The Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to the so-called “lame-duck” legislation passed late last year.
The legal challenge, brought by the League of Women Voters, saw justices rule that the extraordinary session held in December 2018 was not held improperly. The 4-3 decision was announced Friday.
Democrats called foul after the Republican-controlled Legislature held a special session that stripped certain powers from the governor and attorney general just before Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, left office.
“Today’s decision is disappointing and, unfortunately, all too predictable,” Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said Friday in a statement. “The people of Wisconsin deserve better than this.”
The Associated Press posted a joint statement from Republican legislative leaders - Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald: "This lawsuit, pursued by special interests and Gov. Evers, has led to an unnecessary waste of taxpayer resources,” the statement reads. “We urge the governor to work with the Legislature instead of pursuing his political agenda through the courts."
State’s unemployment rate 2.8% for second straight month
Wisconsin's unemployment rate remained at a record-low of 2.8 percent in May.
The Department of Workforce Development says the state added 1,800 private-sector jobs last month and 1,700 total non-farm jobs. Wisconsin has added 19,600 private sector jobs since May of 2018 and 15,000 total non-farm jobs over the past year. DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said, "May's labor numbers underscore the importance of being more creative and inclusive in our workforce recruitment, retention and advocacy efforts." The national unemployment rate in May was 0.8 higher than Wisconsin's at 3.6 percent.
Courthouse security ramped up in Eau Claire County
Starting July 1, people wanting to access the second floor of the Eau Claire County Courthouse will have to go through some increased security checks.
Items carried in will have to be X-rayed and persons going to the courtrooms, the District Attorney's Office and the Clerk of Courts office will have to pass through a metal detector. A spokesperson for the sheriff's office says the enhanced security measures come as the result of a review started two years ago. An outside contractor will handle the new security measures.
DNA from licked envelope used to link man, 82, to cold case murders
A Marinette County Circuit judge has bound an 82-year-old defendant over for trial on murder charges. Prosecutors say DNA collected from a licked envelope connects Raymand Vannieuwenhoven to a double murder 43 years ago. Twenty-five-year-old David Schuldes and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys were shot to death at McClintock Park in Silver Cliff in 1976. Investigators say they had no significant leads until they began working with a DNA lab in Virginia last year.
Assembly passes bill to delay closing of youth prison by 6 months
A Thursday vote by the Wisconsin Assembly has advanced a bill delaying the closing of the state's youth prison by six months.
The Senate considers the measure next. The Department of Corrections was supposed to close the facility near Irma by Jan. 1, 2021, but the governor said that wasn't enough time. Republican Rep. Michael Schraa introduced a bill which keeps the prison open until July 1, 2021, but Gov. Tony Evers says meeting that deadline might be impossible, too.
Drug suspect collapses during booking, dies at hospital
Officials at the Richland County Jail say a 25-year-old drug suspect collapsed during booking and died at Richland Hospital Wednesday.
Kevin Flint and a second person were arrested by deputies after drugs were found in their vehicle during a traffic stop. Flint suffered an apparent medical reaction and was taken to the hospital, where he died. An outside law enforcement agency is investigating the "death while in custody." The second person's name hasn't been released.