GOP succeeds in getting Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn Evers’ ‘Safe at Home’ law

In yet another sign of the insanity that is gripping the state’s conservatives and the GOP in general, the Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday struck down the state’s “Safe-at home” law, thus creating increased confusion over how residents of the state should deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

By a 6-3 vote, the court sided with the leaders of the Republican-controlled state legislature who challenged an attempt by the state’s executive branch, led by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Joining the GOP in challenging the order,which came from the state’s chief public health officer, were numerous business groups and organizations.

For more on this, check out this article from the Journal Sentinel.

If you are legally inclined, check out the the court’s complete Safe at Home decision. Thanks to Ken Knight for providing this from Ed Fallone, the Marquette University law professor who was an unsuccessful candidate for a seat on the state’s top court earlier this year.















As expected, Wisconsin’s Dems and Republicans differ on criminal justice reform

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

This, unfortunately, was expected. A week after Democrats introduced legislation designed as a “first step” toward criminal justice reform in the state, Republican lawmakers unveiled legislation to counter what the Dems proposed, and as expected, the two sets of legislation define criminal justice reform quite differently.

In his successful campaign for Governor, in 2018, Tony Evers, a Democrat, said if elected one of his goals would be to halve the state’s growing prison population. He acknowledged last when talking about the “first step” legislation that its chances for being enacted depending on bipartisan support and that without it, the reforms introduced by his party would have little chance for passage.

Evers, did, however, say that he hoped his reform package would help create bipartisan debates on the issues surrounding criminal justice reform. Well, according to the Wisconsin State Journal article dated Jan. Jan. 15, it worked, although perhaps not the way Evers and his Democratic colleagues hoped.

In a nutshell the Evers plan would decrease the number of adults in Wisconsin prisons, while the Republican plan would not. It, in fact, it would, if passed, see more adults spending time in prison.

Read this article from the Wisconsin State Journal written after Evers introduced his plan earlier this month. Then read another Wisconsin State Journal article on the Republican plan introduced a week later.

Gov. Evers says property tax bills should show funds diverted to voucher schools

Gov. Tony Evers is proposing that property tax bills to show how money is being spent on voucher schools. Currently, property tax bills do not break out this spending. Supporters of Evers’ plan say that public schools are being hurt by the movement of funds from public schools to the voucher schools and as a result, public education suffers from a funding deficiency.

Read article from Wisconsin Public Radio


In response to study, Gov. Evers hopes to provide municipalities with more state aid

In an article in the Journal Sentinel, Evers says, “We have to create a more flexible opportunity for all of our municipalities to access resources so they can thrive. If it’s property-tax related, it really constrains our cities,” the Democratic governor said. “So we’ll be looking to increase shared revenue, but we’re also looking to provide some flexibility to our municipalities, including Milwaukee.”

Evers comments came after the Wisconsin Policy Forum released a study that asks if it is time for municipalities to have access to new funding sources.

Read Journal Sentinel article.

Read executive study from the Wisconsin Policy Forum

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.

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.

Bloomberg Business Week calls Foxconn a ‘$4.5 billion disaster’ for Wisconsin

As referenced in a previous post about the Wisconsin GOP-led deal with Foxconn and the massive tax breaks given to the foreign technology company, Bloomberg Business Week issued an in-depth report that suggests that all is not well with the project, despite President Trump’s intervention.

To develop its report, Bloomberg interviewed dozens of people familiar with the project. Its conclusion, “A huge tax break was supposed to create a manufacturing paradise, but interviews with 49 people familiar with the project depict a chaotic operation unlikely to ever employ 13,000 workers.”

Read what Bloomberg and those people had to say “Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal with Foxconn.”

Or, if you prefer, you can hear author Austin Carr read the article by clicking on the image upper right.

Thanks to Ken Knight for alerting us to this.

Also note that our Republican representatives in the state legislature, Senator Luther Olsen and Representative Joan Ballweg, have consistently supported the project.

GOP blames new governor for Foxconn’s apparent decision not to build manufacturing plant

You have to blame someone, right? So when the word came out that Foxconn, Scotty Walker’s favorite monument to himself, was shifting gears and would not build its planned and much ballyhooed manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin, Walker’s GOP buddies decided the blame must lie with the new governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers.

Makes sense, doesn’t it. Evers has been in office for less than a month, so he must be the problem, right?

You have to read this to believe it.

Kaul asks Republican lawmakers to withdraw state from lawsuit to overturn Affordable Care Act

Wait, didn’t Gov. Evers say during his campaign for governor that he would withdraw the suit if he won. Didn’t he say he would direct new Attorney General Josh Kaul to do so. Yup, he did, but he apparently did not discuss this with Kaul. And Kaul has told Evers that the set of laws passed by the GOP during its infamous lame-duck session in December doesn’t allow Evers or Kaul to withdraw the state from the lawsuit. Only the a committee controlled by the Republican state legislature has the power to withdraw the suit.

Read the full article from the Journal Sentinel.

Evers will push for Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin; Republican Nygren says Republicans against expansion

Medicaid expansion: Governor Evers’ chief of staff, Maggie Gau, says his administration will support it, but Republican Rep. John Nygren says no. 

Gau: “We’re taking our directions from the people of the state, and that’s what they’ve said that they’ve wanted, and that’s why it’s going to be in our budget.” 

Nygren: “Over the years, Medicaid has under funded the true cost of the program…I have not been a proponent of Medicaid expansion, and I don’t believe that any proposal the Evers Administration will put forward will get..general Republican support as well.”

Note that when you click on the link below you will be redirected to the WisconsinEye website where the Gau video and one from Nygren are posted. Nygren spoke after the Gau luncheon presentation.

View video

Evers hires private law firm to fight laws passed by GOP in lame-duck session

Attorney General EversSeeking to overturn all the laws passed by the Republican state legislature’s lame-duck session last November, Gov. Tony Evers has hired a private law firm. Evers made the move after Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said his office can’t represent the state on this issue.

Kaul, who repeatedly attacked the GOP’s action, which included taking power away from Kaul’s office, when Kaul was running for the post last fall, recused himself, according to a spokesperson for Evers.

Read article from Wisconsin Public Radio.

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