Darling, Vos Vow No Tax Increases, No Service Cuts
4/27/11 – The two Republicans who chair the state Legislature’s finance committee vowed Tuesday to re-write the proposed budget without raising taxes or cutting vital services. Robin Vos and Alberta Darling made the promise today, as they kicked off weeks of meetings to review G-O-P Governor Scott Walker’s spending proposals. As always, the most controversial decisions will come at the end of their review – just before lawmakers vote on the two-year package. That includes the plan to scale back the Senior-Care prescription drug program – splitting the U-W Madison campus from the rest of the university system – and including limits on public union collective bargaining which are now tied up in the courts. The finance panel will try to arrange those votes by mid-June, so the budget can take effect July first as scheduled.
Cowles Recall Petitions To Be Filed
4/27/11 – State Democrats say petitions will be submitted Thursday to order a recall election against Senate Republican Rob Cowles of Green Bay. State Democratic spokesman Graeme Zielinski says more than enough signatures have been gathered. Just under 16-thousand valid signatures are needed to force a recall election against Cowles. He would be the sixth G-O-P senator in which recall petitions were filed against – along with three Democrats. They’re all on the carpet for their actions connected with the bill to limit public union bargaining powers. Meanwhile, recall efforts have failed against two Democratic senators. Petitioners did not file signatures by a deadline of yesterday against Fred Risser of Madison and Lena Taylor of Milwaukee. The two senators who escaped recall efforts are among the most secure members of the Senate. Both Risser and Taylor were unopposed when they ran for re-election in 2008 in heavily Democratic districts. Risser is the nation’s longest-serving lawmaker in his 55th year in office. Taylor has been in the Legislature for almost a decade.
Walker To Talk School Vouchers In DC
4/27/11 – Governor Scott Walker will speak to a national group in Washington next month about Wisconsin’s private school choice program. He’ll address the American Federation for Children on May ninth. The meeting will attract about 300 supporters of school choice. Walker’s proposed state budget would expand the numbers and types of students who can get state-funded vouchers to attend private schools. Until now, only poor youngsters in the city of Milwaukee could take advantage of the program. But the Republican Walker wants to remove the income limits, let students attend any private school in Milwaukee County instead of just the city, and end the requirement that the private schools give the statewide achievement tests that public school students must take.
BDUSD Mulling Building Closing Feasibility Study
4/27/11 – The Beaver Dam School District may conduct a feasibility study to help determine the future of their current buildings. There has been talk in recent years of possibly closing the two rural elementary schools, Trenton and South Beaver Dam. Superintendent Steve Vessey says the study would delve into that without targeting specific schools. Vessey says the study will also tell them where the kids would fit if they were to close a building. The board also has to take into consideration the expensive maintenance needs at the two rural schools. At their meeting next month, the school board is expected to review the costs and companies that could perform the study. If approved, it would take about six to eight weeks for the results.
Horicon Replanting Trees From Maple Street Project
4/27/11 – Horicon is spending most if its tree budget for this year replacing trees that had been removed as part of last years reconstruction of Maple Street. Director of Public Works Dave Magnussen asked the council last night to begin including tree replacement in the budget of future street projects. He says the tree budget is too small to replant trees after reconstruction and still plant trees as part of an annual replacement cycle. Mayor James Grigg says they will include the costs in future street project budgets, but it’s up to the full council to decide if the funding will stay there.
Nehls Urges County A Detour Compliance
4/27/11 – Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls is reminding motorists to abide by the road closure signs on County Road A. In his regular newspaper column, Nehls says the detour for the summer long project is well marked. County A from State Highway 33 to Oak Grove is expected to remain closed until mid-July. The detour takes motorists from State Highway 26 through Juneau to Highway 33. The fine for violating the road closure sign is $175 and three demerit points against your license.
String of Mailbox Vandalism Reported
4/27/11 – At least eight residents in three different towns reported their mailbox had been vandalized during the overnight hours of Sunday into Monday. Dodge County Sheriff’s Patrol Captain Molly Soblewski says they received reports of mailboxes being damaged in the towns of Lomira, Leroy and Theresa. Soblewski says they did catch a break as one of the homeowners recognized a vehicle in the area and they are pursuing that lead. The vandalism went beyond just damaging the mailbox as the subjects left behind sand, rocks and other dirt.
Elvis’ Wild Ride Opening Delayed
4/27/11 – If you want to ride the same roller-coaster that Elvis Presley loved, you’ll have to wait. Green Bay officials say it’s too damp to start-up the Zippin Pippin roller coaster on May 7 as scheduled. The tentative start-up date is now May 21, but Mayor Jim Schmitt said it could be sooner if the final preparations can be completed. Officials say a cold and wet spring has delayed tests of the new ride, training for staff members, and preparation work at the site. City public works officials say they need to make sure that all is safe. The city bought the roller coaster from officials in Memphis.