Wisconsin Weekly is a Friday news roundup of reports from Wisconsin Watch and other trusted news outlets. Access to some stories may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing, and sign up to get our free newsletters here.
This week we highlight our story about the denial of five projects that had languished as part of a secretive “pocket veto” review process of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. That includes the denial of $4 million in state funding to close a $15.5 million deal to protect 56,259 acres around Pelican River — one of the largest conservation projects in state history. The story follows a Wisconsin Watch report last month that highlighted the decades-old process of lawmakers anonymously objecting to agency funding requests without scheduling a public meeting to discuss the objection. A legislative lawyer said such actions might have violated state law.
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If you value this reporting, please consider contributing to our spring fundraising campaign. Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing.
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Wisconsin Republicans clear out projects stalled by secretive ‘pocket veto’
Wisconsin Watch — April 19, 2023
Wisconsin’s powerful Republican-controlled budget committee, under fire for using a secretive “pocket veto” to block certain funding, denied several of those requests in a public meeting Tuesday, including for one of the largest conservation projects in state history.
Previously from Wisconsin Watch: ‘There’s no transparency’: Secretive ‘pocket veto’ scuttles Wisconsin projects
Are thousands of Americans being poisoned by PFAS in their tap water?
Star Tribune — April 20, 2023
Comments by EPA Administrator Michael Regan last month indicate a growing consensus that “forever chemicals” are taking a serious toll on Americans’ health.
More from Wisconsin Watch: What should I do about PFAS in my water?
Six-week waits, one counselor for eight rural districts: These are some of the hurdles facing youth mental health
Green Bay Press-Gazette — April 18, 2023
At a time when studies indicate a desperate need for more mental health care services among Wisconsin’s children, the number of providers is short of where it needs to be. As a result, the burden falls on parents and other family members, or on teachers and other school staff, none of whom likely have the necessary time or tools.
Read more from the NEW News Lab’s Families Matter series: As one in eight kids go hungry and schools struggle to feed kids, Wisconsin has a chance to turn the tables
A death in dairyland spurs a fight against a silent killer
The New York Times — April 19, 2023
Farmers face an elevated risk of suicide. After Brenda Statz’s husband, Leon, lost his battle with depression, she is trying to spare others from his fate.
Previously from Wisconsin Watch: ‘The happiness and joy has been sucked out of me’: Wisconsin dairy farmers face mental health crisis
‘Rising tide:’ Growing number of sober, non-alcoholic bars spreading across Wisconsin
WPR — April 18, 2023
Wisconsin stands out for its binge drinking culture, but businesses that prioritize non-alcoholic drinks are trying to fight against that stigma and offer a safe space for those who don’t want to drink alcohol on a given night.
Also from Wisconsin Watch: Do Wisconsin residents report excessively drinking more alcohol than those in other states? Yes.
Nonprofits in Wisconsin and elsewhere scramble for volunteers
The Associated Press — April 17, 2023
As pandemic-related government aid programs end and inflation rises, nonprofits of all kinds are looking everywhere and trying everything to get volunteers. According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau and AmeriCorps survey, formal volunteer participation dropped 7% between 2019 and 2021.
Bradley Foundation board member Cleta Mitchell bemoans college voting in private meeting with top GOP donors
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — April 20, 2023
A board member of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation recently told top Republican donors that conservatives need to curtail college voting, singling out Wisconsin among four other states. Cleta Mitchell made the comments during an April 15 presentation at a Republican National Committee donor retreat in Nashville, according to a report appearing in The Washington Post.
Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing.
Thanks for reading!