Democrats Propose Series Of Ethics Reforms
(AP) Assembly Democrats are proposing a series of reforms that would make the state Legislature subject to the open meetings law and force members of the Supreme Court to step down from cases involving law firms they've received donations from. The proposals are unlikely to get any traction since Republicans control the Assembly. But Democrats said at a Thursday news conference they felt compelled to introduce them in the face of news that most Republican lawmakers had signed a confidentiality agreement not to talk about GOP redistricting plans. Democrats also cited Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman's decision to hear cases involving a law firm he received unpaid legal services from. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says the state's reputation for open government is in tatters.
New Vikings Stadium Talks
(AP) Northwestern Minnesota's White Earth Tribe wants to open a Twin Cities-area casino that its chairwoman says would help a poverty-stricken tribe and be a source of state money for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium. White Earth Chairwoman Erma Vizenor said Thursday that the 20,000-member tribe has desperate needs in health care, education and housing that could be addressed if lawmakers let them open a casino in the much more populated Twin Cities area. Vizenor proposes the tribe and the state split an estimated profit of at least $300 million a year. She says that lets state lawmakers avoid any new stadium taxes. Recent stadium negotiations have focused on downtown Minneapolis land next to the Metrodome. Numerous proposals for expanded gambling have been offered as potential state funding sources.
Snow Scamper Scrapped
It was supposed to be the second attempt by the City of La Crosse Parks and Recreation Department to get it off the ground. And for the second year.....they have cancelled the Snowshoe Scamper 5K/10K Race and Family Fun planned for this Saturday at Forest Hills Golf Course. Why? You guessed it.....the warm weather expected for this week, lack of snow and unsafe trail conditions. People that have already registered for the Snowshoe Scamper will be receiving a full refund of the entry fee. The La Crosse Parks and Recreation Department plan on hosting the event again in 2013.
Iowa Looking At $10 An Hour Minimum Wage
(AP) An Iowa Senate panel approved a measure raising Iowa's minimum wage to $10 an hour, but supporters acknowledge the proposal has no chance of becoming law. Burlington Democrat Tom Courtney pushed for the increase from the current $7.25, noting that at $10 an hour someone still would earn only about $20,000 annually.
Ottumwa Republican Mark Chelgren says the move would dry up jobs for young people. Although the subcommittee of the Senate Labor Committee approved the measure Thursday, House Speaker Kraig Paulsen told reporters he wouldn't allow debate on the proposal in the House, where Republicans hold a majority. Paulsen says the measure would hurt employers, and he wants to help them create jobs. San Francisco has the nation's top minimum wage of $10.24 an hour.
Cultural And Tourist Center In Onalaska Moving Along
When it comes to the architectural design of a new cultural and toursim center in Onalaska, city leaders were not overly impressed by the two concept drawings presented recently. Members’ comments ranged from it’s not reflective of Native American culture to I want to be wowed. Mayor Mike Giese says they've always been like that.
The architects brought back revisions to their drawings and the