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Saturday, June 10, 2023

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Included in Gov. Scott Walker’s 2017-’19 budget is a proposal to end a state law requiring a public and private voucher schools to teach for a certain amount of hours.

Mandatory teaching hours for K-12 schools could be eliminated under proposed budget

As the GOP formulates its spending priorities into the new state budget, one proposal from Gov. Scott Walker would lift the sole mandate enforcing a minimum number of hours of instruction per year in Wisconsin schools. The plan would do away with the state law that ensures such criteria in both public and private schools, and also lift time requirements for one-on-one instructor availability for students enrolled in virtual charter schools. Walker’s proposal would make Wisconsin the only state in the country without laws to ensure minimum instruction time for students. “For us, it’s about eliminating the mandate,” Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Monday.

UW System President Ray Cross praised Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal in an appearance before the state Joint Finance Committee Thursday.

Cross: Proposed budget is best in a decade

UW System officials praised Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget Thursday in an appearance before the state’s powerful budget-writing committee, saying they were “very pleased” with the suggested funding level. In his testimony, UW System President Ray Cross told the Joint Finance Committee that Walker’s proposed 2017-’19 biennium budget is the most investment in the UW in over a decade. Walker’s proposal calls for $140 million in new funding to the state’s 16 public universities, including $42.5 million tied to each university’s performance in certain metrics.


Bill seeks to stop adults from allowing underage drinking in their homes

Adults who host underage drinking gatherings in their homes could face fines and jail time as part of a new proposal presented by two state legislators Tuesday. The proposed bill, spearheaded by state Rep. Andre Jacque, R-De Pere, and state Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, aims to address binge drinking and drunk driving, issues the lawmakers believe are being exacerbated by a cultural acceptance of underage drinking.

Two Republican state representatives proposed a bill Tuesday that would allow residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit or training.

Bill would allow concealed carry without permit in school zones

Wisconsinites could be allowed to carry concealed handguns without a permit if a bill proposed by multiple Republican state legislators Tuesday passes. The legislation replaces state gun-free school zone laws, and instead allows individual schools to determine by posting signs whether firearms are prohibited in their school or on school grounds under state trespass law. The bill, which comes six years after licensed concealed weapons were legalized in the state, would also allow people with concealed carry permits to bring guns into places they are currently banned, including school grounds and hospitals, unless signs are posted stating otherwise. Current Wisconsin law states that the exposed carry of a firearm is legal without a license, but it cannot be concealed in any way except for when a permit is obtained. The proposal, also called “Right to Carry” legislation, would eliminate the Wisconsin law requiring that anyone seeking a permit to carry a concealed weapon obtain a license and take a firearms training course.

Some Wisconsinites are concerned that Enbridge Inc.’s pipeline replacement plan in Minnesota will lead to an expansion in a Wisconsin pipeline that runs through part of Dane County. 

Wisconsin residents wary of corporate pipeline's promises to not expand

Enbridge Inc.’s plans to expand its crude oil pipeline in Minnesota has environmental advocates worried it will translate to further pipeline expansion in Wisconsin, despite protests and promises earlier this year. A $39 billion Canadian company, Enbridge owns all crude oil pipelines in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Some people have reason to believe that Enbridge is planning an expansion in Wisconsin, citing the need to support an increase in oil that will come with a line replacement in Minnesota, aging pipes in Wisconsin, legal changes and surveys from landowners. “Enbridge is absolutely going to have to expand their Wisconsin pipelines,” said Phyllis Hasbrouck, Wisconsin Safe Energy Alliance project leader. Enbridge denies these claims. “There’s been no decision regarding plans for a new pipeline in Wisconsin ... besides, it’s a lengthy process and would take a considerable amount of time,” said Scott Suder, manager of State Government Affairs at Enbridge. Additionally, Enbridge is a publicly traded company and would have to alert its stakeholders if it was moving forward with a plan, according to Suder. Enbridge plans to build a replacement for the Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota and abandon the old one, increasing capacity from 390 kilo barrels per day to 760 kilo barrels per day.

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