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Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Lost Jobs: Unemployment rate in Wisconsin increases for first time since April nearing 6 percent

Wisconsin’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.7 percent in October, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that the state Department of Workforce Development released on November 19. The uptick comes after five straight months of improvement to the state’s jobless numbers, and marks the first time since April that the unemployment rate has gotten worse. “It’s bad news and it’s hard to see,” said Laura Dresser, associate director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center on Wisconsin Strategy, a think-tank commonly referred to as COWS. “The recovery was definitely getting weaker across these last few months,...

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Partisan Tension: Why Wisconsin’s 2020 recount is so different from the harmonious process of 2016

Partisan tensions remain high in Wisconsin as the state begins a partial presidential recount in two counties that helped deliver the state to President-elect Joe Biden. It is Wisconsin’s second presidential recount in as many elections, but the circumstances in 2020 are far different than they were in 2016, with a sitting president asking for the recount, and the state and national Republican Party apparatus firmly behind him. Trump’s campaign paid $3 million to conduct the recount in Wisconsin’s Democratic strongholds — Milwaukee and Dane counties — alleging poll workers mishandled absentee ballots despite following advice given to them...

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Wisconsin to extend mask mandate into 2021 due to escalating public health emergency from pandemic

Governor Tony Evers said on November 18 that he will declare another public health emergency for Wisconsin, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and extend the statewide mask mandate until at least early next year. The move by the Governor came just days after the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit that aimed to strike down the current mask mandate and prevent him from issuing similar orders in the future. It also came on a day when Wisconsin again broke its single-day record for COVID-19 cases, leaving hospitals in some of parts of the state near...

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Recount of Wisconsin’s presidential election would cost almost $8M and not significantly alter results

President Donald Trump’s campaign would have to pay $7.9 million by Wednesday evening to move forward with a recount of the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin, the state Elections Commission said Monday, November 16. That estimated cost is about four times the actual cost of the 2016 presidential recount in Wisconsin. Meagan Wolfe, head of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said the larger price tag is in part because of new COVID-19 pandemic procedures. In a prepared statement, Wolfe said that includes a “need for larger spaces to permit public observation and social distancing (and) security for those spaces.” She...

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Trump operatives drop political “SLAPP” lawsuit targeting Wisconsin ballots just before court hearing

Three Wisconsin voters have dropped a federal lawsuit that sought to throw out votes in three heavily Democratic counties. According to court records, the plaintiffs requested a voluntary dismissal of the case ahead of a scheduled hearing for Monday, November 16. The lawsuit was filed last week in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, based in Green Bay. It relied on allegations of voter fraud from multiple anonymous sources and sought to throw out votes in Dane, Milwaukee, and Menominee counties. All three of those counties favored President-elect Joe Biden over President Donald Trump....

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Milwaukee tax-payers could owe Sylville Smith’s family a $4M settlement over his death by city police

The City of Milwaukee is moving toward approval of a $4 million settlement to the family of Sylville Smith, the 23-year-old shot by former Milwaukee Police Department officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown in 2016. City attorney Tearman Spencer filed paperwork with the city to authorize that amount October 12. Smith was shot August 13, 2016 after Milwaukee police officers pulled up to a car parked too far from the curb near Sherman Park in Milwaukee. Police suspected the car of being involved in a drug deal. Smith ran from the car, and Heaggan-Brown and another officer chased Smith. Smith fell near...

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