Steven Walters

Steven Walters

Steve Walters, a senior producer for the nonprofit public affairs network WisconsinEye, has covered Wisconsin’s Capitol since 1988. He was Capitol bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Milwaukee Sentinel from 1992 until 2009. He was also managing editor of the Waukesha Freeman and, in the 1970s, covered the Iowa Legislature. He was honored as Journalist of the Year for 2012 by the Milwaukee Press Club.

Contact Steven

Recent Articles

The State of Politics: State Leads Nation In Drunk Driving
The State of Politics

State Leads Nation In Drunk Driving

No state has more ignition interlock stops. MADD pushes to install more devices.

The State of Politics: State Targets Tax Evaders
The State of Politics

State Targets Tax Evaders

New enforcement agents could collect $400 million in taxes owed.

The State of Politics: Voters Approved $1.8 Billion for Schools
The State of Politics

Voters Approved $1.8 Billion for Schools

And have given 24 districts permission to exceed state spending limits.

The State of Politics: Bill Would End “Revolving Door” Lobbyists
The State of Politics

Bill Would End “Revolving Door” Lobbyists

Would require one-year wait for ex-legislators and legislative aides to become lobbyists.

The State of Politics: Trump Budget Threatens State Spending
The State of Politics

Trump Budget Threatens State Spending

Impact could be huge: 29 percent of state budget funded by federal grants.

The State of Politics: Barrett Sells Milwaukee to GOP
The State of Politics

Barrett Sells Milwaukee to GOP

City has reinvented itself, deserves greater investment from state, he argues.

The State of Politics: Will Walker Go Back to the Future?
The State of Politics

Will Walker Go Back to the Future?

He offered transportation-funding plan in 2011 that may get reconsideration.

The State of Politics: How Legislature Rigged the Game
The State of Politics

How Legislature Rigged the Game

2015 campaign finance law gives more power to wealthy and corporations.

The State Of Politics: Evers, Holtz, Offer Real Clash On Issues
The State Of Politics

Evers, Holtz, Offer Real Clash On Issues

Incumbent state superintendent and challenger have fierce disagreements.

The State of Politics: Advisory Referendums Have Meant Little
The State of Politics

Advisory Referendums Have Meant Little

Legislators are considering advisory referendums on legalizing marijuana and making Daylight Savings Time permanent.

The State of Politics: Legislators Could Trim Walker Budget
The State of Politics

Legislators Could Trim Walker Budget

Does governor expect them to throw out his bag of goodies?

The State of Politics: Walker Will Unveil A Reelection Budget
The State of Politics

Walker Will Unveil A Reelection Budget

Proposals in 2017-2019 budget made with eye to running for a third term.

The State of Politics: Walker Will Crack Down On Welfare
The State of Politics

Walker Will Crack Down On Welfare

Food stamps will be much harder to get. Democrats ask, will kids be affected?

The State of Politics: Walker Has Raised $100 Million
The State of Politics

Walker Has Raised $100 Million

Plus $45 million from third-party groups. All since 2009.

The State of Politics: How To Replace Obamacare
The State of Politics

How To Replace Obamacare

Wisconsin’s Risk Sharing Plan could provide model for a GOP replacement plan.

The State of Politics: Why Ziegler Has No Opponent
The State of Politics

Why Ziegler Has No Opponent

Overwhelming dark money advantage and Democratic fatigue are factors.

The State of Politics: 11 Predictions for 2017 Politics
The State of Politics

11 Predictions for 2017 Politics

Scott Fitzgerald gets Trump appointment, redistricting is upheld and more.

The State of Politics: Top 10 Political Stories of 2016
The State of Politics

Top 10 Political Stories of 2016

Trump’s Wisconsin win, of course. But what else?

The State of Politics: Republicans Will Review Recount Process
The State of Politics

Republicans Will Review Recount Process

Though it went smoothly, Vos and Walker may want changes in the law.

The State of Politics: Commerce Groups Want Highway Funding Deal
The State of Politics

Commerce Groups Want Highway Funding Deal

But only if legislature adopts certain changes they propose.

The State of Politics: Poll Analysis Shows How State Turned Red
The State of Politics

Poll Analysis Shows How State Turned Red

Democrats had five percent edge in party identification in 2008 and 2012; that’s gone.

The State of Politics: Robin Vos The Mythbuster
The State of Politics

Robin Vos The Mythbuster

Report he commissioned punctures “myths” offered by Walker, GOP, against more highway spending.

The State of Politics: How Trump Could Change Wisconsin
The State of Politics

How Trump Could Change Wisconsin

Walker and Republicans expect lots of federal money for the state.

The State of Politics: The Incredible Decline of Democrats
The State of Politics

The Incredible Decline of Democrats

GOP soared, Democrats floored, in state vote. Dem decline since 2010 is stunning.

The State of Politics: Final Notes From The Campaign-Trail
The State of Politics

Final Notes From The Campaign-Trail

After 210 interviews with candidates, some observations on a crazy election.

The State of Politics: Hard Right Dominates GOP Senate
The State of Politics

Hard Right Dominates GOP Senate

Eight or nine senators could dictate much of Gov. Walker's 2017-19 state budget.

The State of Politics: Will High Court Kill Assessment Process?
The State of Politics

Will High Court Kill Assessment Process?

Supreme Court case could let homeowners bar inspection yet dispute tax assessment.

The State of Politics: Recent Deaths Shake State Capitol
The State of Politics

Recent Deaths Shake State Capitol

Suicide of Rick Gudex makes three prominent deaths in 13 months.

The State of Politics: ”CPA Caucus” Seeks Major Tax Changes
The State of Politics

”CPA Caucus” Seeks Major Tax Changes

Four Republican lawmakers would simplify taxes and end some sales tax exemptions.

The State of Politics: Johnny College Can’t Read
The State of Politics

Johnny College Can’t Read

Or add. Report shows which high schools’ grads require remediation from UW System.

The State of Politics: 3 Things You Should Know About Corrections’ Budget Request
The State of Politics

3 Things You Should Know About Corrections’ Budget Request

Why should you care?

The State of Politics: Republicans Regret Assault on Open Records Law
The State of Politics

Republicans Regret Assault on Open Records Law

But Rep. John Nygren is still open to changes to the Open Records Law, just not now.

The State of Politics: Assembly GOP Upstage Walker’s Budget
The State of Politics

Assembly GOP Upstage Walker’s Budget

Republican leaders announce “Forward” agenda, six months before Gov. Walker gives his 2017-19 budget to the new Legislature.

The State of Politics: Will Lawmakers Dare Raise Beer Tax?
The State of Politics

Will Lawmakers Dare Raise Beer Tax?

Two Democrats propose first increase in 47 years. It may be a lonely crusade.

The State of Politics: 10-Year Shift In State Spending
The State of Politics

10-Year Shift In State Spending

Big increases for health care, prisons, vouchers, much less for UW, local governments.

The State of Politics: Huge Tax Change Coming?
The State of Politics

Huge Tax Change Coming?

Proposed deal would end business personal property tax and raise gas tax by same amount.

The State of Politics: New Commission Must Resolve Voting Mess
The State of Politics

New Commission Must Resolve Voting Mess

Partisan Elections Commission replaced state GAB; how will it perform?

The State of Politics: 4 Issues Democrats Will Use Against GOP
The State of Politics

4 Issues Democrats Will Use Against GOP

Party leaders expect running on these issues will elect Democrats on Nov. 8.

The State of Politics: Walker Sells Himself at GOP Convention
The State of Politics

Walker Sells Himself at GOP Convention

Uses convention to renew national profile, but Ryan a more likely choice for president in 2020.

The State of Politics: Lawmakers Battle Over High Capacity Wells
The State of Politics

Lawmakers Battle Over High Capacity Wells

Are they drawing down streams and lakes? Republican and Democratic lawmakers disagree.

The State of Politics: Wisconsin “Undecided” in Presidential Election?
The State of Politics

Wisconsin “Undecided” in Presidential Election?

One in five are undecided, independent or neither party voters in presidential race.

The State of Politics: Candidates Battle Over School Funding
The State of Politics

Candidates Battle Over School Funding

GOP and Democratic legislative candidates offer dueling statistics. Who’s right?

The State of Politics: Here Lies the Government Accountability Board
The State of Politics

Here Lies the Government Accountability Board

Whether GAB should be praised or damned depends on who you ask.

The State of Politics: Medicaid Costs Are “Unsustainable”
The State of Politics

Medicaid Costs Are “Unsustainable”

Costs on pace to rise 102% in six years, GOP wants cuts, but not before election.

The State of Politics: Democratic Family Feuds
The State of Politics

Democratic Family Feuds

Eight Democratic legislators face primary challengers, but not one GOP legislator does.

The State of Politics: Madison Knows Best
The State of Politics

Madison Knows Best

GOP legislators have passed 128 restrictions to "local control" in the past six years.

The State of Politics: UW Faculty Protests Anger GOP Legislators
The State of Politics

UW Faculty Protests Anger GOP Legislators

Walker and legislators double down: they won’t restore UW cuts or tenure protection.

The State of Politics: Can Challenger Defeat Paul Ryan?
The State of Politics

Can Challenger Defeat Paul Ryan?

Delavan businessman Paul Nehlen has Sarah Palin’s backing in bid for Ryan’s congressional seat.

The State of Politics: Who Wins From Walker Tax Cuts?
The State of Politics

Who Wins From Walker Tax Cuts?

There are many winners... depending on how you analyze data.

The State of Politics: Marty Schreiber’s Last Campaign
The State of Politics

Marty Schreiber’s Last Campaign

The former governor, faced with his beloved wife’s dementia, urges others to ask for help.

The State of Politics: Why Rural Residents Resent Us
The State of Politics

Why Rural Residents Resent Us

UW Prof listens to people in 29 rural communities, learns why they like Gov. Walker.

The State of Politics: Impact of Walker’s 59 Judicial Choices
The State of Politics

Impact of Walker’s 59 Judicial Choices

He’s already replaced nearly one-fifth of judges in the state.

The State Of Politics: What Did Primary Mean for Wisconsin
The State Of Politics

What Did Primary Mean for Wisconsin

Will Walker be Cruz’s choice for running mate? And why can’t Hillary win here?

The State of Politics: Open Records Law Still Under Siege
The State of Politics

Open Records Law Still Under Siege

Former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall’s attempted end run is latest of many attacks on the law.

The State of Politics: Why Wisconsin’s Presidential Primary Matters
The State of Politics

Why Wisconsin’s Presidential Primary Matters

It’s a classic swing state that has usually voted for the winner.

The State of Politics: Legislative Session Passed Historic Changes
The State of Politics

Legislative Session Passed Historic Changes

Republicans say voters will reward them this fall. Democrats are preparing attacks.

The State of Politics: Five Years After Act 10
The State of Politics

Five Years After Act 10

Most players in the contentious Act 10 drama have since moved on to other positions.

The State of Politics: Green Bay Key In Supreme Court Race
The State of Politics

Green Bay Key In Supreme Court Race

Kloppenburg vs. Bradley echoes Prosser race, which was decided by Fox Valley voters.

The State of Politics: Can Larson Beat Abele?
The State of Politics

Can Larson Beat Abele?

Democratic insiders handicap the race, which may come down to turnout.

The State of Politics: New Corrections Chief Faces Problems
The State of Politics

New Corrections Chief Faces Problems

Including overcrowded prisons, staff shortages and low morale, and a dearth of leadership.

The State of Politics: Walker “Listening Sessions” Not for All
The State of Politics

Walker “Listening Sessions” Not for All

Invitations are closed to media and for invited guests only.

The State of Politics: GOP Bill Targets Democratic County Exec
The State of Politics

GOP Bill Targets Democratic County Exec

Would prevent Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris from holding state Senate seat

The State of Politics: Getting Tough On Drunk Driving
The State of Politics

Getting Tough On Drunk Driving

Legislators push to make fourth OWI a felony. But the state corrections costs are high.

The State of Politics: Walker Plans Run for Third Term
The State of Politics

Walker Plans Run for Third Term

His listening tour is all about making him a viable candidate in 2018.

The State of Politics: What Powerball Losers Pay For
The State of Politics

What Powerball Losers Pay For

Those losing $2 lottery tickets pay for property tax relief -- and quite a few other things.

The State of Politics: The Pothole Repair Act
The State of Politics

The Pothole Repair Act

Republican legislators debate allowing counties 0.5% sales tax for road repairs and maintenance.

The State of Politics: Five Things to Watch For in 2016
The State of Politics

Five Things to Watch For in 2016

Will Rebecca Bradley win? Can Democrats re-take the senate? Will Walker get a different job?

The State of Politics: Wisconsin’s Top 10 Political Stories Of 2015
The State of Politics

Wisconsin’s Top 10 Political Stories Of 2015

Walker and Republican legislators dominate this year's top political stories in Wisconsin.

The State of Politics: Are You Ready for Some Fantasy Football?
The State of Politics

Are You Ready for Some Fantasy Football?

Two major fantasy sports firms are lobbying the legislature. Will they score big?

The State of Politics: Legislative Leaders Could Soon Be Dictators
The State of Politics

Legislative Leaders Could Soon Be Dictators

That’s the likely impact of new campaign finance laws, former Senate Majority Leader Tim Cullen predicts.

The State of Politics: Property Taxes Will Rise Slightly
The State of Politics

Property Taxes Will Rise Slightly

By 0.6%, but the tax has still dropped 3.9% since Walker took office.

The State of Politics: Businesses’ Unemployment Tax Going Down
The State of Politics

Businesses’ Unemployment Tax Going Down

20% cut sounds good, but is part of boom-or-bust fund that experts criticize.

The State of Politics: 10 More Changes Republicans Want
The State of Politics

10 More Changes Republicans Want

They’re far from done passing major changes. Here’s 10 more laws on the horizon.

The State of Politics: 8 Reasons Wisconsin Has National GOP Clout
The State of Politics

8 Reasons Wisconsin Has National GOP Clout

Few states have such power in Republican presidential politics.

The State of Politics: 21% of Gas Tax Will Go to Repay Debt
The State of Politics

21% of Gas Tax Will Go to Repay Debt

Debt level has doubled in a decade, yet legislators approve plan.

The State of Politics: “The Answer Is No”
The State of Politics

“The Answer Is No”

Wisconsin still won’t take federal cash to expand Medicaid.

The State of Politics: A Tale of Three Sports Facilities
The State of Politics

A Tale of Three Sports Facilities

How the funding and politics varied for Lambeau Field, Miller Park and Bucks’ new arena.

The State of Politics: SafeRide Program Cuts Drunk Driving Deaths
The State of Politics

SafeRide Program Cuts Drunk Driving Deaths

Tavern League program take keys away from drunk customers, helped cut fatalities in half.

The State of Politics: How Republicans Plan to Kill GAB
The State of Politics

How Republicans Plan to Kill GAB

Government Accountability Board will be scrapped in favor of weaker commissions.

The State of Politics: Walker’s Post-Campaign “To Do” List
The State of Politics

Walker’s Post-Campaign “To Do” List

Back from his failed presidential campaign, what are his policy priorities for the state?

The State of Politics: New Tax Auditors Target Out-Of-State Firms
The State of Politics

New Tax Auditors Target Out-Of-State Firms

Including many firms whose accounts have never been scrutinized before.

The State of Politics: Budget Forces ‘20% Reduction’ In Highway Projects
The State of Politics

Budget Forces ‘20% Reduction’ In Highway Projects

Budget reduction will raise the final costs of all projects

The State of Politics: The Explosive Growth of School Choice
The State of Politics

The Explosive Growth of School Choice

It’s grown 78% in four years, now puts 32,100 kids in private schools

The State of Politics: Home Values Rising Amid Hot Market
The State of Politics

Home Values Rising Amid Hot Market

Values have risen for 41 months, but have yet to match the 2008 peak.

The State of Politics: Stories Legislators Tell Each Other
The State of Politics

Stories Legislators Tell Each Other

Sometimes personal stories told by legislators trump statistics or sound-bite speeches.

The State of Politics: Budget Included Big Changes on Taxes
The State of Politics

Budget Included Big Changes on Taxes

Changes slash Alternative Minimum Tax on the wealthy and reduce “marriage penalty.”

The State of Politics: Realign the UW System?
The State of Politics

Realign the UW System?

Legislators consider realigning public colleges and universities.

The State of Politics: Get Ready for Gov. Kleefisch?
The State of Politics

Get Ready for Gov. Kleefisch?

If Walkers wins the presidency or gets a federal appointment, Kleefisch must be ready to serve.

The State of Politics: Will Walker Kill Government Accountability Board?
The State of Politics

Will Walker Kill Government Accountability Board?

He risks having a new, untried agency run 2016 spring and fall presidential elections.

The State of Politics: Why Republicans Tried to Repeal Open Records
The State of Politics

Why Republicans Tried to Repeal Open Records

Frustrated with open records requests that have embarrassed them, GOP leaders decided they’d had enough.

The State of Politics: Bucks Arena Will Need Democratic Support
The State of Politics

Bucks Arena Will Need Democratic Support

But which Democrats are likely to back it?

The State of Politics: Walker Aides Pushed for Loan, Now in Default
The State of Politics

Walker Aides Pushed for Loan, Now in Default

Records detail VIP treatment of Walker campaign donor William Minahan.

The State of Politics: Why the GOP Gridlock Over Budget?
The State of Politics

Why the GOP Gridlock Over Budget?

Republicans can’t agree on what to do about transportation and the Bucks arena. Expect some secret deals.

The State of Politics: Crunch Time for Bucks Arena Deal
The State of Politics

Crunch Time for Bucks Arena Deal

Joint Finance Committee needs nine of 16 members to approve it. That could be tough.

The State of Politics: Is Feingold the Hillary of Wisconsin Democrats?
The State of Politics

Is Feingold the Hillary of Wisconsin Democrats?

For better or worse, the similarities between the two are many.

The State of Politics: GOP Legislators Redo Much of Walker’s Budget
The State of Politics

GOP Legislators Redo Much of Walker’s Budget

It’s rare for so much of a governor’s budget to be changed.

The State of Politics: Wisconsin’s Republican Kingmakers
The State of Politics

Wisconsin’s Republican Kingmakers

They are playing key roles in nominating process, and are out to avoid mistakes of 2012 -- and help Walker.

The State of Politics: Conservative Power Rises in Senate
The State of Politics

Conservative Power Rises in Senate

With the replacement of two key GOP moderates, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has far more power.

The State of Politics: No Christmas In May For Republicans
The State of Politics

No Christmas In May For Republicans

Tax collections haven’t risen so GOP lawmakers may have to swallow Walker budget cuts they opposed.

The State of Politics: Republicans Target Utility Fighter CUB
The State of Politics

Republicans Target Utility Fighter CUB

Proposal would kill funding for Citizen’s Utility Board, which advocates for consumers.

The State of Politics: Bucks Arena Tough Sell for Outstate Legislators
The State of Politics

Bucks Arena Tough Sell for Outstate Legislators

Poll shows state residents outside metro Milwaukee and Madison oppose subsidy by 86% to 10%.

The State of Politics: Legislators Hope Tax Windfall Rescues Them
The State of Politics

Legislators Hope Tax Windfall Rescues Them

If state tax collections don’t go up -- soon -- lawmakers must swallow Walker’s unappetizing budget cuts.

The State of Politics: The Capitol’s Biggest Soap Opera?
The State of Politics

The Capitol’s Biggest Soap Opera?

An obscure state agency that could loan money to Bucks arena is beset by squabbling.

The State of Politics: Will Voters End Era of “Shirley’s Court”?
The State of Politics

Will Voters End Era of “Shirley’s Court”?

Shirley Abrahamson has been chief justice for 19 years, but controversial referendum question could end her reign.

The State of Politics: E-Cigarettes Lights Up Capitol Fight
The State of Politics

E-Cigarettes Lights Up Capitol Fight

Should they be taxed like cigarettes, banned from restaurants/bars or protected from local regulations?

The State of Politics: Who Will Lead the Democratic Party?
The State of Politics

Who Will Lead the Democratic Party?

Five candidates seek the difficult job of trying to revive the minority party in Wisconsin.

The State of Politics: Budget Could Delay Local Highway Projects
The State of Politics

Budget Could Delay Local Highway Projects

Republican legislators want to reduce borrowing in Walker transportation budget, but this could delay numerous projects.

The State of Politics: Gogebic Mine Dies Without a Whimper
The State of Politics

Gogebic Mine Dies Without a Whimper

After all the controversy, it’s been killed, with barely a word from partisans on either side. Why?

The State of Politics: Stories From the State Capitol
The State of Politics

Stories From the State Capitol

Six vignettes tell the story of how the Senate passed the Right-to-Work bill.

The State of Politics: Legislators Move to Become Lobbyists
The State of Politics

Legislators Move to Become Lobbyists

Revolving door between governing and lobbying wide open, especially for Republicans.

The State of Politics: Capitol Clout Shifts to Republican Lawmakers
The State of Politics

Capitol Clout Shifts to Republican Lawmakers

Given a governor distracted by his run for president, legislators are taking control of budget process.

The State of Politics: Walker’s Budget Borrows Big
The State of Politics

Walker’s Budget Borrows Big

$1.3 bonding for transportation means 23% of taxes for roads will pay interest on bonds by 2016.

The State of Politics: Walker’s Funding Cuts for UW Ignite Firestorm
The State of Politics

Walker’s Funding Cuts for UW Ignite Firestorm

Lawmakers may balk at cuts and at plan to give UW System autonomy from legislature.

The State of Politics: Walker Not Most Polarizing Pol
The State of Politics

Walker Not Most Polarizing Pol

Polls show he is fourth most polarizing among state voters.

The State of Politics: Why Walker Resists Right to Work Law
The State of Politics

Why Walker Resists Right to Work Law

He supported it as a legislator, but it could create a huge “distraction” from his run for president.

The State of Politics: U.S. Supreme Court Case Threatens Health Care
The State of Politics

U.S. Supreme Court Case Threatens Health Care

Wisconsin and 34 states that didn’t set up health care exchanges could lose all coverage under Obamacare.

The State of Politics: Top Ten Stories of the Year
The State of Politics

Top Ten Stories of the Year

Which had the most impact on Wisconsin? The envelope, please.

The State of Politics: Cut Income Tax or Property Tax?
The State of Politics

Cut Income Tax or Property Tax?

While deficit looms, Republican leaders and lobbyists fight over which tax to cut.

The State of Politics: New Legislators Learning the Ropes
The State of Politics

New Legislators Learning the Ropes

25 new members of the state Assembly could change state politics. But first they need to learn all the rules and rituals.

The State of Politics: Swing Voters Leave Hope for Democrats
The State of Politics

Swing Voters Leave Hope for Democrats

They voted for Walker yet support accepting federal Medicaid increase and raising minimum wage.

The State of Politics: School Choice Group Attacked Democrats
The State of Politics

School Choice Group Attacked Democrats

The group spent $850,000. Democratic Rep. Wright blames their late, “false” ads for her loss.

The State of Politics: About That $2.2 Billion State Deficit
The State of Politics

About That $2.2 Billion State Deficit

Walker and Republicans face big shortfalls in health care, roads and schools funding. What will they do?

The State of Politics: Who Will Lead the Democrats?
The State of Politics

Who Will Lead the Democrats?

The party badly needs leadership, but the bench looks thin. Here are the likely candidates.

The State of Politics: The Republican Revolution Part II
The State of Politics

The Republican Revolution Part II

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has a really big agenda for Wisconsin. It reads like a papal encyclical.

The State of Politics: 12 Issues Where Burke and Walker Disagree
The State of Politics

12 Issues Where Burke and Walker Disagree

From abortion to iron mining, and from public unions to public schools, the candidates differ greatly.

The State of Politics: The 10 Most Expensive State Programs
The State of Politics

The 10 Most Expensive State Programs

How does the state spend its money? And how might you change this?

The State of Politics: Republicans Want to Purge GAB Director
The State of Politics

Republicans Want to Purge GAB Director

Government Accountability Director Kevin Kennedy must go, says Robin Vos. Why?

The State of Politics: How to Change the State Tax Burden
The State of Politics

How to Change the State Tax Burden

New report proposes reducing property and income taxes by broadening the sales tax.

The State of Politics: Remembering Neil Shively
The State of Politics

Remembering Neil Shively

The longtime Milwaukee Sentinel Capitol bureau chief was a true character, and an inspiration to other journalists.

The State of Politics: What Will “No Recall” Voters Do on Nov. 4?
The State of Politics

What Will “No Recall” Voters Do on Nov. 4?

They didn’t believe a governor should be recalled in mid-term. But will they vote to reelect Walker?

The State of Politics: More Women Run for Top Capitol Jobs
The State of Politics

More Women Run for Top Capitol Jobs

The number of women candidates running for state Capitol jobs is coming back.

The State of Politics: PSC Questions Cost of Cutting Emissions
The State of Politics

PSC Questions Cost of Cutting Emissions

Public Service Commissioner Nowak warns federal carbon-emission rule could cost $20 billion. But is the estimate accurate?

The State of Politics: Transportation Funding Problem Grows
The State of Politics

Transportation Funding Problem Grows

The next state budget could face a $600 million transportation fund deficit.

The State of Politics: Unopposed Legislators Still Love Campaign Cash
The State of Politics

Unopposed Legislators Still Love Campaign Cash

Retiring and unopposed legislators are sitting on $1.2 million in donations.

The State of Politics: The Battle Over the Wheel Tax
The State of Politics

The Battle Over the Wheel Tax

Local governments want to pass them for road maintenance, but state legislators may try to stop this.

The State of Politics: Low-Turnout Election Had Big Results
The State of Politics

Low-Turnout Election Had Big Results

For first time, voters could elect two female candidates to top state-wide offices.

The State of Politics: Pick Tuesday’s Primary Winners
The State of Politics

Pick Tuesday’s Primary Winners

Burke v. Hulsey won't be close. But the 19th Assembly District Democratic primary looks to be very competitive, who will win it?

The State of Politics: State Workers Now Contribute Twice as Much for Benefits
The State of Politics

State Workers Now Contribute Twice as Much for Benefits

Will this be an issue in gubernatorial campaign?

The State of Politics: Candidate Questionnaires Tie Legislators’ Hands
The State of Politics

Candidate Questionnaires Tie Legislators’ Hands

Interest groups demand them. Politicians hate them. The result is less compromise on issues.

The State of Politics: Will Walker Face a Budget Deficit?
The State of Politics

Will Walker Face a Budget Deficit?

Drop in tax collections could cause shortfall -- and a campaign issue for Burke.

The State of Politics: Wide-Open Battle for 19th Assembly District
The State of Politics

Wide-Open Battle for 19th Assembly District

Four talented candidates battling for open district which runs from Bay View to East Side.

The State of Politics: The Coming War Against Common Core
The State of Politics

The Coming War Against Common Core

Top priority for Republican legislators next year is to kill Common Core educational standards.

The State of Politics: Republicans Kill Covenant Grants for College Students
The State of Politics

Republicans Kill Covenant Grants for College Students

Doyle program rewarded high school students with good grades, but program is being phased out.

The State of Politics: GOP Leaders Run Away from Same Sex Marriage Issue
The State of Politics

GOP Leaders Run Away from Same Sex Marriage Issue

Republicans who championed amendment barring gay marriages now avoid defending the measure.

The State of Politics: Mud Fight for Attorney General?
The State of Politics

Mud Fight for Attorney General?

The three Democrats running all have similar stands, so may have to attack each other to stand out.

The State of Politics: Few Competitive Legislative Races
The State of Politics

Few Competitive Legislative Races

Redistricting has reduced the number of competitive districts for fall elections.

The State of Politics: Voters Oppose Walker’s Run for President
The State of Politics

Voters Oppose Walker’s Run for President

That's what three straight polls show. But experts doubt it will impact governor’s race.

The State of Politics: Barrett Blasts Suburbs on Low-Income Housing
The State of Politics

Barrett Blasts Suburbs on Low-Income Housing

Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee counties “systematically” keep out poor people, mayor charges.

The State of Politics: Confusion Reigns on Campaign-Finance Law
The State of Politics

Confusion Reigns on Campaign-Finance Law

Court rulings leaves state regulators reeling and candidates mystified.

The State of Politics: Businesses, Special Interests Got $600 Million in Tax Breaks
The State of Politics

Businesses, Special Interests Got $600 Million in Tax Breaks

But two-thirds of $1.9 billion in Republican tax cuts went to families.

The State of Politics: Wisconsin Not a Leader in Drunken Driving?
The State of Politics

Wisconsin Not a Leader in Drunken Driving?

New study says other states are worse. But experts say Wisconsin still has far to go on this issue.

The State of Politics: Even GOP Speaker Gets Attacked From Right
The State of Politics

Even GOP Speaker Gets Attacked From Right

Robin Vos challenged by conservative who says he’s soft on secession. Seriously.

The State of Politics: Republicans Purge Their Elders
The State of Politics

Republicans Purge Their Elders

No matter how experienced, moderates willing to negotiate with Democrats are getting purged from the party.

The State of Politics: Casualties of War
The State of Politics

Casualties of War

The war over Act 10 may be a key reason 46% of legislators have left or will leave in just over two years.

The State of Politics: Why the Huge Support for Shot Spotters?
The State of Politics

Why the Huge Support for Shot Spotters?

Legislature votes 132-1 to expand Milwaukee program monitoring gunshots.

The State of Politics: Nine Bills That Got Killed
The State of Politics

Nine Bills That Got Killed

Why the legislature failed to pass laws on nine hot issues.

The State of Politics: Legislature is One Big High School
The State of Politics

Legislature is One Big High School

Once you understand that, you realize why Republicans tolerated Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer.

The State of Politics: New Champion of the City
The State of Politics

New Champion of the City

New council president Michael Murphy is bluntly honest about state politicians in an interview.

The State of Politics: Walker Delays On Three Tough Issues
The State of Politics

Walker Delays On Three Tough Issues

No decision before election on new Bucks arena, proposed Kenosha casino and how to fund new highway construction.

The State of Politics: Blurry Line Between Political and Government Work
The State of Politics

Blurry Line Between Political and Government Work

Elected officials often have two cell phones but still blur line between political and public business.

The State of Politics: 10 Questions and Answers About Taxes
The State of Politics

10 Questions and Answers About Taxes

The April 15 deadline approaches. How will the Walker tax cuts will affect you?

The State of Politics: Republicans Push for “Supermajority” on Tax Hikes
The State of Politics

Republicans Push for “Supermajority” on Tax Hikes

Constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds majority could radically change state government.

The State of Politics: How Rogue Aides Can Ruin Politicians
The State of Politics

How Rogue Aides Can Ruin Politicians

Gov. Chris Christie’s problems are a lesson to every politician in Wisconsin.

The State of Politics: Walker Says Act 10 Was About “Local Control”
The State of Politics

Walker Says Act 10 Was About “Local Control”

Gearing up for election, he says controversial law helps school boards focus on education rather than “union grievances.”

The State of Politics: Rural Schools Want More Funding
The State of Politics

Rural Schools Want More Funding

Will this cut funding for urban schools like Milwaukee?

The State of Politics: Happy Days Are Here Again
The State of Politics

Happy Days Are Here Again

Gov. Walker’s State-of-the-State speech will be singing a very positive song.

The State of Politics: Drunk Driving Becomes Campaign Issue
The State of Politics

Drunk Driving Becomes Campaign Issue

Issue of whether to make first-time OWI a crime is hot issue in attorney general race.

The State of Politics: How to End the Income Tax
The State of Politics

How to End the Income Tax

Tax pros offer suggestions to Gov. Walker.

The State of Politics: Is Walker Serious About Ending Income Tax?
The State of Politics

Is Walker Serious About Ending Income Tax?

It brings in $7.5 billion per year. How would he replace it?

Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite Politician

Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite Politician

Here are some last-minute gift ideas for a few Wisconsin pols.

Why Do People Hate the Property Tax?

Why Do People Hate the Property Tax?

10 questions and answers about your property tax bill

Measure Limits Recalls But Allows Unlimited Fundraising

Measure Limits Recalls But Allows Unlimited Fundraising

Republican proposal would provide great protection to incumbent politicians.

How Walker Worries About Polls

How Walker Worries About Polls

His book shows he frequently adjusts strategy based on poll results.

Hispanics Could Be Critical in Governor’s Race

Hispanics Could Be Critical in Governor’s Race

And Walker is reaching out to them.

What the Senate and Assembly Will Be Fighting Over

What the Senate and Assembly Will Be Fighting Over

The Assembly’s Robin Vos and Senate’s Scott Fitzgerald have different priorities for legislation.

Who Threw Deininger Off the GAB?

Who Threw Deininger Off the GAB?

The rumor is that Walker or Republican legislators are punishing him for his decisions on recall elections.

Walker’s Year Of Political Danger

Walker’s Year Of Political Danger

Weak poll results and tricky issues face the governor in the year before he runs.

UW-Milwaukee Students Graduate with the Most Debt

UW-Milwaukee Students Graduate with the Most Debt

Study finds UW-Milwaukee students graduate owing 19% more than average students in UW System.

Retiring With Guns Blazing

Retiring With Guns Blazing

Several politicians have announced retirement, some diplomatically, others firing shots at their opponents.

How Legislators Grab Big Pensions

How Legislators Grab Big Pensions

A move into higher-paying state jobs greatly increases their pensions.

Mr. Fixit Puts Down His Tool Kit

Mr. Fixit Puts Down His Tool Kit

Moderate Mark Bugher steps down as head of UW Research Park after holding many key jobs in state government.

On the Trail of Major Pot Growers

On the Trail of Major Pot Growers

More than 90,000 pot plants have been found in Wisconsin’s state and federal forests.

Walker Faces Tough Choice on Kenosha Casino

Walker Faces Tough Choice on Kenosha Casino

Any decision he makes will anger some, and could affect his potential run for president.

Southeast Wisconsin Rules the Capitol

Southeast Wisconsin Rules the Capitol

Almost every Republican -- and Democratic -- leader is from a small part of the state.

No Compromise is Possible

No Compromise is Possible

State Sen Tim Cullen retires, saying the Capitol is run by the moneyed and powerful.

How School Choice Got Expanded Statewide

How School Choice Got Expanded Statewide

Deal by GOP legislators and pushed by voucher lobbyists expanded it beyond Gov. Walker's proposal.

How to Reelect Freshmen Legislators

How to Reelect Freshmen Legislators

Party leaders let them sponsor high-profile bills likely to win votes.

Legislative Musical Chairs

Legislative Musical Chairs

A new Republican leader and many other changes coming this fall.

Cash the Check, Lawyers Benefit From Controversy at Capitol

Cash the Check, Lawyers Benefit From Controversy at Capitol

New laws passed by Walker and GOP keep getting challenged in court.

They Like Bikes

They Like Bikes

Our political analyst finds many in Madison and Milwaukee are embracing bikes over cars.

Gov. Walker’s Gender Gap

Gov. Walker’s Gender Gap

Men approve and women disapprove of him by large margins. Could that decide 2014 election?

Will Van Hollen Stay as Attorney General?

Will Van Hollen Stay as Attorney General?

He hasn't announced a 2014 reelection effort. He might decide to pursue other interests.

Seven Issues That Could Decide 2014 Election

Seven Issues That Could Decide 2014 Election

Wisconsin's choice for governor will depend on where voters stand on these issues.

Final Tally on State Budget

Final Tally on State Budget

The numbers show some surprising priorities, with spending on health care leading the way.

Taxpayers Pay Big for Sex Predator Treatment

Taxpayers Pay Big for Sex Predator Treatment

State pays $141,000 per year, four times more than for average prisoner.

Who Will Run Against Walker?

Who Will Run Against Walker?

The list of possible candidates isn't long, as discussions at the state Democratic convention made clear.

The GOP’s Young Guns

The GOP’s Young Guns

Some of the newest Assembly Republicans, including four accountants, dictated the final budget.

GOP Wants to Cut Back Taxpayer Donations

GOP Wants to Cut Back Taxpayer Donations

You may lose the chance to donate to causes like prostate cancer research or a fire fighters memorial if this measure is adopted.

Peter Barca for Governor?

Peter Barca for Governor?

Some Democratic insiders see Assembly minority leader Peter Barca as the best hope to run against Scott Walker.