Morning Headlines - Thursday, Jun. 29, 2023

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Jun. 29, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

The Latest Hunter Biden Controversy, Explained

The Hunter Biden saga has taken a new twist with the emergence of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower, Gary Shapley.

Shapley’s testimony to lawyers from the House Ways and Means Committee became public last week.

Everything that revolves around President Biden’s son tends to get pulled into partisan dogfights, with Republicans alleging grave and nefarious deeds and Democrats complaining that the controversies are being grossly exaggerated for political reasons.

Here are the key points in the latest development.

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Transgender Youth Care Bans Blocked By Judges In Kentucky And Tennessee But OK'd By North Carolina Lawmakers

Federal judges in Kentucky and Tennessee temporarily blocked portions of bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth Wednesday, handing down the rulings shortly before the statutes were set to go into effect. The rulings are similar to roadblocks federal courts have thrown up against Republican-dominant states trying to prevent young people from receiving transgender health care.

Meanwhile lawmakers in North Carolina finalized their own version of a gender-affirming care ban on Wednesday.

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Biden's Push For Electric Cars Alienates Longtime Union Allies

An emerging alignment between the United Auto Workers and former President Trump over electric vehicles threatens to sour the longstanding alliance between the union and the Democratic Party.

The UAW, representing more than 400,000 active workers, has long been a powerful force in progressive politics, serving as a Midwestern bulwark for Democrats.

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New York Yankees Pitcher Domingo Germán Throws 24th Perfect Game In MLB History

The New York Yankees’ Domingo Germán pitched his way into the record books Wednesday night, tossing Major League Baseball’s first perfect game in nearly 11 years.

Germán, 30, allowed no runner on base by any means – including through a hit, a walk or by hitting a batter – while pitching all nine innings in the Yankees’ 11-0 road victory against the Oakland Athletics.

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As Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Hit The Market, Anti-Smoking Groups Press For Wider Standard

The idea seems simple enough.

Preserve all the rituals of smoking: Light up a cigarette, inhale the smoke, including the nasty stuff that can kill you, and exhale. But remove most of the nicotine, the chemical that makes tobacco so darn hard to quit, to help smokers smoke less.

Now, the first authorized cigarettes with 95% less nicotine than traditional smokes are coming to California, Florida, and Texas in early July, after a year of test-marketing in Illinois and Colorado. It's part of an aggressive rollout by 22nd Century that, by year's end, could bring its products to 18 states — markets that together account for more than half of U.S. cigarette sales.

But anti-smoking groups oppose greenlighting 22nd Century's products.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Ten Ideas To Improve The 2023-25 Budget Before It Heads To The Governor

The state Senate will go to the floor today to vote on the state budget, a historic document members will be briefed on (briefly) just before they go to the floor to cast their votes.

The Fiscal Bureau Summary, released late yesterday, provides the following information:

  • The 2023-25 JFC budget spends $99.34 billion, 11.7% over base
  • JFC increased all-funds spending by $10.3 billion over base
    • $5.2 billion GPR
    • $2.4 billion FED
    • $1.4 billion PR
    • $2.1 billion SEG
  • Compensation reserves (state employee compensation) increased by $1 billion
  • Bonding decreased by $985 million
  • The committee cut 794 positions (some, maybe most, were temporary COVID positions)
  • The GPR surplus at the end of the biennium is projected to be $483 million
  • JFC spends $6.7 billion (6.4%) less than Governor Evers’ proposed budget

The unprecedented, even historic, rush to get the budget voted out of the Senate before Thursday, leaves little time for senators to prepare floor amendments ( that leadership does not want) to improve the committee version of the 2-year spending plan. But the budget could be improved, and there is still time.

Here is our Top 10 list of ways the 2023-25 budget could be made better for taxpayers.

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Wisconsin Law Still Refers To Husband And Wife, Reflecting How LGBTQ+ Rights Remain At Risk

For many same-sex couples in Wisconsin, the Obergefell decision being commemorated now during Pride Month was only one step in an incomplete legal journey.

State law still includes more than 100 references to “husband” and nearly as many references to “wife,” a Wisconsin Watch review found.

Those sections of the law include documents and laws related to not just birth, marriage and divorce, but also taxes, fishing licenses and veterans home accommodations. Even the definition of “parent” is outdated, including either a biological parent, a parent by adoption or a “husband who has consented to the artificial insemination of his wife.” The state’s unconstitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and the “Family Code” in state statute, which refers specifically to “husband and wife,” remain on the books.

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Wisconsin Republicans Try To Force Vote On Reappointment Of Nonpartisan Election

Republicans who control the Wisconsin Senate, in a surprise move, are proceeding with trying to force a vote on firing the state’s nonpartisan top elections official before the 2024 presidential election.

The Senate voted Wednesday night to move ahead at a later date with a public hearing, and ultimately a confirmation vote, on the reappointment of Megan Wolfe for a second term overseeing elections in the presidential battleground state.

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Marquette Poll: People Like Shared Revenue Bill, Don’t Want To Pay For It

Voters throughout Wisconsin and across political lines are solidly in favor of the bipartisan deal to increase revenue for local governments. But most people don't want to increase taxes to do so, according to a Marquette University Law School Poll released Wednesday.

Last week, Gov. Tony Evers signed a bipartisan plan that will increase state funding for local communities throughout Wisconsin by at least 20 percent.

At the center of the debate for Republicans were provisions that would let the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County raise local sales taxes with two-thirds votes by the city's common council and the county board.

If successful, the city could levy a 2 percent sales tax and the county could raise its sales tax by 0.4 percent, with revenue going toward paying down old pension debt and preserving police staffing.

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Use Of A Phone To Facilitate Cocaine Distribution On Menominee Indian Reservation Leads To Prison Sentence For Keshena Woman

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that Candice A. Sanapaw (age: 42), of Keshena on the Menominee Indian Reservation, received a sentence of 12 months in federal prison following a conviction for use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug offense.

The sentence, imposed on June 26, 2023, by Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach, was the result of a guilty plea entered by the defendant on March 14, 2023. Sanapaw will also face one year of supervised release once she completes her sentence.

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Last Update: Jun 29, 2023 5:37 am CDT

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