Minnesota District Talks Sexuality
(AP) The teachers union in Minnesota's largest school district has endorsed a proposed replacement for a policy that requires teachers to stay neutral when issues of sexual orientation come up in class. Local President Julie Blaha says the representative assembly of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota showed overwhelming support for the proposed ``Respectful Learning Environment'' policy in a voice vote Monday. Critics say the district's existing neutrality policy on human sexuality hampers teachers from preventing bullying of students who are gay or perceived as gay, and the district is the target of two lawsuits challenging it. Supporters of the policy include parents who believe homosexual conduct is immoral and don't want teachers telling their children that gay relationships are acceptable. The school board is expected to vote on the proposed policy Feb. 13.
GAB To Talke Recall And Tea Parties Tuesday
(AP) The head of the Wisconsin state elections board charged with reviewing about 1.9 million signatures seeking to recall Gov. Scott Walker and five others says verification work done by outside tea party groups should not be considered. The Government Accountability Board is in the process of checking whether there are enough signatures on the petitions to order recall elections against Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators. Board head Kevin Kennedy says in a memo Monday that GAB staff believe only information they develop or that is given to them by petition circulators or the targeted office holders should be used to determine the validity of the signatures. The board was to discuss the issue at its meeting Tuesday.
Viking Stadium Movement
(AP) Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and labor groups say they have agreements with the Vikings that they hope will increase city support for a new stadium on the current Metrodome site. The agreements call for union labor to be used on any stadium, with unions committing to no work stoppages. The Vikings separately have signed a letter of intent to OK unionized concession workers at the new stadium. Still under discussion is a workforce agreement that would set goals for hiring women and minority workers and subcontractors. The agreement would also aim to hire Minneapolis residents from zip codes with high rates of poverty.
President Coming To Cheese State
(AP) President Barack Obama plans to make a stop in the Milwaukee area next week, marking the first time he's come to Wisconsin in 13 months and his eighth visit since taking office. A White House official confirmed Monday that Obama was planning on making the trip to give remarks on Feb. 15, but no other details were released.
Obama was last in Wisconsin on Jan. 26, 2011, when he came to Manitowoc the day after his State of the Union address. Just over two weeks later, Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his collective bargaining plan that set off massive protests and led to the ongoing effort to recall him from office. Walker's spokesman did not know if the governor planned on greeting Obama on this trip like he did last time.
Walker Working With D.A.
(AP) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he voluntarily agreed to the Milwaukee County district attorney's request to meet with him about a secret investigation that so far has led to charges against five of Walker's former close aides and associates. Walker made brief comments Monday after a public appearance in Waukesha. They were among his first following an announcement Friday that he would meet with District Attorney John Chisholm. Walker said the meeting date is up to the district attorney to announce. The investigation has created a potential vulnerability for Walker, who faces a potential recall. Walker says his lawyers are examining thousands of emails his campaign has turned over to the DA. He said he hired the lawyers because it would take him too much time to do that work.