Originally Exempt From State Cuts, Wisconsin Police And Firefighters Now Face Changes Too

[display_podcast] This is the second in a two-part series about what’s changed for public workers in Wisconsin, one year after labor protests gripped the state (part one is here). The Capitol building in Madison is amazing – anyone can just walk in. And in Madison, people often do just visit, like Brian Austin, who often …

A Year After The Uproar, Labor Protests Continue in Wisconsin

The nation was riveted on Madison, Wisconsin last year when tens of thousands of people protested Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to dismantle most union rights for state and local workers. Walker was successful. Now, a year later, how have those changes made life different in Wisconsin? Changing Gears has been taking a look at the …

Wisconsin’s Embattled Governor Gets a Pep Talk

Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker might have preferred to forget last week, when a truck filled with more than 1 million recall signatures showed up in Madison. But over the weekend, Walker got a pep talk from one of the state’s most fiery orators. Former governor Tommy Thompson, a Republican who is running for the …

Starting Tomorrow: STATES, A Series on Life After New Governors

It’s been a year since new Republican governors were elected in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. We all know the headlines. Wisconsin and Ohio were wracked with union protests over efforts to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Michigan enacted a strict new law giving enormous powers to emergency managers, including the one that …

Court Wrangling Steps Up In Wisconsin Recall Fight

Wrangling over the potential recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is heating up, as a Jan. 17 deadline to turn in recall petition signatures approaches. On Thursday, Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis ordered the State Government Accountability Board to pro-actively screen signatures on the recall petitions of Walker and five other state officials. …

Indiana’s Governor Backs Right to Work Effort; Will Other Midwest States Follow?

For years, Indiana’s Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, has resisted efforts by fellow Republican lawmakers to implement Right to Work legislation. But now, Daniels is making a Right to Work law one of his legislative priorities for 2012. Right to Work laws mean employees do not have to join a union, if it is formed in …

Midwest Memo: Michigan Mining Company Lays Off 600, Chinese Students Wisconsin Bound, Iconic Cleveland Building Sold

Three stories making news across the Midwest today: 1. Mining company lays off 600 workers. A mining company in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will temporarily shut down part of its operations and lay off approximately 600 employees. Cliffs Natural Resources, which operates the Empire Mine in Marquette County, said production is expected to drop from 4.6 …

Midwest Memo: Indiana Republicans Will Introduce Right-To-Work Legislation, Wisconsin And Ohio Add Jobs

Three stories making news across the Midwest today: 1. Wisconsin shipbuilder adds jobs. A northeast Wisconsin shipbuilder plans to double its workforce over the next 18 months after winning a contract with the U.S. Navy, according to our partner station WBEZ. Marinette Marine, located on the shores of Lake Michigan, will add 1,100 more employees …

Midwest Memo: Cook County Anticipates At Least 1,000 Layoffs, Wisconsin Plans Public Employee Two-Year Pay Freeze

Three stories making news across the Midwest today: 1. Sales up at Ford, forecast down. Ford’s third-quarter sales rose 14.1 percent year over year to $33.1 billion, the company said Wednesday morning. But the automaker’s global production plan of 1.37 million vehicles is below the 1.44 million anticipated by analysts, and investors had sold off …

Midwest Memo: Milwaukee May Not Comply with Wisconsin Law; Measuring Cleveland’s Urban Garden Potential

Three stories making news across the Midwest today: 1. Milwaukee’s employee-benefit conundrum. Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett and the city’s Common Council are unsure whether the city is exempt from a new state law that requires public employees contribute more toward benefit costs. The city’s attorney says Milwaukee should not comply. The governor’s chief counsel says …