Budget Bill Democratic Side
(AP) The Democratic leader of the Wisconsin state Assembly says a new projection showing Wisconsin faces a $143 million budget shortfall illustrates irresponsible action by Gov. Scot Walker.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca issued the statement Thursday in reaction to the new estimates from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Barca says Walker's policies have left Wisconsin fiscally unsound and caused the state to fall behind on the road to economic recovery. Barca says Walker's economic plan isn't working. Walker views the new figures differently, saying he believes the state is headed in the right direction after Republicans made tough budget choices last year to balance a $3.6 billion shortfall. Barca is considering running against Walker in a recall election.
Vikings Stadium Update
(AP) The Duluth Vikings? That's the vision of a Duluth state senator who says his city would be ideal for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Actually, Sen. Roger Reinert says the proposal he gave Gov. Mark Dayton Thursday would keep the Minnesota Vikings name. The Democrat's proposal is a long shot at the Capitol, where the stadium effort is focused on rebuilding downtown Minneapolis. Reinert says a 500-acre site southwest of the city's downtown and along the St. Louis River is perfect. He points out that the Green Bay Packers are about as far from the much larger Milwaukee media market as Duluth is from the Twin Cities. Reinert says a Duluth stadium could be partly funded by new tax revenue from lifting Minnesota's Sunday restriction on liquor sales.
Mayor Pay Cut Raises Ire of One Councilman
The line has blurred a bit between two potentially contentious issues in La Crosse. At least it has for some on the city council. The council is moving towards a resolution that would cut the next mayor's salary in half if voters approve hiring a city administrator in the April election. But councilman John Satory says the pay cut is really just an endorsement of the administrator idea. And he doesn't like it
The pay cut would put the mayor's salary at about 38 thousand a year.
Approval of New City Garbage Rules Likely Delayed
New regulations on garbage in La Crosse were meant to help pick-up neighborhoods a little. But opposition by neighborhood groups and landlords have put adoption of those rules apparently on hold. The city council is poised to delay approval of the new garbage and recycling rules for a month. A special neighborhood revitalization committee will weigh in on possible changes. Among the more contentious rules, one that would mandate a dumpster for any rental that had eight or more bedrooms.
First Lady Visits Iowa
(AP) Thousands of students, several well-known athletes and a number of politicians are expected to join Michelle Obama for an event in Des Moines that will promote exercise and healthy eating. Besides the first lady, participants at the Thursday event include Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, gymnast Shawn Johnson, figure skater Michelle Kwan and NASCAR champion Carl Edwards.
About 10,000 children will be bused to the event from 45 schools in the Des Moines area. It will be Obama's first stop on a three-day national tour marking her Let's Move initiative, which promotes physical fitness and healthy eating for children. She's been drawn to Des Moines by Iowa's Healthiest State initiative. That program aims to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016.