Thursday, February 21st

State

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.(Photo11: Journal Sentinel files)

MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers issued his first veto Wednesday, rejecting a Republican plan to cut income taxes for middle-class families by using money leftover in the current state budget.

Instead, Evers will include the same tax cut — 10 percent — in his first two-year budget proposal set to be released next week. 

Evers in his veto message said he was rejecting the bill because he objected to passing a major fiscal policy item outside of the state budget process.

The move is likely to enrage Republicans, who authored the plan in response to Evers' campaign proposal to enact a middle-class tax cut but by reducing a tax credit that manufacturers receive.  

The dueling plans agreed in goal but not in how to get there.

Evers wants to provide tax relief by increasing the tax burden for manufacturers, which is almost nothing under the state's current tax credit program for them.

Brian Campbell (left) appears in Dane County court in Madison, Wisconsin with his lawyer, Sarah Schmeiser. The photo is from a 2018 court appearance.(Photo11: Associated Press)

MADISON – A man who pleaded no contest to possessing homemade explosives in his Madison apartment appeared to be planning an attack on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, a prosecutor said.

Police seized what appeared to be bomb-making materials from Brian Campbell’s apartment last year. Campbell entered his plea to the explosives charge and second-degree reckless endangerment in January and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney John Rice alleges Campbell had searched the internet for instructions on how to make explosives and had drawn maps of underground tunnels on the university’s campus.

“It seems impossible to ignore the fact that the defendant’s conduct strongly resembled the precursors and/or preparations needed to complete an act of domestic terrorism,” Rice wrote.

Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn, a state appeals court judge, helped found a religious private school that bars employees, students and parents from being gay.(Photo11: Associated Press)

MADISON - State Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn received more than $3,000 over three years for giving speeches to a legal organization that has supported criminalizing sodomy and sterilizing transgender people.

Hagedorn, a judge on the state Court of Appeals, gave speeches in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to Alliance Defending Freedom, earning more than $1,000 each time, according to his campaign and his filings with ethics regulators. Last year, the group covered at least $50 in travel expenses for him for a speaking engagement, according to Hagedorn's campaign.

Alliance Defending Freedom is a Christian legal organization based in Arizona that handles high-profile cases. It represented a Colorado baker who refused to decorate a wedding cake for a gay couple and unsuccessfully challenged a Wisconsin law that allowed gay couples to form domestic partnerships.

A Wisconsin judge just learned the hard way that it's an ethics no-no to become Facebook friends with a woman right before ruling on her custody dispute.

The Court of Appeals on Wednesday agreed with the child's father that the social media move, done after a contested hearing but before a decision, was objective bias and ordered a new hearing before a different judge.

Barron County Circuit Judge Michael Bitney(Photo11: Barron County)

"The right to an impartial judge is fundamental to the notion of due process under both the United States and Wisconsin Constitutions," Judge Mark Seidl wrote for the District III panel.

Timothy Miller and Angela Carroll had joint custody and shared placement of their son since 2011. In 2016, Caroll sought sole custody, primary placement and child support. A two-day evidentiary hearing was held in June 2017 before Barron County Circuit Judge Michael Bitney.

Part of the hearing included Carroll's claims that domestic abuse by Miller led to the changed circumstances driving her request.

MADISON - Gov. Tony Evers' first state budget won't include a plan to eliminate or phase out taxpayer-funded school vouchers despite once saying during his campaign that he would try.

Evers on Tuesday said he would seek to provide "more accountability and transparency" within the state's private school voucher programs but would not include a proposal to phase them out. 

Instead, Evers said, he supports including on property tax bills how much each taxpayer is spending on vouchers for private school students living in their school district, something Milwaukee has done since 2011 and Racine initiated last year.

"I think that's not an anti-voucher issue, that's just a transparency issue," Evers said during an appearance at Marquette University. "I think the people of Wisconsin do need to have a conversation around public schools and publicly funded schools period and in order to have that I think we need to have the best transparency possible."

RELATED: Racine now itemizing voucher school costs with its property tax bills