DISABLED LAWMAKER-ACCESS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Assembly approves accommodations for disabled
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a rule change allowing for a disabled Democratic lawmaker to phone into meetings, as he requested nearly a year ago.
The affected lawmaker, Rep. Jimmy Anderson, voted against the changes Thursday. He and Democrats objected to other changes they say would limit the power of the minority party to force debate on their bills.
It was approved on a party line 61-35 vote with all Republicans in support and all Democrats against.
Republicans removed some provisions not related to the disability accommodations in an effort to appease Anderson. That was approved on a 60-36 vote, with all Republicans except Rep. Scott Allen in support and all Democrats against.
Salesman sentenced for trying to take trade secrets to China
CHICAGO (AP) — An ex-employee of a suburban Chicago manufacturing company convicted of stealing trade secrets to a new job in China has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
Robert O’Rourke of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was convicted in March in U.S. District Court of downloading without permission documents belonging to Dura-Bar, a producer of cast iron products. The metallurgist and salesman in 2015 resigned his post at the Woodstock, Illinois-based company, where he worked since 1984.
The 59-year-old O’Rourke helped Dura-Bar develop business in China and other countries. Evidence presented at his trial indicated he began negotiations in 2013 to take a similar job with a Jiangsu, China firm.
Prosecutors say federal investigators arrested O’Rourke in September 2015 when he headed to O’Hare International Airport to catch a flight to China and seized the stolen trade secrets.
Vice president set to visit Pleasant Prairie
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is set to visit a southeastern Wisconsin business founded by two Republican donors next week.
America First Policies, an organization that supports President Donald Trump’s policies, said Thursday that Pence will visit Uline in Pleasant Prairie on Oct. 17. He’s slated to speak about Trump’s new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. The event also will feature a panel discussion about the agreement.
Uline manufactures a wide range of shipping supply products, including moving boxes, scales, pails, bubble wrap and bags. The company was founded by GOP megadonors Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein.
ENBRIDGE LINE 5-BAD RIVER
Enbridge offers at least $24M to settle tribe pipeline suit
(Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org)
ASHLAND, Wis. (AP) — Enbridge Energy has offered the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa at least $24 million to settle a lawsuit the tribe filed to shut down and remove the Line 5 pipeline from its reservation in northern Wisconsin.
But tribal leaders say their position against the pipeline remains unchanged. Line 5 carries up to 540,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids each day from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario in Canada.
Wisconsin Public Radio News reports that Enbridge is offering $12 million to settle claims over expired easements on tribal land and $10 million that would follow startup of a new Line 5 route outside the reservation. Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge would also pay the tribe $2 million annually until the pipeline’s operation is no longer in use on the reservation.
This story has been corrected to attribute the information to Wisconsin Public Radio News instead of Minnesota Public Radio News.
Foundation gives UW vet school $15m for building project
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A foundation that supports University of Wisconsin-Madison research has given the college’s School of Veterinary Medicine a $15 million gift to jump-start renovations and new construction.
The project includes remodeling a current building and constructing a new one. The plan The plan calls for the veterinary school to provide $38 million in gifts and the state to contribute $90 million.
UW-Madison said Thursday that the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has given the university $15 million for the building, putting the veterinary school over the $38 million it needed to raise. The project can now be bid in spring 2021 with construction beginning that summer.
The foundation, known as WARF, works on obtaining and licensing patents for university research and moving discoveries to the marketplace.
Evers: More health insurance options on tap this fall
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin insurance officials say state residents will have more health insurance options this year as open enrollment approaches.
The state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance says 61 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties will have at least three carrier options on the individual market, including carriers available on the federal marketplace, https://www.healthcare.gov/ . Fifty-five counties had at least three carriers last year.
Brown, Door, Oconto, Manitowoc and Sheboygan County residents will have a choice of four carriers through the federal marketplace after having only one option last year.
The OCI credits a reinsurance program adopted by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker for the expanded coverage. Under the program, the government provides money to insurance providers to pay about 50 percent of claims between $50,000 and $200,000.
Open enrollment begins Nov. 1.
DEPUTY SHOOTING-LINCOLN COUNTY
Lincoln County deputy who shot suspect returns to duty
MERRILL, Wis. (AP) — The Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy who shot a suspect near Merrill in August has returned to duty.
Lincoln County Galen Bayne-Allison ruled the shooting by Deputy Travis Watruba was a lawful use of force. Sheriff’s deputies set up surveillance of a cabin where Daniel Boldt was staying because he was believed to be in possession of numerous firearms as a convicted felon.
Watruba stopped Boldt after he left the cabin Aug. 24. Sheriff’s officials say Boldt emerged from his vehicle with a shotgun and was shot by Watruba.
Boldt survived and was taken to the Marathon County Jail after he was released from the hospital. A federal grand jury has indicted Boldt for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The shooting was investigated by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation.
Wisconsin Assembly leader says veto overrides likely
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly is likely to vote later this year on overriding budget vetoes made by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday that Republicans haven’t talked yet about what specific veto overrides may be attempted, but “it wouldn’t surprise me if we took a look at some of those this fall.”
Veto overrides require two-thirds of members in the Senate and Assembly to be successful. Republicans don’t have enough members currently to override a veto without Democratic votes.
Veto overrides in Wisconsin are rare. The last successful override of a partial budget veto was in 1985.