Shortly after a Dane County Circuit judge found the Legislature's lame-duck session illegal, Gov. Tony Evers pulled Wisconsin out of a suit challenging the Affordable Care Act.
Evers told reporters he will need some more time to decide how to use the powers restored by that Thursday ruling. Republicans are expected to appeal quickly. Judge Richard Niess issued the injunction Thursday while refusing to put the order on hold. Republicans say the decision will "create chaos."
In a temporary injunction Thursday, Judge Richard Niess wrote "There can be no justification for enforcement of the unconstitutional legislative actions emanating from the December 2018 "extraordinary session" that is consistent with the rule of law." Evers praised the ruling, saying, "The Legislature overplayed its hand by using an unlawful process to accumulate more power for itself and override the will of the people, despite the outcome of last November's election." GOP leaders say they will appeal and claimed the ruling "creates chaos" by throwing into question the validity of laws passed in other extraordinary sessions.
Wis. unemployment rate drops to 2.9 percent
Wisconsin's unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a point in February to 2.9 percent.
The Department of Workforce Development says the data show Wisconsin added 11,400 total non-farm jobs last month, and 19,300 private sector jobs from February 2018 to February 2019. Total non-farm employment decreased by 3,400 between January and February, mainly due to the loss of 3,100 government jobs. The national jobless rate was nearly a point higher than Wisconsin's in February at 3.8 percent.
Attorney general defends Wis. abortion restrictions
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is defending the state's abortion restrictions in a Thursday filing.
Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit over laws which don't allow nurses to perform abortions and limit women's ability to get abortion-inducing drugs. Republican lawmakers are trying to hire their own attorneys because Kaul got more than $80,000 in campaign donations from Planned Parenthood. He is a Democrat.
Johnson calls for investigation of firearms theft
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is calling for an investigation of the way a federal facility in West Virginia disposes of firearms.
The Wisconsin Republican's request was brought on by the case of a former federal guard who accused of stealing firearms from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives disposal site. Johnson gave ATF Director Thomas Brandon until March 26th to conduct the probe. Prosecutors say 52-year-old Christopher Lee Yates stole guns and ammunition.
MillerCoors/Anheuser-Busch rivalry escalates
Beer-maker MillerCoors is suing its rival Anheuser-Busch over a series of advertisements.
The federal suit was filed Thursday. It refers to commercials aired by Anheuser-Busch claiming Miller Lite and Coors Light contain corn syrup. MillerCoors says after the brewing process is complete corn syrup is no longer present in the products. The company is asking the court to order Anheuser-Busch to quit running the ads which started during this year's Super Bowl.
Flood damage in 16 counties estimated at $1.7M
The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center estimates the total flood damage in 16 counties at almost $1.7 million.
State officials say several rivers, including the Crawfish and Rock, will remain at moderate flood stage for at least another week. The estimate reflects damage to public infrastructure and emergency response expenses.
New food options coming to Miller Park
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks - and Elote en Vaso?
New food options are coming to Miller Park when the Milwaukee Brewers 2019 season opens next week. Along with hot dogs and hamburgers, fans can chow down on fried barbecue corn, a loaded pork tamale, or a Bavarian pretzel. The Elote en Vaso is a vegetarian and gluten-free grilled corn dish mixed with mayonnaise, chili powder, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and cotija cheese. Miller Park classics like bratwursts and Miller Beer are still available.