signs point to another jaw-dropping spend-fest. Continue Reading
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported that mining bill proponents have given more than $15 million since 2010 to Scott Walker, who was elected governor that year, and to current members of the state Legislature. Meanwhile, only about $25,000 has flowed from environmental groups registered against the bill. Continue Reading