(AP) Gov. Scott Walker says no emergency budget repair bill will be needed to deal with a projected $143 million shortfall. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released the new estimate Thursday.
As recently as October the state was projected to have a $73 million surplus. Walker didn't detail what he would do to deal with the projected shortfall next year, other than promising not to raise taxes. The Fiscal Bureau says the Walker administration is looking at debt refinancing and restructuring to deal with the shortfall. Republican legislative leaders issued a joint statement saying Wisconsin is not immune to the bad economy and defended their past actions and promises not to raise taxes.
(AP) Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius went to Washington for President Barack Obama's announcement that 10 states including Minnesota are being freed of the strict and sweeping requirements of the No Child Left Behind education law. In exchange for the waivers, the 10 states have come up with alternative plans for improving the way schools teach and evaluate students. Gov. Mark Dayton says in a statement that the waiver will allow Minnesota administrators, teachers and parents to work together in building a new system of school accountability, which will lead to better education for the state's children. In the same statement, Cassellius says this waiver will help Minnesota address its achievement gap, which is one of the widest in the country, and create an educational system that better serves every student.
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.
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.
(AP) The state Department of Natural Resources is warning sturgeon hunters they're responsible for their own safety when Wisconsin's annual spearing season begins this weekend on the Lake Winnebago system. Recent warm weather has left ice on the system in poor shape. The DNR says it's dangerously thin in many areas. Forecasts call for lows in the teens for the rest of the week, which could lead to better conditions. DNR officials say the season will go on and it's up to spearers to judge the ice's safety for themselves. They say the ice is never completely safe no matter how thick it is.