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The COVID-19 pandemic began causing traffic on Wisconsin’s roads to plummet even before the governor’s Safer at Home order was issued on March 24. Traffic counts were dropping in all parts of the state, not just hard-hit areas. The decline has potential implications for public health, the ec…

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Travel has the power to heal and refresh, to reset and rebuild. Each of us likely has a short list of the places we long to visit, as soon and we are able. We hold clear memories of the moments we’ve shared with our favorite people, and the gorgeous scenery that make our most treasured spots…

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Gov. Tony Evers’ declaration of a public health emergency and subsequent stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic set off an unprecedented flurry of lobbying, according to a WisPolitics.com review of records submitted to the state Ethics Commission.

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Wisconsin has fresh hope for an eventual “return to normal” with the most-recently issued emergency order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but the “new normal” may temporarily look a little different.

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The Forum’s analysis of sectors of Wisconsin’s economy most affected by recent COVID-19 business closures shows the workers most affected include many low-wage earners, and regions most affected include those with economies that rely on tourism.

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Manufacturers in Wisconsin are ramping up their efforts to supply personal protective equipment such as face shields, as well as crucial parts for medical devices used in the pandemic response.

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Whenever you see a ballot for the Spring election in Waunakee, you’ll see my name. I’m unopposed in my bid to remain the Municipal Court Judge. I start there to stress that the status of my election is not in doubt. I am not pushing a policy position in an effort to affect my campaign. Like …

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Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. chief Missy Hughes says agency staff are “working through the process” of determining which businesses are essential after a spike in related web traffic contributed to the agency’s site crashing.

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Today’s farmers are continually innovating when it comes to new methods of growing and raising our food supply. Aquaponics, a process which allows producers to raise and grow both a protein and vegetable crop simultaneously, has seen an increase in popularity.

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The rapid rise of online home rental services, such as Airbnb, has brought opportunities for travelers but also challenges for governments seeking to collect taxes on those sales.

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An unusual “reverse-coattail effect” could play out in Wisconsin’s April 7 elections, with hotly contested down-ballot races drawing voters to an increasingly uninteresting Democratic presidential primary, instead of the other way around, observers say.

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Delivering public programs and services with efficiency and effectiveness can be challenging when revenues are limited and costs are ever increasing. But, when faced with these timeless challenges, good governments can find creative solutions to continue providing services at the level desir…

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For generations, farmers have been caring for the land, the water, and their environmental resources. While many traditions run deep in the farming community, innovation and ingenuity are the keys to success in agriculture. Today, farmers across our state are leading the way when it comes to…

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Wisconsin’s criminal justice system has some of the worst racial disparities in the country. Years of Republican budget cuts and prisons exceeding capacity have created more dangerous situations for correctional officers, inmates, and communities. Yet, Republicans are continuing to pass legi…

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As founder of We the Irrelevant, a website that tracks how well (or poorly) the actions of legislators match up with what the public has asked them to do, I have sent multiple open records requests to Wisconsin legislators on a variety of controversial initiatives. Each time, I’ve asked them…

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It hasn’t been long since many Wisconsinites have had to vote on referendums to keep their public school doors open, and now in this new year, our schools continue to be underfunded. This spring 50 school districts will go to referendum, with 29 seeking $915 million in operating costs alone.

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The story is starting to become cliché. Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support a proposal that benefits our state, Republican leadership cries “partisanship”, and blocks action until an undetermined future date. We saw this happen with funding to combat homelessness, which still has seven pend…

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On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Governor Tony Evers delivered his second State of the State Address. The year 2019 proved to be both a successful and trying year for the Legislature. Gov. Evers was able to deliver on promises and move the needle on many of the issues that Wisconsinites care about by …

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As a member of the Dane County Board for the past eight years, I have always advocated for open government. Citizens have a right to know what their elected officials are doing and how decisions are being made. Both the open meetings law and the public records law must be strictly followed.

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The president is smack-dab in the middle of impeachment politics. Suddenly, he orders a bold but perilous military action. His defenders vehemently argue that petty politics is getting in the way of his exercising his hugely important duties as commander in chief.

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Just shy of two years ago, this column explored the heightened importance of open government when public health is at risk. Multiple examples showed the government was not sharing timely information with the public, or even other branches of government, on issues such as clean drinking water…

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The Wisconsin Idea was born in 1905 when UW President Charles Van Hise stated, “I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every family of the state.”

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Back a year-or-so ago I issued a challenge to Village staff members to recognize someone in the community who did something to make a difference – big or small. All staff in every Village department were given this task, and they did not disappoint.

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Property taxpayers have a hidden cost on their bills this month. According to the Department of Public Instruction, this hidden fee will cost the 27th Senate District $3.1 million, and upwards of $95.6 million statewide. If left unchecked, this fee – voucher schools – will increase year afte…

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You can walk into City Hall asking to see records without ever having to give your name.

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In Governor Evers’ budget proposal, he included funding to combat homelessness in Wisconsin. The funding was based on recommendations from an Interagency Council on Homelessness that was created in 2017. The recommendations were drawn from the council’s “A Hand and a Home: Foundations for Su…

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Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Sarah Meaney is promising to fix a situation in which the agency botched an election for officers on an advisory council, blaming it partly on guidance she says the department received from Scott Walker’s administration.

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During my childhood, I found myself in a challenging school environment. Through no fault of myself or my siblings, our peers did not welcome us. It was the civil rights era and we had recently enrolled as the first black children in the well-funded “white school” in my Southern hometown, af…

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He comes to the Waunakee Senior Center each morning by 8:30, takes a seat by the fireplace and enjoys a cup of coffee. He chats with another gentleman who is here every morning too. He’s become such a regular that others know his name and were happy to help him celebrate his 92nd birthday wi…

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Wisconsin’s tradition of government transparency rests on the state’s open records and open meetings laws. They declare that nearly every government document is open to public inspection, and nearly every meeting of groups formed to do governmental work must be open to the public.

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Every week when I go to the grocery store, I pay close attention to the labels on the food products I purchase. It can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know what you need or want. I consider myself lucky to be a farmer because I am intimately connected to the food I eat and the milk I drin…

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From the very beginning of Governor Evers’ term, he made his priorities clear by declaring 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water. During his State of the State address in January, he promoted investing millions of dollars to address water quality, from replacing lead service lines, to addres…

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It’s really difficult to tell because his hands are so small, but it looks for all the world that President Donald Trump has an extended middle finger raised at, well, all the world. Who knew that he could speak in sign language? Or at least that he knew how to say one word? Come to think of…

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Efforts to implement Walker-era legislation to restructure Wisconsin’s youth justice program took another hit after members of a panel charged with making recommendations regarding new youth prisons roundly criticized the panel’s work.

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Recently, Legislative Democrats unveiled a list of priorities that are reflective of the voices and priorities of Wisconsinites – “Forward Together.” Thanks to Gov. Evers’ leadership, we made great strides in delivering on historic investments in our communities. However, there is still a lo…

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Early in his administration, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers was asked to produce a letter he’d gotten from departing Gov. Scott Walker, during the transition. He initially refused, claiming it was a “purely personal” communication outside of the reach of the state’s open records law.