Morning briefing: Selling state property, erosion control, flu shots, raw milk trial

2013-05-20T07:05:00Z Morning briefing: Selling state property, erosion control, flu shots, raw milk trialThe Capital Times
May 20, 2013 7:05 am  • 

Take a look at the stories from around our area and world that are making news today.

Proposal would give Scott Walker administration more power to sell state property: Patrick Marley and Karen Herzog of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel write: "Gov. Scott Walker's administration would gain broad authority to sell state property — including prisons, highways, heating plants and university dormitories — under a plan legislators will take up Tuesday. Proceeds would be used to chip away at the state's $8 billion debt, but the state entities that formerly owned the properties might not see any benefit from the sales. So, a dorm built with student fees could potentially be sold to pay down the debt for a highway expansion, or vice versa."`

Provision blocks tougher local erosion control standards: Dennis Punzel of the Wisconsin State Journal reports: "A move ostensibly to standardize regulation for commercial construction site erosion is being criticized as an effort to wrest control from local municipalities. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee last week approved a provision added to the state budget that would shift regulation of such erosion control from the state Department of Safety and Professional Services to the Department of Natural Resources. The provision included changes in terminology, requiring the DNR to enforce 'statewide uniform standards' rather than 'minimum standards.' Most significantly, it would prohibit local governments from enacting local ordinances that are stricter than the statewide standards."

Wisconsin bill would ban mandatory flu shots: An Associated Press story by Kevin Wang reports: "Wisconsin employers, including hospitals, nursing homes and other health care agencies, could no longer require workers to get flu shots under a bill pending in the Legislature. Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, said he began drafting the legislation after several hospital workers and health care contractors in his district complained they were fired after refusing to be vaccinated. Other states have laws or legislation pending requiring health care workers to be immunized or requiring employers to offer them the vaccine. The National Conference of State Legislatures said the Wisconsin bill was the only one it was aware of that would bar employers of any type from requiring vaccinations."

Rep. Paul Ryan speaks out on IRS targeting conservatives scandal: Mike Lowe of in Milwaukee reported Sunday: "The IRS scandal has consumed Washington, and now, Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan is calling for a full and thorough investigation into the IRS targeting of conservatives. The Janesville Congressman is vowing to get to the bottom of it in his Congressional oversight role. He says the revelations have eroded trust, not only in the IRS, but within the government as a whole. The IRS scandal was topic number one on the Sunday talk shows, and is the talk of Washington, with everyone from President Obama to Congressional leaders weighing in. Ryan, appearing on FOX News Sunday called for a complete investigation."

Vernon Hershberger raw milk trial set to begin in Baraboo: Andre Darlington of the Isthmus' The Daily Page sets the stage for the trial of Vernon Hershberger: What could prove to be one of the most important trials of the decade begins in Baraboo on Monday. Sauk County dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger is charged with illegally selling raw milk. The trial will set precedent for whether individuals can enter into private food exchanges with each other, choosing for themselves what food they purchase. As Jessica VanEgeren of The Capital Times writes, it's more than just about raw milk: "His jury trial, which is scheduled to begin in the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo on Monday, is being viewed as a legal bellwether for the ability of people across the country to exercise their right to produce and eat what they want. As such, supporters of the so-called "food freedom movement" are converging on the small community of 12,000 located about an hour northwest of Madison to watch and learn from the legal proceedings that will unfold during the weeklong trial."

No more loud, orange carpet as Monona Terrace will get a major redo: Dean Mosiman of the State Journal writes: "The city is about to replace Monona Terrace's famously loud, burnt-orange carpet that's defined the interior character of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed convention center since it opened to great fanfare in 1997. The controversial, 45,000-square-foot carpet will be replaced by one with a burgundy background and less intense design as part of a $2.9 million to $3.8 million renovation project to start in late 2013."

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(2) Comments

  1. 196ski
    Report Abuse
    196ski - May 21, 2013 11:41 am
    You cannot possibly be serious trying to justify the actions of the IRS can you? This wasn't scrutiny, this was the blatant abuse of power for political gain. It is not the function of the IRS to pass judgement on groups that apply for 501c4 Determinations, it is their job to follow the law and see if those groups meet the criteria. It is the jobs of lawmakers to establish what those criteria are.

    The fact that YOU think the Tea Party is evil does not justify the actions. What if this was, oh I don't know, say some anti hunting group that the IRS had singled out? Every citizen should be OUTRAGED at this behavior and equally outraged at the coverup that occurred after it happened.
  2. Madravenspeak
    Report Abuse
    Madravenspeak - May 21, 2013 9:50 am
    Since Tea Party enthusiasts are abusing the political frameworks to pose as social benefactors for non-profit status - but are working to repress the vote, undermine democracy and forward privatization of public lands and the public commons, I think this merits intense scrutiny. Framing the IRS doing its job as a scandal - when Citizens United and the right wing 1% rich buying our democracy is the real issue - is yet another smoke screen. Words matter and the "scandal" word is much better applied to the Tea Party agenda.
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