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Wisconsin Weekly is a roundup of the week’s top stories from around the state by Wisconsin Watch and trusted news outlets. Access to some stories may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing, and sign up to get our free newsletters here

In this issue:

  • Gov. Tony Evers extends school funding increases with 400-year veto
  • Budget doesn’t include help for local communities to obtain federal grants
  • Big ag probes small town opponents of CAFOs
  • Teenager injured in Wisconsin sawmill as states consider loosening child labor laws
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling could free some ex-incarcerated people from lifetime electronic monitoring

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Matthew DeFour

Statehouse Bureau Chief


Gov. Tony Evers signs the Wisconsin 2023-25 biennial budget on July 5, 2023, in the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Tony Evers scales back GOP tax cut, extends K-12 funding growth in Wisconsin budget

The Associated Press — July 5, 2023

Gov. Tony Evers issued 51 vetoes in signing the state budget this week. With one of the nation’s most powerful veto pens, he axed most of a $3.5 billion income tax cut that would have mostly benefited the wealthiest Wisconsinites. But the biggest surprise was trimming a hyphen and a few numbers to turn an annual $325 increase in K-12 funding authority from two years into 402 years.

Local government

Wisconsin state Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, speaks during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance on June 8, 2023, in the Wisconsin State Capitol building. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Republican lawmakers reject proposal to help Wisconsin communities access federal grant programs

Wisconsin Watch — July 7, 2023

Evers had proposed creating five grant-writing positions that would have helped small communities across the state obtain federal grants, but the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee removed those positions from the final budget.


Lisa Doerr is a former horse breeder who grows forage on her 80-acre property in the Polk County, Wis., town of Laketown. She is shown on her property on April 29, 2023. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Wisconsin towns brace for next fight on local control over large farms

Wisconsin Watch — July 6, 2023

Small towns that have fought to keep large dairy operations in check are facing intense scrutiny from the big ag industry with future litigation possible.

Workplace safety

Teen boy dies following industrial accident at northern Wisconsin sawmill

Wisconsin Public Radio — July 3, 2023

OSHA is investigating the incident at Florence Hardwoods logging company in Florence County. It comes as many states, including Wisconsin, are considering ways to loosen child labor laws to address a workforce shortage.

Public safety

Wisconsin probes how 8 roller-coaster riders became trapped upside down for hours

The Associated Press — July 3, 2023

It took three-and-a-half hours to rescue all eight people trapped upside down on a roller coaster at a festival in Crandon.

Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling gives hope to offenders on lifetime GPS

The Cap Times — July 3, 2023

Former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel opined that people convicted of multiple counts of a sexual offense, even if they happened in a single case, were repeat offenders who must face lifetime electronic monitoring. A Wisconsin Supreme Court decision shot down that rationale.

Is annual funding for Wisconsin public school districts $16,000 per student? (YES)
Is Wisconsin’s income tax rate highest in the Midwest for residents with the highest incomes? (NO)

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