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Lakeland Times, Minocqua, Wisconsin
Friday, March 15, 2019 7:28 AM
A major unincorporated but taxpayer funded lobbyist association in Wisconsin is not only not subject to the state’s open records laws, according to a state court of appeals, but in fact has used its resources to seek a weakening of the open-records statutes that do apply to its member entities. (subscriber access)
  • Melting snow poses problems for drivers and homeowners
    The five feet of snow which dropped on the Northwoods over the past month had to go somewhere once it melted, and right now a lot of it is ponding on streets and seeping into basements. (subscriber access)
  • A major unincorporated but taxpayer funded lobbyist association in Wisconsin is not only not subject to the state’s open records laws, according to a state court of appeals, but in fact has used its resources to seek a weakening of the open-records statutes that do apply to its member entities. (subscriber access)
  • News analysis 

    It’s Sunshine Week 2019 — an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information but also a reminder that open government is essential to freedom, and, to paraphrase a famous song, freedom is a hard-won thing that every generation has to win again. (subscriber access)
  • During his campaign for governor, Democratic candidate Tony Evers pledged to make climate change a top priority if he won the election, and now Gov. Tony Evers is making good on the promise, announcing plans recently to join the U.S. Climate Alliance. (subscriber access)
  • Wisconsin offers the lowest private attorney reimbursement rate for public defense in its court system in the country — an “embarrassment” for the state, according to local justice and law enforcement. (subscriber access)
  • DPI: Graduation rate improves with class of 2018
    Students in the class of 2018 graduated at higher rates than their predecessors, the state Department of Public Instruction said this week.
    The overall graduation rate jumped a point from the 2016-17 school year to 89.6 percent. Four-year graduation rates improved from the prior year for most subgroups of students as well.
  • As the season’s budget debate gears up, both Democrats and Republicans say they want to cut taxes for the middle class, but the parties are sharply divided on how they want to achieve that objective. (subscriber access)
  • Cole taps environmentalist as DNR assistant deputy secretary
    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources secretary Preston Cole has named some of his top assistants, and one name in particular is no stranger to Northwoods residents, to the DNR, or to environmental organizations. (subscriber access)
  • The state will have $2.4 billion in available and additional revenues for the next budget cycle, the state’s legislative fiscal bureau (LFB) is reporting. (subscriber access)
  • Poll: Evers’ priorities score well among voters
    With a Democratic governor and the GOP controlling both chambers of the Legislature, Wisconsin is a quintessentially purple state politically, and now a new poll has drilled down below the surface to sort out the red and blue wells of public opinion. (subscriber access)
  • Once upon a time, it was often said in leftist quarters, international socialism would vanquish international capitalism, and it would be the workers of the world who would lead the revolution. (subscriber access)
  • ‘A system in crisis’ Northern taxpayers, counties impacted by skyrocketing out-of-county placement costs
    Over the span of the last two to three years, northern counties are seeking viable ways to fund a continually-growing rise in out-of-county placement costs pushing budgets into the red. (subscriber access)
  • ‘Mission Wisconsin’ aims to recruit veterans
    Local government and economic officials, and representatives from two Minocqua area businesses, gathered at Nicolet College in Rhinelander on Jan. 11 to hear state officials explain how they can be part of new initiatives designed to entice military members leaving the service to relocate to Wisconsin. (subscriber access)
  • The Wisconsin Department of Justice released to The Lakeland Times this week all but two of the 19 names of disciplined employees that a Dane County circuit court judge ordered released late last year, deciding to forgo an appeal of the court’s decision. (subscriber access)
  • Evers sworn in as 46th governor, vows to put people first
    Tony Evers took the oath of office this week as Wisconsin’s 46th governor, pledging to always keep the people of Wisconsin as his top priority. (subscriber access)
  • Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) is circulating a bill to end the Legislature’s exemption of itself from the state’ open-records retention law, though it remains to be seen whether Republicans will support the effort. (subscriber access)
  • The race is on to fill an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and, with filing deadlines past, two state appeals court judges will face each other in the April 2 contest — one backed by liberals and Democrats, and one supported by conservatives and Republicans. (subscriber access)
  • In what could be a landmark decision, the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a previous federal decision it says relegates property rights to second-class status compared to other constitutional rights such as due process and free speech. (subscriber access)
  • Evers selects Preston Cole to run DNR
    Gov.-elect Tony Evers made a slew of cabinet appointments in the week before Christmas, heavily dominated by individuals from Madison and Milwaukee and including Natural Resources Board member Preston Cole to run the Department of Natural Resources. (subscriber access)
  • A federal school safety report issued by the Trump administration in response to a spate of school shootings is recommending doing away with Obama-era policies on school discipline. (subscriber access)
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