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home : news : state news July 27, 2015

County panel tweaks regs for boathouses, piers
Oneida County has a habit of twiddling around with its ordinances governing piers and boathouses - they've argued about them for years - and the county's zoning panel was back at it again recently at a public hearing in Woodruff. (Subscriber access)

Friday, July 24, 2015

State Technology Council meets in Minocqua

The Wisconsin Technology Council’s board of directors held its quarterly meeting at the Marshfield Clinic in Minocqua last Tuesday. The council discussed rural health care, the outcome of state budget deliberations and Wisconsin’s non-compete employment laws. (Subscriber access)


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Walker signs budget: A historic day for property rights

On the eve of announcing his bid for the presidency, Gov. Scott Walker signed a budget bill Sunday that struck a historic blow for northern Wisconsin shoreland property owners, blocking the state or any county from requiring approval for, or otherwise prohibiting or regulating in any way, the replacement of a nonconforming structure in the shoreland zone. (Subscriber access)


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Common Core opponents take Walker to task

If state government were a school house run by opponents of Common Core, then Gov. Scott Walker might be sitting in time out in the corner, or worse, he might be in the woodshed out back. (Subscriber access)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Times seeks documents related to open records attack

In a bid to find out who orchestrated last week’s ill-fated attack on the state’s open records laws, The Lakeland Times has filed open records requests with an array of GOP officials, Times publisher Gregg Walker has announced. (Public Access)


Friday, July 10, 2015

Walker, GOP leaders pull open records provisions

After a firestorm of criticism from across the political spectrum and after scrambling on the holiday weekend, Gov. Scott Walker and GOP legislative leaders said late Saturday afternoon they would pull provisions to kill the state’s open records law from the state budget. (Public access)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Governor Scott Walker and Legislative leaders make statement on government transparency

Madison – Today, Governor Scott Walker, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and the Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs, Senator Alberta Darling and Representative John Nygren, released the following statement on the provisions related to the state's open records law included in the Motion 999:


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Updated: Republicans vote to gut open records law

In what could be a historic action, the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted on the eve of the nation’s Fourth of July holiday to effectively repeal the state’s open-records laws. (Public access)


Friday, July 3, 2015

Republicans vote to gut open records law

In what could be a historic action, the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted on the eve of the nation’s Fourth of July holiday to effectively repeal the state’s open-records laws. (Public access)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence Day: Enjoy the celebration!

It could be the most significant day in the history of this nation — the most important day we celebrate as a country. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

DNR officials, staff disagree over shoreland zoning rule

It is said that the view from the top can sometimes be a lonely one, and that might just be the case for Department of Natural Resources secretary Cathy Stepp, whose take on nonconformity in the state’s revised shoreland zoning rule is decidedly different from that of the agency’s shoreland zoning policy coordinator. (Subscriber access)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Room tax changes afoot in budget bill

Among the many policy items tucked into this year’s budget bill and passed by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is a change in the state’s room tax statutes, by which municipalities levy a tax on lodging, ostensibly to promote tourism. (Subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Government agencies spending hundreds of millions on ads

A 2014 government report estimates that federal agencies are spending a minimum of nearly a billion dollars a year to advertise the government’s message — in addition to grants to PBS and various subsidies for things such as Obamacare — and now one lawmaker wants answers about Pentagon spending to major-league sports teams. (Subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Proposed rate hikes put scrutiny on Obamacare costs

Premium cost increases for those receiving health insurance through Obamacare exchanges are likely to run on the moderate-to-uncomfortable side for 2016, new figures show, but nothing like the double-digit increases some were predicting. (Subscriber access)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Proposal would axe Legislative Audit Bureau

Two Republican lawmakers are circulating a proposed bill to restructure state accountability mechanisms — a punch of a measure that, if it lands and is enacted, would KO the state’s independent and nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau. (Subscriber access)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Round gazillion: Lawmakers fight back on shoreland zoning

On shoreland zoning, lawmakers are finally fighting back. (Subscriber access)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hospitals closing across the U.S.

Across the country small, rural hospitals have closed for a variety of reasons over the past few years, a trend that isn’t necessarily concerning to Howard Young Medical Center (HYMC) leaders at this time, but a reality that hasn’t been lost on them either. (Subscriber access)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Joint finance committee whacks bureaucrats, keeps land purchases

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved a sweeping natural resources omnibus budget motion last week, voting along party lines to reinstate stewardship land purchases but keeping Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate positions in the DNR’s science bureau. (Subscriber access)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Man on cross country fund-raising ride for Gold Star Kids stops in Arbor Vitae
Friday, May 29 was not the kind of day that most people in the Lakeland area would have chosen for a motorcycle ride. (Subscriber access)
Friday, June 5, 2015

Assembly committee passes motion to repeal prevailing wage

A conservative revolt against legislative leadership continued last week within the Republican Party, as the Assembly Labor Committee voted to repeal the state’s prevailing wage laws. (Subscriber access)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Judge delays highway expansion for Fond du Lac to Plymouth

A federal judge has Republican lawmakers fuming and an environmental organization ecstatic after delaying a Wisconsin Department of Transportation highway expansion project last week. (Subscriber acccess)

Friday, May 29, 2015

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