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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:

  • Wisconsin Watch launches “Unhealthy Wisconsin” series
  • Budget committee wraps up work on the state budget
  • Public officials pledge improvement to police language barriers

Of note: Two legends of Wisconsin investigative journalism are handing off the organization they started in their basement 14 years ago to the next generation of leaders. Andy and Dee J. Hall announced their plans to leave Wisconsin Watch by the end of the year. Since its founding Wisconsin Watch has produced hundreds of award-winning stories and trained scores of young journalists to protect the vulnerable, expose wrongdoing and explore solutions.

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Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin Weekly roundup 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.

Thanks for reading!

Matthew DeFour

Statehouse Bureau Chief

Wisconsin Watch

Dee J. Hall, managing editor, left, and Andy Hall, executive director, are leaving Wisconsin Watch — the nonprofit news organization they co-founded in 2009. (Narayan Mahon for Wisconsin Watch)

Wisconsin Watch co-founders, creators of one of the nation’s top nonprofit news outlets, leaving as leadership transition begins

Wisconsin Watch — June 16, 2023


Jane Mooney, a volunteer physician assistant with the Benevolent Specialists Project, attempts to squeeze an extra Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose out of a vial during a free vaccination clinic on March, 9, 2021, at Life Center in Madison, Wis. (Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch) Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Can Wisconsin heal itself? New series provides insights into state’s most vexing health problems

Wisconsin Watch — June 22, 2023

Wisconsin was once a national leader in public health. But now, statistics show, the state is falling behind other states in both public spending and certain health outcomes. In a new series, “Unhealthy Wisconsin,” reported by UW-Madison investigative journalism students and edited by Dee J. Hall, Wisconsin Watch examines many of the different ways Wisconsin has faltered from infant mortality rates and alcohol abuse to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and suicide rates.

More from Wisconsin Watch:


Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, speaks during a Republican press conference on June 8, 2023, in the Wisconsin State Capitol building to announce a tentative agreement between legislative Republicans and Gov. Tony Evers on a shared revenue bill. (Drake White-Bergey / Wisconsin Watch)

Republicans seek $3.5B tax cut favoring top earners, $32M reduction for UW System

The Associated Press — June 22, 2023

Republicans revealed the final pieces of their budget on Thursday, calling for $3.5 billion in income tax cuts that would heavily favor top earners. They also plan to cut the UW System budget by $32 million in an attempt to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) positions, which Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said are “burrowed in like a tick on every single college campus.” Gov. Tony Evers has been critical of both moves, setting up a potential veto.


Following the death of an 8-year-old on a Wisconsin dairy farm, officials look to bridge law enforcement language gap

ProPublica — June 21, 2023

Dane County officials hope to improve language barriers for law enforcement after a botched investigation into an 8-year-old boy’s death on a dairy farm. Deputies wrongly determined the boy’s father had accidentally run over the boy, even though the person who was driving the tractor remained on scene to be interviewed, but wasn’t. A wrongful death lawsuit over the 2019 incident was settled earlier this year after the original ProPublica story was published.


Scent like marijuana enough to warrant police search, Wisconsin Supreme Court rules

The Associated Press — June 20, 2023

In a 4-3 ruling, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled that police who smell marijuana in a vehicle can search a person in that vehicle even though there are legal substances that have the same scent.

Was a voting system used in multiple states including Wisconsin responsible for a vote-tally inaccuracy in Michigan during the 2020 election? (NO)

Are Milwaukee’s police and fire departments overseen by a part-time board? (YES)

Were downtown Madison Starbucks employees required to take down Pride month decor? (YES)

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