Since Trump's election, there has been increased interest in understanding the country's rural population. Malia Jones of the Applied Population Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has explored ways "rural" can be defined and has compiled multiple maps to measure the state's rural sector, such as developed land, economy, land use, access to services, and even a cow-to-person ratio.
Federal health care expert Donna Friedsam details how the Senate version of the Republican bill could impact Wisconsin residents. While young, healthy people could see lower premiums, most people would see a rate hike. In addition, the plan "radically changes the way Medicaid has been operating for its 50 years as a safety net." Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is not ready to support the bill.
The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a Wisconsin case that could have major ramifications across the national political spectrum. Gill v. Whitford centers on a dispute over whether Wisconsin's Republican-drawn legislative boundaries are indeed gerrymandering. Challengers argue these maps unconstitutionally benefit Republicans. We discuss this case with WPR Capitol Bureau Chief, Shawn Johnson.
A Republican-backed bill on campus free speech passed the Wisconsin Assembly this week. The bill disciplines college students who disrupt campus speakers by suspending them after two violations and expelling them after a third. Republicans say the bill protects both liberal and conservative free speech. Democrats disagree however, calling the bill unconstitutional.
On today’s show, we examine: the latest GOP health care bill; the U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear a Wisconsin case that may redraw political boundaries; Paul Ryan’s plan for federal tax reform; a breakdown of how Wisconsinite's income taxes are spent; defining what it means to be rural in Wisconsin; the threat of hacking of Wisconsin’s election system; and a bill regarding campus free speech.
House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to see drastic federal tax reform. The Republican proposal includes: shrink the existing seven brackets down to three; cut corporate and personal taxes; eliminate the death tax; and simplify the code so people can do taxes on paper the size of a postcard.
Gov. Scott Walker and the state legislature continue to debate about how to pay for roads in the state budget. Many legislators are open to raising the gas tax, but Walker remains strongly opposed. As another option, lawmakers are considering implementing toll roads across the state. We visit a rest area on Interstate 90 near Janesville to see what travelers think about the toll road proposal.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman has announced he will not run for re-election, saying that he has done everything "that he set out to do." Three candidates have announced plans to run for his seat. Also this week, Wisconsin's legislature budget-writing committee rejected Gov. Walker’s self-insurance proposal and voted for health insurance premium increases for state employees.
The Wisconsin State Assembly passed a resolution demanding a convention of states to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If the Senate supports the resolution, Wisconsin would become the 28th of 34 states needed to force a convention under Article V. Republican Rep. Kathy Bernier, the lead sponsor of the resolution, says "the federal government is out of control."