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Wisconsin in focus: DNR ended social dinners after legal snarls, but they’re back

By   /   May 15, 2017  /   News  /   No Comments

Wisconsin State Journal: DNR ended social dinners after legal snarls, but they’re back — with public notice

The Department of Natural Resources policy board will gather for a social hour followed by an informal dinner meeting in a Downtown Madison pub this month despite promising in October to end the practice amid complaints such meetings were shutting the public out of decision-making.

A DNR spokesman noted that this month’s meeting is different from previous ones that are now the subject of a lawsuit because it has been announced publicly.

“They are expected to avoid DNR or NRB (Natural Resources Board) business discussions during any purely social gathering,” spokesman Jim Dick said Friday.

In contrast, there was no public notice before a Jan. 26, 2016, “social dinner” that drew a lawsuit and forced the board to vote a second time to approve controversial plans for snowmobiles in Blue Mound State Park, which had been known for silent sports like cross-country skiing.

WISN TV: Gov. Scott Walker: I am ready to do more to help move Wisconsin forward

Gov. Scott Walker told a crowd of Wisconsin Republicans Saturday that he’s ready to run for re-election next year.

“I’m ready, but I need your help,” Walker said. “There is still more work to be done.”

In his speech, Walker said he’s ready to the lower the tax burden, improve student success for every child, build a strong workforce, support strong families and help people transition from government dependence to true independence through the dignity of work.

He finished his speech saying, “I’m ready. I’m ready to do more. I’m ready to do more to help move Wisconsin forward! Are you?”

WISC TV: State Republicans propose selling historic Allouez prison

Republican legislators have developed a plan to sell a landmark prison in northeastern Wisconsin and open a new facility they say will save money, improve safety and open up land for redevelopment.

Rep. Dave Steffen and Sen. Frank Lasee have introduced a bill that calls for selling the 120-year-old Green Bay Correctional Institution and building a new facility in Brown County or an adjacent county.

A private entity would build and own the new prison, allowing the home county and other jurisdictions to collect property taxes on it. The Department of Corrections would operate it through a lease agreement with an option to purchase. The Assembly’s prison committee will hold a public hearing on the measure Tuesday.

Steffen, of Green Bay, and Lasee, of De Pere, wrote in a memo seeking co-sponsors that Green Bay Correctional is over capacity and needs extensive repairs and updates, leading to safety concerns. Decommissioning the prison also would free up the land it stands on for redevelopment.