Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Jun. 21, 2023

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

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Jun. 21, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

Rescue Ship Deep Energy Joins Frantic Mission As Oxygen Supply Dwindles To Just 24 Hours

The first photo from the missing Titanic sub search site has emerged, showing the rescue ship Deep Energy - the latest hope in the ongoing hunt for the vessel - in the middle of the Atlantic.

Oxygen onboard the Titan has now dwindled to just 24 hours.

The sub lost communications with its operator, OceanGate Expeditions, less than two hours into its dive to the famous shipwreck on Sunday, with five people onboard.

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Abortion Still Dominates Democratic Politics: 3 Takeaways From Virginia’s Primary Night

The battle for Virginia’s future — and 2023’s biggest down-ballot elections in the country — can now begin in earnest.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin aims for unified Republican control in a state that hasn’t gone for a GOP presidential candidate since George W. Bush, and Democrats hope to retake enough seats to defend abortion rights in the state.

Both parties are expected to dominate the airwaves over the next five months, with every single legislative seat across the two chambers up for grabs in November.

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John Durham Testifies To House Committee On FBI Missteps In Trump-Russia Probe

Former special counsel John Durham will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday about his lengthy report that criticized the FBI for its investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia during the 2016 election.

Durham’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee comes after he spoke with the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors for more than two and a half hours Tuesday. Durham was “very forthcoming” with the panel, saying that “he has concerns, that there are reforms that need to go into place and that there are still issues that need to be addressed,” Ohio Rep. Mike Turner, the committee's chair, told reporters after Durham’s testimony.

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Middle Schoolers' Reading And Math Scores Plummet

American students' test scores in math and reading got significantly worse last year — continuing a decade-long freefall.

The decline in math scores last year was the biggest in the past 50 years, according to newly released federal data.

The findings come from a test known as "The Nation's Report Card" — a continuous, national assessment of 13-year-old students. Results were distributed by the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the Education Department.

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Democrats Growing Worried By Prospect Of Joe Manchin Launching 3rd Party Presidential Bid: ‘A Terrible Idea'

Democrats on Capitol Hill are growing increasingly concerned that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., may launch a third party presidential campaign in 2024, potentially tanking President Biden's chances of re-election.

The danger of a potential Manchin presidential run is twofold for Democrats, in that they cannot afford to have a spoiler siphon votes away from Biden, and they also have no reliable candidate to prevent Manchin's Senate seat from falling to Republicans.

Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., said he spoke with Manchin about the issue this spring, but received a noncommittal response from the West Virginia senator.

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Wisconsin Headlines

A Tax Cut May Be On The Way!

Early in the year with news of our $7 billion budget surplus, we heard talk from legislative leaders that substantive tax relief was in the works. Speaker Vos set $3.4 billion as the floor, and Majority Leader LeMahieu introduced his own flat tax plan providing even bigger tax relief. 

Since then, we’ve only heard about the historic investments (translation: record spending) that are eating up the surplus. A surplus, nearly $1,200 for every person in the state, that represents taxes collected over and above what is needed to run our thoroughly bloated state government.

But reports are that legislators are finally meeting to discuss a $3 billion tax cut. While it falls far short of what was possible, and well short of what was suggested a few months ago – it’s a relief to see something conservative emerging from the 2023-25 budget deliberations.

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Rising Cost Of Living In Northeast Wisconsin Has Many Working Families Treading Water

Shannon Pikka loves the work-life balance of her job in construction. She left an office job in insurance and now enjoys being up early and working with her hands as part of a drywall finishing crew. The single mother’s workday ends around 3 p.m. — just in time to greet her two children from school.

“Kids are coming home at that time, and we got the whole evening now together,” Pikka said. “Our job should not dictate our lifestyle.”

Despite changing careers nearly four years ago, she’s still earning apprentice wages due to setbacks during the pandemic when her youngest was in third grade and schools switched to distance learning.

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Krug Praises Embattled Elections Administrator Wolfe, Wants Joint Meeting With Senate On Her Performance

Assembly Campaigns and Elections Committee Chair Scott Krug on Tuesday praised Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, telling WisPolitics he wants to have a joint hearing with the Senate on her work over the years.

“I’ve met her a couple times since taking the committee chairmanship. I think she’s open and honest and transparent, I just want to make sure the results are there,” the Nekoosa Republican said.

Krug said he would like both chambers to hear about improvements Wolfe has made over her four-year term in the role. He did not say outright if he thinks Wolfe should be reappointed.

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Attacks On Election Workers Would Be A Felony Under Proposal Being Considered In Wisconsin Legislature

Election workers' identifying information would be less available to the public and attacks on those workers would be punished more severely under a proposal circulating through the state Capitol. The bill's authors describe it as an attempt to protect civil servants from harassment, doxxing and attacks.

The bipartisan bill would exempt many records with identifying information about poll workers from being accessed publicly, and also make it a felony to physically harm an election official or worker.

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Governor Evers Signs Bipartisan Shared Revenue Legislation

The governor was in Wausau Tuesday for a bill signing ceremony.

Gov. Evers signed a bipartisan bill that sends more money to Milwaukee, saving the city from bankruptcy, and gives them the ability to raise the local sales tax.

The bill also modifies Wisconsin’s shared revenue programs, creating a trust fund designated as the local government fund. This will send 36% more money overall to every other local government in Wisconsin.

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Last Update: Jun 21, 2023 10:24 am CDT

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