GOP signals Wisconsin will stay in Obamacare lawsuit
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — One of the leaders of the Legislature's budget-writing committee is signaling Republicans won't let Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul pull Wisconsin out of a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.
Wisconsin lawmakers resurrect expungement bill
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bipartisan group of Wisconsin legislators is again trying to pass a bill that would allow convicts to ask judges to expunge low-level crimes from their records, drawing criticism from open government advocates who fear the proposal would seal too much information from the public.
Lawmakers try again on first-offense drunken driving
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two Republican legislators are continuing their quest to crack down on drunken driving, reintroducing bills Thursday that would make a first offense a crime and impose stiffer penalties on repeat offenders.
GOP lawmaker: Support ‘unanimous’ for pre-existing coverage
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican leader in the Wisconsin Senate says support is "unanimous" among GOP senators for guaranteeing that people with pre-existing health conditions have access to health insurance.
Sen. Alberta Darling expressed confidence Tuesday after Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald last week seesawed on whether there votes for the idea.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Legislature's budget committee took a detour Thursday from Gov. Scott Walker's road-funding plan, directing more money toward local road projects amid criticism from Democrats who argued against spending anything more on the interstate near the massive Foxconn Technology Group project.
State could get $7M in federal funds for election security if lawmakers OK match
Wisconsin could get nearly $7 million in federal funds to help secure its elections in 2018 and beyond, the state Elections Commission said Monday.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two influential Republican senators said Wednesday that a proposal the Assembly passed quickly that would allow a Georgia mining company to destroy wetlands containing rare hardwoods in western Wisconsin is dead.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on fate of bill benefiting mining company (all times local):
Two influential Republican senators say a proposal the Assembly quickly passed with little warning and no debate that would allow a Georgia mining company to destroy wetlands containing rare hardwoods in western Wisconsin is dead.
Senate leader issues cautious support of juvenile corrections overhaul
A Senate leader said Tuesday she likes the proposed juvenile corrections overhaul and believes the Senate will vote unanimously to close the state's youth prison.
Walker, key lawmaker optimistic about tax break
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker says he thinks his child tax rebate proposal is in "good shape" for final legislative approval, despite reservations voiced by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.
The Assembly passed the $100 pre-child tax credit last week. It must also pass the Senate unchanged before it goes to Walker.
The bill includes a sales tax holiday, which the Senate has previously rejected.
The Latest: Senator says Lincoln Hills bill has chance
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on juvenile justice overhaul bill (all times local):
A key Republican state senator says the juvenile justice overhaul bill that unanimously passed the Assembly could also clear the Senate with no opposition.
But Sen. Alberta Darling said Tuesday senators must feel like they are involved in the process, are comfortable with the $80 million cost of the bill and that the plan will reduce recidivism and increase public safety.
State Senate strengthens restrictions on ‘straw’ gun purchases
The state Senate has voted to tighten restrictions on so-called "straw" gun purchases, which include when a person buys a firearm to provide it to someone legally prohibited from possessing it.
The Latest: Senate GOPers considering child credit changes
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on action in the Wisconsin Legislature (all times local):
One of the leaders of the Legislature's finance committee says Republicans are looking at options as they consider Gov. Scott Walker's plan to give parents a $100 per child tax credit.
Democratic challengers, Republicans react to Walker speech
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Reactions to Gov. Scott Walker's State of the State speech Wednesday, in which he proposed a $100 per-child rebate and other priorities in advance of the November re-election:
Republican budget committee co-chairs Rep. John Nygren and Sen. Alberta Darling:
"We will adopt Governor Walker's $100 child tax credit, sharing the 'reform dividend' with the hardworking families of the state."
Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse:
Wisconsin budget forecast improves by $138 million
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's state budget is now projected to end with $138 million more than previously thought when it cleared the Legislature last year.
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Wednesday said the current two-year budget that ends on June 30, 2019, will end with a $385 million balance.
Assembly passes breast density alert bill
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would require mammogram providers to notify women if they have dense breast tissue.
The bipartisan measure's supporters say that information will help them make better health choices since it's more difficult to detect cancerous tumors in women with dense breast tissue.
Lawmakers propose program to give money to ‘gifted’ children in low-income households
Children living in low-income households who are considered to be advanced learners will be eligible to receive a taxpayer-funded scholarship to use to pay for education expenses under a new program proposed by three lawmakers this week.
State Republican lawmakers are proposing to significantly raise a new cap on Wisconsin’s historic tax credit program that was set in the recent state budget.
Competing fetal tissue research bans up for hearing
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Competing proposals targeting fetal tissue research in Wisconsin are up for a public hearing in a state Senate committee.
But it's unclear whether either approach will have enough support to pass the Legislature this session.
The Senate judiciary committee planned to take testimony Thursday on the proposals. One would ban the use of aborted fetal tissue for research or any other purpose.
Bill would require notice for women with dense breast tissue
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Women with dense breast tissue would have to be notified of that along with the results of their mammogram screenings under a bill circulating in the Wisconsin Legislature.
Supporters of the proposal said Wednesday it would help to empower women to make decisions about their health care. It is more difficult to detect cancerous tumors in women with dense breast tissue.
The Latest: GOP defends Walker’s job creation agency
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing on a Legislative Audit Bureau report on Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency's performance (all times local):
Republicans on the Legislature's audit committee are defending Gov. Scott Walker's job creation agency in the face of a report that shows the troubled agency continues to struggle.
Wisconsin budget panel approves road-funding plan
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's budget-writing committee Tuesday night approved a road-funding plan that would borrow about $400 million, raise fees on electric and hybrid vehicles, further study toll roads for interstates in Wisconsin but not increase the gas tax.
The Joint Finance Committee deal, reached between Senate and Assembly Republicans but without Democratic support, came as the panel moves to complete its work on the $76 million budget that's two months late.
Wisconsin budget committee to finish work in September
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans who control the Legislature's finance committee finally resumed work on the stalled state budget Thursday after two months off, promising to wrap up revisions to the spending plan within the next two weeks.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Senate Republicans who strongly opposed borrowing money to pay for Wisconsin's roads now back a plan to do just that by issuing $712 million in additional bonds, which has been a major obstacle to reaching a budget deal.
Senate Republicans to introduce budget proposal to break impasse
Republicans in the state Senate plan to unveil their own proposal for a state spending plan amid a budget impasse that has now lasted more than two weeks beyond the state deadline.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin state budget (all times local):
Wisconsin legislative leaders say they aren't worried about a $51 million hit to the state budget caused by fallout from income tax increases in Illinois.
Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren are co-chairs of the Legislature's budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. They said Tuesday they expect the loss to Wisconsin to be temporary "as more and more companies are taxed out of Illinois."
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — There is no consensus among Republican senators about whether to pursue toll roads for Wisconsin's interstates, but they are leaning toward eliminating or phasing out a personal property tax that primarily affects businesses, the co-chair of the Legislature's budget committee said Thursday.
Benefit changes, reserve funds — not self-insurance — will save $60 million, budget panel leaders say
A “modest” increase in deductibles, expanded wellness incentives and excess reserve funds could let Wisconsin save $60 million from state worker benefits without shifting to self-insurance, leaders of the state Legislature’s budget committee said Monday.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State budget talks hit an impasse Monday, with Republicans who control the Legislature at odds over how much to spend on K-12 schools, how to pay for roads and whether to cut property taxes as much as Gov. Scott Walker wants.
The Legislature's budget-writing committee has no meetings scheduled and Senate Republican leaders are openly talking about passing their own separate two-year spending plan, a highly unusual move that would complicate and delay final approval.
State budget negotiations at impasse, separate budgets under consideration
Lawmakers writing the next state budget remain divided on major spending proposals, and one idea under consideration is for each house to write their own state budget instead of working together through the Joint Finance Committee.
Budget committee keeps labor commission, dumps tech college tuition freeze
The Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee ditched Gov. Scott Walker’s proposals to cut a century-old labor review commission and freeze technical college tuition.
Budget committee rescues labor review panel
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's finance committee chose Thursday to preserve the state commission that decides workplace disputes, rejecting Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate it and have his administration issue labor rulings instead.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new council would be created to review the necessity of every occupational licensing requirement in Wisconsin under a bill being circulated for co-sponsors.
The measure unveiled Wednesday would require the submission of a report by the end of 2018 that recommends elimination of licenses and other changes rules and requirements. The Legislature in 2019 would then consider approving the recommendations.
Republican bill would put expiration date on all state regulations
A Republican bill unveiled Monday would set an expiration date for all state administrative rules — a proposal conservative business groups cheered and Democrats worried would overburden state agencies.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state chamber of commerce and a conservative advocacy group are praising a new Republican proposal that would require all state administrative rules to expire every seven years unless renewed.
But Democrats fear such a move would make it easier to undo consumer, workplace and environmental protections and a host of other regulations. Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling calls it a special interest giveaway.
Scott Walker rejects budget committee leaders’ idea for separate transportation bill
Gov. Scott Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald on Thursday rejected an idea put forward by the Republican leaders of the Legislature’s budget committee to take up transportation funding in a separate bill outside the normal budget process.
The Legislature’s budget committee called Thursday for more legislative oversight of the Wisconsin veterans trust fund after an audit showed $55 million was transferred to the fund from the veterans home at King while $20 million worth of maintenance needs were delayed.
Budget committee plans to reject governor’s self-insurance proposal
The Legislature's budget committee plans to reject Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to self-insure state employees, but find other ways to save $60 million under the existing system.
GOP lawmakers offer legislation to address homelessness, including key council
Following spending initiatives in Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget, Republican state lawmakers are offering a series of bills intended to reduce homelessness in Wisconsin, including a high-powered council that’s at or near the top of a key state advocate’s wishlist.