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Category: State news

Paul Jadin: UW, broadband, inclusion are key to Madison region’s success

Wisconsin State Journal

First, education is king. Don’t ever allow UW-Madison to be anything but a premier, world-class institution. State and private dollars invested now will be leveraged considerably by virtue of the fact that most of the federal investment will go to expanded research at universities such as UW.

10 years later, workers still seek a seat at the table despite lack of collective bargaining

Wisconsin State Journal

After years of wage freezes, a union representing 225 UW System trade employees negotiated a 1.81% raise for this year, which ended up being less than the 2% raise their non-union colleagues received … “There’s been a range of responses to Act 10,” David Nack, a professor in the UW-Madison Department of Labor Education said. “Workers often want to or need to find a way to effectively represent their interests with their employer. Act 10 doesn’t change any of that.”

Facing ‘financial disaster’ from COVID-19, UW System pushes for borrowing ability

Wisconsin State Journal

COVID-19 has caused the “biggest financial disaster” the university has ever seen, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. Through federal stimulus money, furloughs, pay cuts for leadership, travel restrictions and targeted budget cuts to different units, Blank said she’s optimistic the financial gap can be resolved over the next two years. But she also renewed her case for giving the university borrowing authority.

They don’t get credit, but a California nonprofit’s threat forced Wisconsin jury instructions to become public

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “For over six decades, the UW Law School has been privileged to publish and provide a home for the Wisconsin Jury Instructions. This has been a labor of love, grounded in our deep commitment to the Wisconsin Idea,” wrote UW Law School Dean Dan Tokaji.

“We are delighted that the jury instructions will be digitized and made free to the public from this point forward, thanks to the diligent efforts of the state courts and many people working with them.”

Republicans propose making vaccine available to everyone by mid-March, bar prioritizing prisoners

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Committee co-chairman Dr. Jonathan Temte of the University of Wisconsin-Madison agreed.

“Our recommendation should be based on the scientific evidence, the ethical pinnings, and the feasibility,” Temte said. “And on all three accounts, one would say, absolutely. If we are saying we’re going to punish these people yet again — because they are being punished for their crimes at this point in time — this constitutes kind of a double punishment and treating them very, very differently and I’m very uncomfortable with that.”

Democratic Control Of US Senate Will Mean Changes For Wisconsin Senators

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Barry Burden, professor of political science at University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Johnson’s strong allegiance to President Donald Trump, as well as his position within the Senate majority and chairmanship of a powerful committee, positioned him squarely in the national spotlight.

“That combination has been really effective for him for the last several years and has given him a national platform,” Burden said. “And now he’s essentially losing all of that.”

Wisconsin residents 65 and older could be in next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: But fellow co-chairman Dr. Jonathan Temte, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said politics shouldn’t play a role in public health decision-making.

“It is our purview to make whatever we think is the best recommendation,” he said. “I don’t think it’s ethically acceptable to say we’re going to do congregate living but exclude the incarcerated, because by definition, that’s congregate living.”

College openings led to increase in community cases, research says

Inside Higher Education

At the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a spokesperson noted that COVID-19 cases rose in every county in the state following Sept. 1, when students came to campus. “As cases of COVID-19 continue at high levels across Wisconsin, UW-Madison remains committed to doing its part to keep transmission low,” the spokesperson said via email. “Despite a rise in cases early in the fall semester — caught and contained quickly thanks to robust testing and rapid efforts to isolate positive students and quarantine those at risk of exposure — campus experienced a low level of cases after the third week of September.” The university also provided 20,000 free tests to the general public.

2020 Staff Picks: Judge Nia Trammell makes history, brings a unique perspective to Dane County Circuit Court

Madison 365

Noted: Trammell was born in southern Nigeria but considers herself a Madisonian after living the majority of her life here, she said. She grew up in the Northport Apartments on Madison’s north side before moving to the south side. She graduated from West High School and got her undergraduate and law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She said growing up as a Black child in Wisconsin she never visualized or envisioned herself as a judge. She is the first lawyer in her family and the first judge.

He’s served 30 years of a life sentence for killing a man at age 16. Prosecutors say he deserves to get out of prison now.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Torsrud could be the first of dozens of inmates serving life who might get out sooner. The Public Interest Justice Initiative, a joint project between Chisholm’s office and the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, was launched in 2019 after the Remington Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School found that more than half the 128 inmates serving life sentences for juvenile offenses were from Milwaukee County.

About 10,000 people have received COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin so far as influx of Moderna doses expected

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Also Monday, Andrew Petersen, president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the system is having conversations with the federal government about how it can help distribute the vaccine.

The success campuses have had in partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide rapid-result testing to Wisconsinites was an example of how UW’s reach could help with the vaccination effort, he said.

Capital City Sunday: Nursing homes prepare for vaccinations, COVID-19 liability, and UW tuition freeze


Since 2013, tuition for in-state undergraduate students at UW campuses has been frozen.It’s helped protect students from the rising costs of college tuition, but a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum found this incentive for students is threatening the UW’s ability to  be competitive against other universities. “The tuition freeze is a clear part of that, but you also see stagnant state funding, enrollment declines that are greater than other states nationally … all things that were adding up before COVID-19,” said Jason Stein, Research Director for the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

Report: Wisconsin’s public colleges are falling behind as state funds lag and enrollment drops

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A new report on the financial health of Wisconsin’s state universities and technical colleges found lagging state investment, enrollment challenges and — for University of Wisconsin schools — an ongoing tuition freeze as some of several factors threatening their competitiveness.

Wisconsin Corn Growers Expected To Bring In Record Yields

Wisconsin Public Radio

Quoted: Joe Lauer, an agronomy professor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said farmers were grateful for more normal weather patterns this year after an extremely wet season in 2019.

“There’s a little more peace of mind, if you will, in kind of going through what I just call an average normal production season,” Lauer said. “We’re going to end up with record yields but it’s just kind of easier psychologically to take.”

Shawn Conley, soybean and wheat specialist for UW-Madison’s Division of Extension, said a lack of precipitation throughout the state at the end of summer caused the USDA to lower their forecasted yields to 53 bushels per acre. That’s six bushels, or almost 13 percent, higher than last year.

But Conley said most farmers were happy to have the dry weather.

“That allowed farmers to have a lot of days in the field that they can push through and get their crops out of the field in a timely manner,” Conley said.

‘To beat this virus, we have to be united’: Chaos and resistance to COVID-19 measures hinder Wisconsin’s response

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Patrick Remington, former epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program, said the best approach to tackling the massive outbreak is working together.

“To beat this virus, we have to be united in response,” he said.

White House COVID-19 adviser: Surging Wisconsin needs to stop ‘silent spread’ of virus

Wisconsin State Journal

Birx met Friday with UW System officials, including interim President Tommy Thompson and campus chancellors, to encourage the universities to test all students at least weekly in an effort to identify asymptomatic cases earlier that could help stop community spread of the virus to more vulnerable populations.

Mayors Of Big Ten Cities Ask For COVID-19 Changes

Wisconsin Public Radio

Gov. Tony Evers praised University of Wisconsin-Madison officials for taking COVID-19 precautions “very seriously” by closing down parking lots to prevent tailgating and allowing only essential personnel inside the stadium, reversing an earlier decision to allow parents of players inside Camp Randall.

Inside Foxconn’s empty buildings, empty factories, and empty promises in Wisconsin

The Verge

By the end of the summer, Walker found himself in a tight reelection race against state school superintendent Tony Evers, a critic of the deal. Polling showed that few people felt the project would benefit their local economy, so Walker campaigned to show that all of Wisconsin would feel the effect of the “Foxconn bonus.” He was aided in this message by a string of announcements from Foxconn: a promised gift of $100 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison; partnerships with local companies; and the purchase of buildings in far corners of the state that would become “innovation centers,” which Walker quickly featured in campaign ads.

Polls Missed The Mark In 2016. But Experts Say Things Are Different In 2020.

Wisconsin Public Radio

Aside from the Marquette poll, there is a new local, statewide poll in Wisconsin this year, the 2020 Election Survey from the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Like Marquette, this poll weights for education. Its latest results are similar to Marquette’s latest, showing Biden leading Trump by 4 points among likely voters, with a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Court Upholds Evers Administration’s Statewide Mask Mandate

Wisconsin Public Radio

Evers has used his powers to declare three public health emergencies this year. The first came March 12, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second, on July 30, led to the first mask mandate and came as COVID-19 cases were beginning to climb. And the third, on Sept. 22, extended the mask mandate as COVID-19 cases were surging on University of Wisconsin campuses.

Judge Questions Need For Court To Rule On Mask Mandate

Wisconsin Public Radio

Evers has used the powers to declare three public health emergencies this year. The first came March 12, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second, on July 30, led to the first mask mandate and came as COVID-19 cases were beginning to climb. And the third, on Sept. 22, extended the mask mandate as COVID-19 cases were surging on University of Wisconsin campuses.