Posted on 11 March 2013 in Latest, Open records, WisWatch Blog
Among advocates for open government, it is often said that public officials should not get kudos for doing the minimum. If the law requires a certain degree of openness and the authorities oblige, they might avoid a kick in the shin but won’t likely get a pat on the back.
That may be the operative theory [...]
Posted on 17 February 2013 in Government, Health & Welfare, Justice & Safety, Latest
A new Wisconsin law, which went into effect in February 2011, bars families from using state health investigation records in state civil suits filed against long-term providers, including nursing homes and hospices. It also makes such records inadmissible in criminal cases against health care providers accused of neglecting or abusing patients.
Posted on 27 January 2013 in Government, Health & Welfare, Latest
Planned Parenthood has not provided abortions by medication since April, claiming a new abortion law’s language was too vague to comply with. As a result, many women have had surgical abortions instead and face delays in making appointments.
Posted on 18 November 2012 in Government, Money & Politics
In the aftermath of the Nov. 6 elections, words like “fickle” and “schizophrenic” are being bandied about to describe the Wisconsin electorate, which chose a Democratic president but more Republicans for Congress and the state Legislature. A Center analysis shows that the vote tallies in Wisconsin’s congressional and state legislative races were not nearly as lopsided as the parties’ resulting share of seats — and election observers attribute this to the Republicans’ redistricting efforts in 2011.
Posted on 22 March 2012 in Latest, Money & Politics Column
It’s all over but the blaming. The state Legislature’s 2011-12 regular session has careened to a close, with both parties accusing the other of blocking progress on Wisconsin’s number-one issue: job creation.
Posted on 14 March 2012 in Latest, Money & Politics Column
An astonishing example of how lobby clout doesn’t always decide legislative outcomes is the state Assembly’s mining bill, which recently failed to pass the state Senate despite its broad base of support.
Posted on 16 February 2012 in Latest, Money & Politics Column
By now, the notion that outside special interests drive the political process is so widely accepted as to be almost a cliche. Yet when it comes to the hot-button state political issue of redistricting, the process appears driven not by outside special interests but an inside one: the Legislature itself.
Posted on 12 February 2012 in Consumer, Health & Welfare, Latest, Money & Politics
A couple of years ago, Dr. Erik Severson transferred a heart patient to a different hospital. When the man died under Severson’s care, the physician took a risk as he broke the news to the man’s son. He apologized — although he knew his words could be used against him in court. Now a Republican lawmaker, Severson has introduced a bill to let doctors do just that without fearing malpractice.