Price tag on Evers’ plan to ensure residents have safe, clean drinking water may top $70 million

So what will it cost for Gov. Evers’s plan to ensure that residents of Wisconsin have safe drinking water? One estimate suggests the price tag will top $70 million and according to an article in The Wisconsin State Journal, Evers plans to borrow the funds. Borrowing would come from bonds issued by the state agriculture department and the Department of Natural Resources.

Read article from the State Journal.

Report looks at the financial challenges involved in providing Special Education services to pupils in Wisconsin

Funding for public education in Wisconsin is often confusing and complex. A 2019 report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum, “Special Education Funding in Wisconsin: How it Works and Why it Matters,” examines the way we fund special education services to pupils in the state. It is an eye-opener and if you are concerned about education in general and the challenges state taxpayers (and school districts) face in providing these services, this is a must read.

The Wisconsin Policy Forum was created on Jan. 1, 2018, by the merger of the Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum.

Download a PDF version of the report on special education.

Kaul asking Evers for funds to hire additional crime analysts

Attorney General Josh Kaul has asked Governor Tony Evers to include additional funding in Evers’ budget for more crime lab analysts. In his successful campaign for the post last November, Kaul attacked former Republican Attorney General and now Judge Brad Schimel for well-publicized delays in the processing of evidence from crime scenes.

Evers is currently working on his two-year budget, which the governor expects to unveil on Feb. 28.

Read full article from WTMJ News.

As expected, state’s senators split on confirmation vote for new attorney general


As expected, Wisconsin’s two U.S. Senators, Ron Johnson (R) and Tammy Baldwin (D), split their vote to confirm new Attorney General Willima Barr to succeed acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. Barr, a former attorney general during the George H. W. Bush administration, was nominated to serve his second term in the office by President Trump. The vote to confirm was 54-45, with all Republican senators voting for Barr. Three Democrats broke rank and voted for Barr.

In opposing his nomination, Baldwin said, “I do not have the confidence I need that this nominee to be America’s top law enforcement official will provide the independence we must have at this critical time.” In a prepared statement, she added, “I am also troubled that Mr. Barr would not commit to making the Special Counsel’s report public because I believe the truth should be revealed to the American people when the investigation is concluded.”

Read full article from the Journal-Sentinel.

Article says a win by Judge Neubauer in the April 2 election for the state Supreme Court may set stage for a revamping of the decidedly conservative court

A recent Associated Press article headlines: “Liberals eye 2020 takeover of Wisconsin Supreme Court.”  The article continues: “Wisconsin liberals hope to take a key step this spring toward breaking a long conservative stranglehold on the state’s Supreme Court, in an election that could also serve as a barometer of the political mood in a key presidential swing state.

If the liberal-backed candidate wins the April 2 state Supreme Court race, liberals would be in prime position to take over the court when the next seat comes up in 2020 — during a presidential primary when Democrats expect to benefit from strong turnout.”

Read the full article

Republicans and Gov. Evers agree on tax cut, but not how to fund it.

Governor Evers’ and the GOP-controlled legislature agree on one thing: a tax cut The problem is they disagree on how to pay for the tax cut.

Evers has indicated that he thinks that raising taxes on the some element of the state’s businesses is the correct roue. Republicans want to pay for the tax cut from projected future state revenue.

In an article from the MacIver Institute, which brands itself as “the Free Market Voice for Wisconsin,” a Republican State Senator, Patrick Testin, is quoted as saying, “This is not the time we should send out mixed messages within the state of Wisconsin that’s going to put any new development or growth on ice.”

Read the full article.