Wisconsin

Primary Turnout High in Southern Wisconsin

Apr 6, 2016

County officials report high levels of voter turnout for Tuesday’s primaries.

Rock County reported levels of 62%, while Walworth county reported over 32%.   Polling places reported long lines, with some Janesville voters citing waits of 45 minutes or more. 

Yesterday’s election was also the first with high turnout to require a photo ID.  The Janesville Gazette reported that police had to confront a belligerent voter in Hedberg, but most people had no issue with the requirement. 

  In what might be called a “Citizens United” uprising, voters in the Green County towns of Clarno and York and the cities of Brodhead and Monroe will decide whether to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  

 

Although the wording varies among the four ballots, the basic propositions are these:

-Only human beings  -- not artificial entities like corporations, unions, and similar associations -- are endowed with constitutional rights.

Voters in Wisconsin can begin casting ballots in the presidential race. A Wisconsin state Supreme Court seat is also at stake in the state's April 5th primary.

This is the first presidential election where voters will be required to show photo identification in order to cast their ballots. Early voting runs through 5 p.m. on April first.

Planned Parenthood

Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signed legislation that would cut millions of taxpayer dollars for Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin.  

Walker signed the two bills Thursday at Life's Connection, a clinic in Waukesha that counsels in abortion alternatives.  

One bill restricts how much Planned Parenthood can be reimbursed for prescription drugs. The change is estimated to cost the agency about $4.5 million annually.  

Greg Younger / cc by 2.0

 

Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill legalizing concealed switchblades and knives. Scott Walker signed the measure Saturday at an annual National Rifle Association gathering in Wisconsin.  Walker says Wisconsin citizens have the fundamental right to defend themselves. 

Manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing, or possessing a switchblade has been illegal in Wisconsin for decades. The Republican bill eliminates that prohibition as well as permits anyone who can legally possess a gun to carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license. 

Planned Parenthood

The state Senate has passed a bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal grant money.

That measure would require the state to apply for federal Title X grant money, which currently all goes to Planned Parenthood.

The money can't be used for abortions. Under the bill, abortion providers couldn't get any money; the grants instead would go to the state's Well Woman program, which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings.

The move would cost Planned Parenthood about $3 million per year.

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

The Wisconsin state Assembly has approved a tougher penalty for hiding a corpse.

Right now, hiding a corpse is a Class G felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The Republican-authored bill would classify the crime as a more severe Class F felony punishable by up to 12.5 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

The Assembly approved the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote in June.

"Satsop Nuclear Power Plant" by Flickr User Tony Webster / (CC BY 2.0)

The state Assembly is set to take up a bill that would lift Wisconsin's moratorium on new nuclear power plants.

Republicans who control the chamber placed the bill on Tuesday's calendar during a meeting yesterday.

Under current law, state regulators can't approve a new nuclear power plant unless a federal storage facility for waste from nuclear plants nationwide exists and the plant wouldn't burden ratepayers.

No centralized federal repository exists. Nuclear plants have been storing waste on-site.

Flickr user Abulic Monkey / "that's methadone, not to be confused with the 'killer' drug mephedrone, got that kids?" (CC BY 2.0)

A Wisconsin legislative committee is poised to vote on three anti-heroin bills today.

The bill would require opiate dispensers to enter prescriptions in a statewide database within 24 hours. It would also create methadone and pain clinic registries.

Treatment programs using methadone would also be required to report the number of people receiving the medication, plans for tapering patients off it, and relapse rates.

State representative John Nygren, a Republican, introduced the bills. His daughter is struggling with heroin addiction.

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

The Wisconsin state Senate's health committee is set to vote today on a bill that would outlaw research using tissue obtained from aborted fetuses.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and private scientists oppose the measure. They argue it could end ground-breaking medical research that relies on fetal tissue cells.

Republicans amended the bill to outlaw research on fetal tissue cell lines obtained from abortions after Jan. 1 this year, but the researchers say they need new lines.

It's unclear how much support the bill has in the Senate.

Pages