Local Things You Need To Know 

 

Assembly to consider 20-week abortion ban in special session
10:30  a.m.



MADISON (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has voted to take up bills that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and repeal Wisconsin’s prevailing wage for construction workers, as well as state budget votes, in a special legislative session.
Kit Beyer, spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, said Friday that lawmakers voted by paper ballot to hold the special session. She said the Assembly plans to meet on Wednesday.
The Senate passed the abortion ban in June but it still must clear the Assembly. Supporters have argued that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says evidence suggests that’s not possible until around 27 weeks.
Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law sets minimum wages for construction workers on some public projects. Conservative lawmakers want to repeal or at least nip away at the law. Democrats maintain that would hurt middle-class workers.
 

von Briesen & Roper adds 19 lawyers, expands in Waukesha County
12:22 p.m.

MILWAUKEE —Recently von Briesen & Roper, s.c. added 19 new lawyers and expanded into Waukesha County with offices in Elm Grove and Delafield. In addition, eight of the new lawyers have joined the firm’s Madison office, making it the 15th largest law firm in Madison, according to the announcement Friday.

von Briesen & Roper, s.c. has 126 lawyers with offices in Mequon, Racine, Elm Grove, Delafield, Madison and Milwaukee.

For more information on the company’s growth, see an upcoming Waukesha Freeman.

Portions of Lake Country Trail reopen in Waukesha County
12:22 p.m.


DELAFIELD — Just in time for the holiday weekend, Waukesha County’s Lake Country Trail re-opened from Oconomowoc’s Roosevelt Park eastward to Maple Avenue in the Town of Delafield.

The intersection of Highway 67 in Oconomowoc is still under construction due to a We Energies project and the crosswalks have been diverted to the northern half of that intersection.

The trail remains closed from Maple Avenue eastward to Golf Road where the Landsberg Trail Head Building is located. It is anticipated that this half of the trail will remain closed until late summer 2015.

Updated information can be found at www.waukeshacountyparks.com.

 

Weather to get warmer, sunny for holiday weekend
10:30 a.m.


WAUKESHA — Great summer weather is forecasted for this Fourth of July weekend.

Today will be mostly sunny with a high of 75. Saturday will be even nicer with sunny skies and a high of 79. On Sunday, expect partial sun and a high of 80. At night, it will get down to 56 to 64 those days so you may want to bring a light jacket for watching fireworks.

For a full schedule of Waukesha County Fourth of July events, see today's Freeman.

 

Wisconsin budget passes committee, heads to full Legislature

9:33 a.m.
MADISON (AP) — The Legislature's finance committee finally completed its revisions to Gov. Scott Walker's state budget plan after a five-week delay early Friday morning, clearing the way for votes in the full Senate and Assembly.
Republicans who control the panel made a series of final changes to the $70 billion spending plan during a 12 ½-hour marathon session, including cutting $450 million for road projects and reducing taxes for married couples. They punted, at least for now, on two major issues that had led to the impasse: a $500 million financing plan for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena and changes to the prevailing wage law, which sets minimum salaries for construction workers on public projects.
Both of those issues are expected to be debated separately, perhaps next week, but some conservative senators say they won't support the budget if it doesn't have at least a partial repeal of the prevailing wage law. The Assembly is expected to take up the budget on Wednesday or Thursday, but Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he doesn't have the votes to get the budget out of his house.

 
Republicans approve limiting public access to records
9:30 a.m.
MADISON (AP) — Nearly all records created by state and local government officials, including bill drafts and communications with staff, would not be subject to the Wisconsin open records law under a sweeping surprise change Republicans introduced in committee Thursday as an amendment to the state budget.
The changes were part of a 24-page final motion to the budget that makes 67 alterations to the two-year, $70 billion spending plan that the Legislature was expected to vote on next week. The panel voted 12-4 Thursday night to add the changes to the budget, with all 12 Republican members voting for it. The full Legislature, along with Gov. Scott Walker, still must sign off before they would become law.
Numerous new protections would be extended to the 132 members of the Legislature, their staff, support agencies, and all other state and local government officials, including members of school boards.
Under the provision, all "deliberative materials" would be exempt from the open records law. That includes all materials prepared in the process of reaching a decision concerning a policy or course of action or in drafting a document or communication.

 
Public school sport participation rules scaled back
9:27 a.m.
MADISON (AP) — An expansion of who can play sports and participate in extracurricular activities in public schools in Wisconsin is being scaled back.
The Legislature's budget committee previously voted to allow home-schooled students, and those attending private, virtual or charter schools, to participate.
But on Thursday the committee scaled that back by limiting participation only to students in home schools.
The original proposal drew widespread opposition, including from advocates for home schoolers who feared it would lead to additional regulation.
The budget must be passed by both the Senate and Assembly, and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker, before becoming law.

 
Panel votes to add 7-day work week to budget
9:23 a.m.
MADISON (AP) — The Legislature's budget committee has voted to allow factory and retail employees to work seven straight days without a day of rest.
Under current state law, employers who own factories and retail stores must allow their workers at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every seven consecutive days. The requirement doesn't apply to janitors, security guards, bakeries, restaurants, hotels and certain dairy and agricultural plants.
The Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to let an employee voluntarily work seven straight days. The language mirrors a Republican bill that's sitting in the Assembly labor committee.
The budget must pass the Senate and Assembly and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker before becoming law.