Commission oversees lobbying, campaign finance laws
The first test isn't very encouraging. Wisconsin's newly formed state agency dealing with keeping government honest would like to be able to grease the palms of those they are overseeing....
MADISON, Wis. (AP) A Republican member of the Legislature's powerful budget-writing committee plans to unveil his proposal for overhauling the state's income tax system while also providing an even deeper tax cut than originally put forward by Gov. Scott Walker.
Rep. Dale Kooyenga of Brookfield plans to release his proposal on Tuesday. It comes as the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee is nearing the end of its work making changes to Walker's budget before it heads to the Senate and Assembly for debate.
Walker in February proposed a $343 million income tax cut.
But Kooyenga has said he wants to increase the cut by another $450 million while also doing away with a number of existing tax credits and reduce the number of tax brackets from five to three.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota health officials say the wet weather and anticipated warm-up means outdoor enthusiasts are at high risk for ticks.
State epidemiologist Dave Neitzel says the tick season was delayed by a prolonged winter, but is now upon us. He says ticks are so small they can go unnoticed on people and pets. Neitzel says he was hiking just north of the Twin Cities recently and found some ticks.
The latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows nearly 15,000 cases of tick-borne diseases were reported from 1986 to 2010. The majority of the cases were Lyme disease.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) The University of Wisconsin-Madison wants an exemption from the state's open-records law that would allow it to keep research information private until it's published or patented. The the university is circulating a two-page document among Republican lawmakers suggesting language for a standalone bill.
The university says its proposal was prompted by a change in federal patent law. Patents are now awarded on a first-to-file basis, meaning a rival could use the open-records law to gain early access to UW-Madison research and then try to file a patent first.
But the proposal doesn't sit well with Bill Lueders, who runs the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. He says current law already allows UW to deny requests if it can cite a legitimate reason.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota homeowners facing foreclosure would have additional protection under a bill Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign. The legislation requires banks and servicers to make loan modifications to everyone who's eligible. Also, loan servicers can't sell off a home until there's a clear yes or no on the loan modification.
University of Minnesota consumer law expert Prentiss Cox says a key element of the new law gives homeowners more time to modify their loan, thereby holding off a foreclosure sale. Property owners would have an additional 30 days under the state law.
Foreclosures have dropped in Minnesota in recent years, but remain high. Last year there were nearly 18,000 foreclosures, down about 16 percent from the previous year, but nearly triple the 2005 level.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Fort McCoy's campground's summer hours will take effect this weekend. Pine View Campground's summer season will start Friday and run through the Labor Day weekend, ending on Sept. 2.
The camp office will be open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The campground's swimming beach will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
The campground also includes playgrounds, volleyball and basketball courts, horseshoes, a nine-hole disc golf course and hiking trails. People also can check out recreational equipment, including paddle boats, canoes, pontoons, bass boats, fishing boats and camping equipment. The campground also plans to offer a number of theme weekends throughout the summer, including a mud run, a car show and haunted trails.
The fort is located in western Wisconsin between Sparta and Tomah.