TMJ4 - News
Updated: 6 min 3 sec ago
MILWAUKEE -- France comes to Milwaukee later today.
MILWAUKEE -- France comes to Milwaukee later today.
Traffic is slow on I-43 south near Bayside.
MADISON -- The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly passed the state budget with only two votes to spare early Thursday morning, sending the $73 billion spending plan on to Gov. Scott Walker four days before he was to officially launch his presidential campaign.
MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police are investigating a fatal shooting on Milwaukee's northwest side.
MILWAUKEE -- An unusual twist in a theft case: Someone recently stole equipment from a Milwaukee youth football team.
Authorities have recovered the body of a Florida man who fell overboard while fishing in a northern Wisconsin lake.
MILWAUKEE -- He walks among us, disguised as an everyday, ordinary individual.
A search is being conducted in a northwest Wyoming wilderness area for three Wisconsin sisters who failed to return from an extended backcountry trip.
The state Capitol building in Madison has been evacuated due to a threat, TODAY'S TMJ4's Tom Murray reports.
Motown: The Musical is at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee right now as part of its first national tour.
MADISON -- The state Assembly was poised to take up the state budget Wednesday and ship the $73.3 billion spending plan to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
The Republican-controlled chamber was set to convene just before noon. Debate was expected to last for nearly 12 hours, with a final vote to come before midnight.
The Senate passed the two-year budget late Tuesday evening after inserting provisions into the document that would repeal the prevailing wage law for local government projects. The law requires the state and local governments to pay construction workers a minimum salary on public projects and has irked conservative lawmakers who feel it allows the government to artificially inflate salaries.
A group of senators demanded the prevailing wage law be scaled back before a vote. But Republican leaders in both the Senate and Assembly said they lacked the votes for a full repeal. Work on the budget came to a standstill at the end of May as Republicans tried to work out a compromise on a repeal, reduce the $1.3 billion Walker wanted to borrow for road projects and decide whether to commit public dollars to a new $500 million Milwaukee Bucks arena.
Republican leaders last week announced they had reached a deal to enact a partial prevailing wage repeal, reduce road borrowing to $850 million and advance a separate bill committing $250 million in tax dollars to the arena. That broke the logjam.
With their handful of members pushing for prevailing wage changes now aligned with them, Senate Republicans added the repeal on Tuesday, despite complaints from minority Democrats that the move would lower wages and hurt the middle class.
The chamber then passed the budget 18-15. All the Democrats as well as Republican Sen. Rob Cowles of Allouez voted against the document. Cowles said he objected to the amount of non-fiscal policy in the plan.
Now the Assembly is the last stop before the budget can go back to Walker, who can use his powerful veto pen to rewrite substantial portions of the document to his liking before he signs it into law. The governor plans to launch his 2016 presidential campaign on Monday but he hasn't said if he'll finish the budget before the announcement. His spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to an email message Wednesday morning.
The state is a week into the new fiscal year. Unlike other states where the government shuts down without a new budget, Wisconsin's agencies continue at current funding levels.
MILWAUKEE -- A 15-year-old boy from Milwaukee has been charged as an adult with first degree reckless homicide in the shooting death of a 14-year-old boy last Friday.
Summer nights in southeast Wisconsin have felt more like fall in recent days and that means bugs are diving for cover instead of hovering around your porch light.
MILWAUKEE -- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to weigh in on whether an estimated $70 million held in trust for the care of its cemeteries is off-limits in the archdiocese's bankruptcy case.
JANESVILLE -- A Silver Alert has been issued for Harry Coulter, 74, of Janesville.
MADISON -- The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate passed the $73 billion state budget just before midnight Tuesday, sending it to the Assembly after voting to repeal a prevailing wage law for local government projects, a move Democrats called an affront to the middle class.
The fight over prevailing wage -- a law that sets a minimum salary for construction workers on public projects -- had helped waylay the budget for more than five weeks as Republicans tried to broker an agreement that could win passage in both houses.
The Assembly, where Republicans have a 63-36 majority, was scheduled to vote on the budget Wednesday night, a move that would send it to Gov. Scott Walker before he is to launch his presidential campaign Monday. Walker has not said if he will sign the budget, or issue any vetoes, before the campaign launch.
The Senate also unanimously voted to repeal a gutting of the state open records law, changes added in a surprise move by the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee last week. In the face of a swift and fierce bipartisan backlash over the move that would have exempted nearly all records created by state and local government officials, Walker and legislative leaders backed off and the Senate voted 33-0 to remove the changes.
Removing those provisions was the only Democratic victory Tuesday.
Republicans hold a 19-14 majority in the Senate and rejected all other Democratic proposals -- including reversing a $250 million budget cut to the University of Wisconsin and increasing funding for public K-12 schools -- during more than eight hours of debate.
"This budget is a continuation of an agenda we've seen fail over and over again, and there's no reason to believe this time it will be any different," said Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen in arguing against cuts to higher education and other Republican initiatives. "We can do much better."
Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald issued a statement praising the plan.
"While there is no doubt that this was a difficult budget, it was also a responsible one," Fitzgerald said. "By making some tough financial decisions, we ensured that the interests of Wisconsin's hardworking taxpayers were protected."
The budget passed on an 18-15 vote, with Republican Sen. Rob Cowles, of Allouez, joining all 14 Democrats against. Cowles said in a statement that he objected to the amount of nonfiscal policy items in the budget.
Republicans did remove a proposed change that had raised the ire of current and retired public employees. The budget committee last week proposed changing the makeup of a panel that oversees the Wisconsin Retirement System so it would include only state lawmakers and not others, including a member of the public, as it does now.
Opponents worried that making all members elected officials would politicize the group's work and give the majority political party too much control over retiree benefits.
Budget debate began a week into the new fiscal year, but state government continued being funded at current levels. Republicans had hoped this two-year spending plan would move more smoothly since they control both the Senate and Assembly, allowing Walker to coast into announcing his presidential run.
But Republicans ran into a logjam in late May, unable to reach an agreement on prevailing wage, how much to spend on transportation and whether to go along with a $500 million funding plan for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena.
While Republicans reached a deal on the prevailing wage, and how much to fund roads, they have not yet come to terms on the Bucks arena. That is being pursued as a separate bill, with no vote yet scheduled.
The vote on scaling back the prevailing wage was close at 17-16. Two Republicans, Rick Gudex and Howard Marklein, voted against the measure.
Republican supporters argued that scaling back the law would save taxpayers money and make it easier for smaller contractors to compete when bidding on public projects. Democratic opponents argued it would lower wages and hurt the middle class.
"We're kicking in the teeth of Wisconsin workers," said Democratic Sen. Chris Larson, of Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE-- A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed on Milwaukee's north side overnight.
MILWAUKEE -- Your favorite lake could pose a danger to your pets.