Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.
- Member for
- 1 year 1 week
Last Thursday after 13 hours of debate in the Assembly followed by nine hours of debate in the Senate, the Wisconsin Legislature adopted a $66 billion, two-year budget bill. The budget, awaiting Gov. Scott Walker's signature, takes effect July 1. Identical bills passed the Assembly on a 60-38 vote and the Senate on a 19-14 vote. No Republicans voted against the bill.
A plan to close two of Wisconsin's juvenile corrections facilities will have little or no effect on Pierce and St. Croix counties because they have rarely used any of the three. The Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance has voted to close the Ethan Allen Boys' School in Wales and the Southern Oaks Girls' School in Union Grove.
A man who has run in other elections as a Republican may be entering the 10th District Senate recall race as a Democrat in an attempt to force a primary and delay the actual recall election. Isaac Weix, Menomonie, is circulating nomination papers to become a "protest candidate," according to the chairmen of the Pierce and St. Croix county Republican parties. Last week Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board certified that enough signatures have been collected to force a recall election for Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls), who has been the 10th District senator since 2000.
St. Croix County Board members voted unanimously last week to renegotiate wages and fringe benefits with Health Center workers in an effort to cut costs. Board Chairman Daryl Standafer warned supervisors to be careful their comments didn't step into the area of negotiations, and the resolution was adopted without discussion May 3. "Be advised this is not a bargaining session," said Standafer. "Bargaining must be done in closed session." A recent review by LarsonAllen Accounting Firm shows that average wages and benefits at the St.
St. Croix County residents are invited to comment on a proposed redistricting plan when the St. Croix County Board holds a special meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 12, at the Government Center in Hudson. The board's Administration Committee reviewed six draft plans and chose one that meets all the guidelines, said Senior Planner Ellen Denzer, speaking to supervisors at their May 3 meeting. The tentative redistricting plan, which sets up the 19 supervisory districts in the wake of the 2010 Census, aims for an ideal district population of 4,439. Only District 14 meets that goal exactly.
The Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance has held its hearings and begun the job of rewriting Gov. Scott Walker's two-year budget proposal, said Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls). Harsdorf, who is serving on the committee for the fourth time in her legislative career, said the 16-member panel began budget work April 26 and will continue to meet every Tuesday and Thursday until it finishes. Most of the Legislature's work on the budget is done in Joint Finance.
Organizers of a petition drive to force a recall election against state Senator Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, say they expect to have no problem collecting more than the 15,744 signatures needed by May 2. A report filed Friday with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board shows the Committee to Recall Harsdorf has received $67,695 in donations and spent $67,156.
For 20 years a parcel in the town of Somerset was in the Managed Forest Land Program and the owner paid reduced property taxes.
Once the dust has settled, even the protesters in the street outside will realize the budget-repair bill he signed into law Friday is a good thing, said Gov. Scott Walker Tuesday. State government, he said, is doing what families all across Wisconsin have had to do recently: Make choices, hunker down and pay bills. His visit was announced only a few hours earlier, but by the time Walker arrived half an hour early for a 2 p.m.
It's early in the process and analyses of Gov. Walker's 2011-2013 budget aren't complete, but local Republican lawmakers say the budget bill and its predecessor, the repair bill, are a good start. Questions were e-mailed to the office of Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, who represents part of Pierce County and is one of 14 Democratic senators who crossed into Illinois to avoid a vote on the budget-repair bill.