WUWM News

People came armed with numbers to the hearing the Joint Finance committee conducted on Gov. Walker's proposed budget for the state for the next two years. And many wanted to testify about health care issues.

Carl Lock of Brookfield told the legislators that many Wisconsinites suffered when the governor, a few years ago, rejected federal money to allow people earning up 133% of the poverty line to take part in Medicaid programs. Instead, Walker moved all people living above poverty off the state’s low-income health care program, BadgerCare, and into the federal marketplace.

steuccio79 / fotolia

Update, Wednesday, April 5 at 9:30 a.m.:

The Senate voted Wednesday morning along party lines, 19-13, to move the bill forward. It exempts existing high-capacity wells from review of the Department of Natural Resources if the well needs to be repaired, replaced or sold.

bizoo_n, fotolia

In a referendum that is advisory only, Milwaukee County voters turned thumbs down to the idea of an expanded vehicle registration fee. The county just enacted its first, in 2017.

Last fall, County Executive Chris Abele included a $60 wheel tax in his 2017 county budget. The County Board approved half - a $30 tax, but also put the bigger question on Tuesday's ballot. Voters rejected the idea, 72%-28%.

Tony Evers, Facebook

Incumbent state schools Superintendent Tony Evers brushed back a challenge by Lowell Holtz to win a third term, by a 70%-30% margin. Evers campaigned as a strong proponent of public schools, of substantially boosting funding for them and addressing their teacher shortage and of providing mental health services for students.

The projected winners of Wisconsin's Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Spring Election are marked in bold.

STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Tony Evers, incumbent
Lowell Holtz

>> More on Evers' victory.

MILWAUKEE COUNTY RACES

CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, BRANCH 47 (Incumbent John Siefert did not run)
Scott Wales
Kristy Yang

Wisconsin will be a stronger state if it works to improve the lives of every citizen – including its tribal members. That was the message the state’s 11 tribes delivered to the Legislature on Tuesday, with their annual address. 

Their concerns echo those of other citizens, yet hold their own challenges.

The number one concern Wisconsin’s 11 tribes brought before the Legislature on Tuesday is the health of the environment.

Dave Reid, flickr

Twice, in recent months, someone vandalized a room Marquette University has turned into an Islamic prayer space and nearby hallways signs. The first incident reportedly occurred following November's presidential election; the second, after President Trump released his revised travel ban against about a half-dozen predominantly Muslim nations.

Milwaukee’s northwest side could soon have new life. For more than a decade, businesses have been abandoning the area near 76th and Brown Deer. Northridge Mall closed in 2003, and other large retail sites have experienced stores opening and later leaving. Alderwoman Chantia Lewis has been working on a plan to revitalize the area for about six months, and she’s almost ready to unveil it.

Micaela Martin

If you've never noticed those gray utility boxes sitting on many downtown Milwaukee blocks, you will later this summer.  The local business improvement district has asked several local artists to submit designs for turning the boxes into three-dimensional works of art.

Beth Weirick, Milwaukee Downtown CEO, says as part of 2017 being "the year of Wisconsin Avenue," property owners suggested it do something creative with the boxes.

Susan Bence

John Dickert has been Racine's mayor since 2009. This summer, he’ll abandon that post to take a job with the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities initiative.

The organization represents mayors from more than 120 American and Canadian cities.

Last January inside Racine City Hall, Dickert addressed a swarm of journalists. They were there to learn about the contentious plan allowing the City of Waukesha to divert drinking water from Lake Michigan.

COURTNEY CARMODY, FLICKR

Milwaukee Public Schools will serve as a sanctuary to protect students whose families may be in the country illegally from deportation or questioning on school grounds. The MPS Board approved the resolution Thursday night. It means staff won’t reveal, even if they know, the immigration status of students.

There’s an election next Tuesday, and one of the contested races is for an open seat in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

The Branch 47 race is between Fox Point Municipal Judge Scott Wales and Attorney Kristy Yang.

A group of Democratic legislators wants to expand the 2014 Wisconsin law that requires outside investigations of citizen deaths in which police are involved, so that it also applies to deaths that occur in county jails. Those could include several in the Milwaukee County Jail where four people have died during the past year. One was an infant born in a cell to an incarcerated woman, another was a male inmate who died of dehydration. 

Cheryl Nenn

Over the last seven years, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has pumped $2.2 billion into restoring the Great Lakes - thousands of projects both large and small. President Trump would like to eliminate the fund by 2018.

READ: Trump's Budget Eliminates Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding

In recent years, Wisconsin has sent several thousand people back to prison, even though they did not commit new crimes. What they did was violated the rules of their release by committing what otherwise might be considered minor offenses. On Wednesday, a panel of legislators debated a bill that could increase the number of so-called “crimeless revocations.”

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