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Lakeland Times, Minocqua, Wisconsin
Friday, May 10, 2019 7:20 AM
State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) has re-introduced legislation to eliminate the personal conviction waiver from the state’s vaccination requirement, a step he calls a proactive measure, given that hundreds of measles cases have been reported in the U.S. in early 2019. (subscriber access)
  • Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) has proposed a budget amendment that would limit the administrator-to-pupil ratio within a school district to 1:220. 

    School districts that fail to comply with the limitations would be subject to losing state aid, and possibly federal aid required to be matched by state funds.

    “Administrator costs in our school districts are presently unrestrained,” Allen said. “Every dollar spent on an administrator takes a dollar away from teachers and kids in the classroom and may hinder student outcomes.”
  • The state Legislative Fiscal Bureau has released revised fiscal estimates that project the state will bring in $753 million more than what was projected in January, primarily due to strong individual and corporate income tax collections. (subscriber access)
  • The state’s budget-writing committee voted this week to help fight Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic by incorporating Senate Bill 134, authored by Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere) and Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego), into the state’s biennial budget. (subscriber access)
  • It’s still relatively early in the state’s budget process — lawmakers have rounded the second turn and headed into the back stretch — but Medicaid expansion is the subject of heated debate between the parties. (subscriber access)
  • Wisconsin Farm Bureau president Jim Holte is strongly supporting a proposed federal rule to remove gray wolves in the lower 48 states from the endangered species list.
  • State Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) has re-introduced legislation to eliminate the personal conviction waiver from the state’s vaccination requirement, a step he calls a proactive measure, given that hundreds of measles cases have been reported in the U.S. in early 2019. (subscriber access)
  • Gov. Tony Evers’s proposed budget is loaded with non-fiscal policy items — a standard practice, though Evers has loaded the budget with them this year, as former Gov. Scott Walker did in his last budget — and GOP leaders in the Legislature are vowing to remove most of them. (subscriber access)
  • State Rep. Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago) and Sen. André Jacque (R-DePere) have introduced legislation relating to an income tax exemption for cash tips paid to an employee.
  • A state lawmaker wants to use the state’s windfall from the recent Wisconsin lottery winner to go for local roads, and Gov. Tony Evers says the state needs to increase its aid to local governments for road construction, but a fact check by the MacIver Institute asserts the state is already paying a lot for local roads.

    And some local communities aren’t spending any local money at all, the group asserted last week. (subscriber access)
  • A group of bipartisan lawmakers is tackling the issue of homelessness in Wisconsin with a package of eight bills supporting services for homeless individuals and families. (subscriber access)
  • Assembly speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) are introducing the Lottery Privacy Act to allow prize winners to remain anonymous. 
  • A day after Gov. Tony Evers announced he wants to renegotiate the state’s contract with Foxconn, Northwoods state Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) said the governor is shutting the door to business growth around the state. (subscriber access)
  • Brennan: Budget would help local governments provide vital services
    Joel Brennan, whom Gov. Tony Evers has tapped to run the administration’s Department of Administration, visited the Northwoods last week to promote the governor’s budget — a budget he says would ease property tax levy limits and help local governments secure the resources they need for vital services. (subscriber access)
  • A big battle has been brewing over choice and charter schools since the start of Gov. Tony Evers’s administration — the governor has proposed capping the number of students in the choice program and capping the number of independent charter schools — and now several groups are alleging discrimination against choice programs by the state Department of Public Instruction. (subscriber access)
  • Brennan talks up governor’s budget in the Northwoods
    The new secretary of the state Department of Administration came calling in the Northwoods last week, touting a state budget he says will help both urban and rural areas across the state and especially the Northwoods in several critical areas. (subscriber access)
  • In a likely upset, the conservative candidate for the state Supreme Court prevailed last Tuesday by a margin of about 5,900 votes out of 1.2 million cast.
  • If Democratic Gov. Tony Evers had his way — he won’t — the state would fall into a nearly $2 billion structural deficit at the beginning of the 2021-23 biennium. (subscriber access)
  • When voters head to the polls next week to select a replacement for retiring state Supreme Court justice Shirley Abrahamson, they will find a typical left-right choice on the ballot. (subscriber access)
  • A Dane County circuit court judge has issued a temporary injunction against legislation passed during an extraordinary legislative session after last November’s election, which stripped powers from incoming Gov. Tony Evers and attorney general Josh Kaul. (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)
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