Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

A Wisconsin state Senate committee is holding a public hearing on a Republican bill that overhauls the state's 110-year-old civil service system. It would affect about 30,000 state employees.

The bill would do away with the civil service exam, speed up the hiring process, define “just cause” for disciplining employees and eliminate “bumping” rights that protect more experienced workers from losing their jobs.

State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's job approval rating dropped to record lows the month after he formally announced his run for president. A Marquette University Law School poll to be released today will assess how residents feel about Walker since he abruptly dropped out of the race last week.

Walker says he plans to refocus his energy on being governor and traveling around the state.

Walker spent little time in Wisconsin during his presidential run, which officially began on July 13th. But Walker was traveling extensively around the country all year before that.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin would no longer be eligible for about $3.5 million a year in federal funding under a bill before the state Assembly.

The measure up for a vote Thursday seeks to have the state take control of the federal Title X money that currently all goes to Planned Parenthood.

The Ho-Chunk Nation is a step closer to legalizing marijuana use on its tribal lands in Wisconsin. 

No, marijuana is not legal to grow, use, or sell on Ho-Chunk lands…yet. But the Nation’s general council voted at a meeting in Madison, Wisconsin to reverse a ban on marijuana on tribal lands. 63% of the 1600 voting members wanted to overturn the anti-marijuana policy. The vote’s not binding: but now the tribe’s attorneys are looking into the legal implications.


Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is calling for sweeping restrictions on organized labor in the U.S. He says he seeks to replicate nationwide his successful effort as Wisconsin's governor to curb the power of unions.

At a town hall meeting in Las Vegas today, Walker will propose eliminating unions for federal workers and making all workplaces right-to-work … unless individual states vote otherwise.

He also wants to scrap the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices and make it more difficult for unions to organize.

University of Wisconsin System

A University of Wisconsin-Madison fundraising drive that began last fall with a $100 million pledge has generated about $250 million.

Alumni John and Tashia Morgridge pledged last November to match up to $100 million in donations to fund endowments for faculty. UW officials announced Tuesday that more than 1,000 donors have responded with $125 million and the Morgridges have agreed to match that figure.

The Morgridges' donation is the largest in school history.

Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin may ban research on aborted fetal tissue. A bill moving through the legislature would outlaw selling, donating, and experimenting with fetal body parts in Wisconsin. Republican lawmakers behind the measure say it wouldn’t affect current research using existing cell lines.

  The Wisconsin Assembly’s criminal justice committee held a hearing Tuesday: supporters say they hope to have the votes lined up to pass the ban as early as next month.

Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

The Wisconsin State Assembly has passed a bill banning non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

The Republican-controlled chamber approved the bill 61-34 Thursday. The Senate passed the measure in June. It now goes to Governor Scott Walker, who has said he will sign it into law. 

Under the proposal, doctors who perform a non-emergency abortion after 20 weeks could be punished by up to $10,000 in fines and 3 1/2 years in prison. The bill doesn't provide exceptions for pregnancies resulting from sexual assault or incest.  


A Wisconsin prison guard served a one-day suspension for a joke on Facebook about President Barack Obama and lynching.

Collin Visser posted in December a photo of Christmas tree ornaments depicting Obama and the text, “Look guys. Obama Christmas ornaments. Suddenly it's legal to hang a black man from a tree again!”

Visser worked at the Dodge County Correctional Institution in Waupun since April 2014. A newspaper obtained documents revealing his punishment months after requesting them under the state's open records law.

Wisconsin Public Radio

  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says 9,500 people plan to attend his rally tonight in Madison, Wis.

The Vermont senator says he will draw on the state's long progressive political history during the event. Sanders says he believes the progressive movement that existed for years in Wisconsin is now spreading throughout the country.