Saturday State News Briefs: State Legislature will see more change next sessionWisconsin News
-- Papers filed with state elections officials suggest a major shuffling of the players at the Wisconsin state Capitol for the next legislative session.
MADISON - Papers filed with state elections officials suggest a major shuffling of the players at the Wisconsin state Capitol for the next legislative session.
More than 30 legislators have declared they won’t be running for reelection this fall, 15 of those saying they are leaving state government entirely. More than a dozen say they will run in new districts because the boundaries have been changed. Others are wanting to switch between the Assembly and the Senate. The new maps for legislative districts left some veteran politicians living outside the districts they have been served. Yesterday was the deadline for papers to be filed with the Government Accountability Board.
Three weeks away from the June 5th recall election and the battle rages on between Governor Scott Walker and challenger Tom Barrett. At question is the number of jobs created or lost in the Wisconsin economy. A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals this state lost more jobs than any state over the last 12 months. Walker says those numbers should be ignored because a more complete survey of employers shows a gain of more than 23,000 jobs. The federal reported showed a loss of 34 thousand jobs. Barrett says the figures Walker is pushing are not believable because they haven’t been checked out by the Feds.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says Democrats in the Senate have shown no leadership and taken no responsibility for failing to pass a budget after three years. The Oshkosh Republican’s belief that members of that party won’t compromise was given credence last week when the majority party turned down budget proposals from the Republicans. Johnson says Democrats need to compromise within their own party, pointing out they have 53 Senators and only 51 votes are needed to pass a federal budget. Johnson says he thinks his party will have to re-take control of the Senate for it to successfully pass a budget. Democrats were ripping Republicans last week for refusing to consider tax increases.
A Dane County Circuit Court judge agrees with the Madison couple accused of starving and torturing their 15 year-old daughter. The judge lowered the bail to nine thousand dollars each. The 41 year old truck driver father’s bail had been set at $22,500 dollars and his 42 year old wife’s bail was $30,000. Defense attorneys had told the court the two had no money and they should be released on signature bonds. Though a website had been set up to raise money for their legal defense, their attorney told the court no money has come in yet. The couple has pleaded not guilty and they were still in the Dane County Jail last night.
A federal judge rules members of public unions in Wisconsin have to tell their state agency or employer to take union dues out of their paychecks. U.S. District Judge William Conley upheld most of Governor Scott Walker’s law stripping those public union workers of most of their collective bargaining rights last March. Both sides had asked Conley to clarify the portion of his ruling which did away with the prohibition on the automatic withdrawal of union dues from their paycheck. The judge decided those union members have to tell the state to deduct the dues and must commit to making those dues payments for a year.
She’s going to have to be re-tested. An 82 year old Muskego woman won’t be arrested after driving more than three miles in the wrong direction on I-94 in Oak Creek yesterday. She reportedly entered the northbound exit ramp to the interstate at Rawson Avenue, before driving south in the median distress lane. A man driving in the southbound lane of I-94, who saw the woman headed in the wrong direction, jumped the median wall and flagged her down. The elderly driver was confused and won’t be cited, but sheriff’s deputies took her license and referred her to the DMV for retesting before she gets behind the wheel again.