The federal Marketplace Fairness Act would let states snare sales and use taxes on their residents’ online purchases from other states. Now they get these taxes only from businesses with a physical presence in their state.
Of the more than 600 bills introduced in Wisconsin’s 2013-14 legislative session, none contains the terms “climate change,” “greenhouse gases” or “global warming,” and only a handful deal with energy policy. Continue Reading
A bill now being drafted for state Sen. Alberta Darling would mandate a three-year prison term for illegal firearm possession. Darling said she acted after talking with law enforcement officials in Milwaukee, where 23 people were shot, seven fatally, during a single week in early August.
The national standards, developed quietly and adopted by State Superintendent Tony Evers with little controversy in 2010, are now the subject of intense debate in Wisconsin and nationwide. Continue Reading
On July 30, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on newly released emails between Scott Walker’s campaign staff and county aides in 2010, back when the future governor was Milwaukee county executive. One email was from Cindy Archer, then a top county aide, to Walker and his campaign staff, advising that “we may be responding too quickly” to open records requests regarding a county parking structure collapse that killed a 15-year-old boy. The requests were from the state Democratic Party and the campaign of Walker’s GOP primary opponent, which presumably wanted to use the tragedy to impugn Walker. That’s a pretty low motivation — Walker, in a draft statement, aptly called it “disgusting” — but the state’s Open Records Law does not allow a requester’s motives to be taken into account. Continue Reading
Of the $3.5 million received by Walker in the first six months of this year, nearly $2 million came from out of state. This continues a trend that began when Walker first announced sweeping changes to the collective bargaining power of most public employees. Continue Reading
Despite expenditures that qualify as puny among state interest groups, Wisconsin Right to Life and Pro-Life Wisconsin are seeing major gains under Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a GOP-controlled Legislature. Continue Reading
Executive Assistant Attorney General Steven Means said the Department of Justice feels it can handle the remaining cases without additional outside help. “The total mass of the workload is getting less,” Means said. “Hopefully we’re getting to the end of the Act 10 litigation.”
In politics, as in comedy, timing is key, even if it’s accidental. The same week in February 2011 that Russ Feingold announced the formation of the advocacy group Progressives United to “stand up to the exploding corporate influence in our political system,” events in Wisconsin gave him something to advocate about. Continue Reading
Critics of school choice, and a pending federal lawsuit, charge that students with disabilities are being underserved by publicly funded vouchers meant to give low-income students in Milwaukee and Racine the chance to have a private education. Continue Reading
The biennial state budget is, in theory, fundamentally about numbers. So here are some numbers from and about the 2013-15 budget as crafted by Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature. Continue Reading
We thank Gov. Scott Walker for deleting this ill-conceived measure from the budget. The effort by an unnamed lawmaker or lawmakers to end the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s award-winning relationship with the University of Wisconsin, however, tells us that our reporting is making a difference. Continue Reading