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Friday, October 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 50.0° F  Fog/Mist
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Live reports from Wisconsin Assembly floor during debate over abortion bills

The Wisconsin Assembly passed three bills Thursday on party line votes that restrict abortion rights in Wisconsin. Some of this frequently-emotional debate was captured on Twitter and collected here using Storify. >More
 Small group rallies in opposition to trans-vaginal ultrasound bill at Wisconsin Capitol

For Talia Frolkis, a young pro-choice activist, the Wisconsin Senate bill that would require abortion providers to perform trans-vaginal ultrasounds before the procedure is intensely personal. She says she was compelled to act after reading that the bill would be debated and voted on by the Assembly Thursday. >More
 Catch-all budget motions are a controversial Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee tradition

Around the Capitol it's sometimes called the Christmas Tree amendment. The omnibus motion that wraps up Joint Finance Committee action on the state's proposed biennial budget gets its nickname because it often delivers presents (a.k.a. "pork") to lawmakers' districts or takes up wish-list items, even if non-fiscal in nature. >More
 Mark Pocan on taping The Colbert Report

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) took no chances when prepping for his interview with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert. "We watched 15 other members' interviews," says Pocan, who appeared June 3 on The Colbert Report's "Better Know a District" segment. >More
 The cost of rejecting Medicaid funds for Wisconsin

Last week, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 on party lines to reject federal money to expand health insurance for the poor. As a result Wisconsin lawmakers saddled the state with a bigger price tag in return for less health coverage. >More
 Wisconsin lawmakers consider bill to boost local prosecution of marijuana possession cases

The Wisconsin Senate's Committee on Economic Development and Local Government heard feedback from interest groups and residents Wednesday morning over a bill (SB 150) that would strengthen local and county governments' grounds for prosecuting individuals who possess natural and non-prescribed synthetic marijuana. >More
 Sad lesson in the Legislature's attack on the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

The other day my boss, Andy Hall, responded to an email from the Simpson Street Free Press. This always readable, often impressive paper put out by young people in some of Madison's poorest neighborhoods had asked Hall about state lawmakers' surprise move against his group, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. >More
 Joe Tarr discusses the new Madison Central Library on WORT

Isthmus reporter Joe Tarr reports on the renovation and updated programming plans for the new Madison Central Library in the June 6 issue and discussed his story with WORT producer Dylan Brogan on the same day's installment of In Our Backyard. >More
 Renovated Madison Central Library will have expanded mission

For Trent Miller, the tricky part is coming up with a catchy name. Miller, who is program coordinator at the Madison Public Library, is about to have a world of possibilities open up. Madison's Central Library will reopen in September, and Miller and other library staff have grand plans to use the space in some nontraditional ways. >More
 One year after Gov. Walker's recall victory, Wisconsin GOP continues to push changes in election law

Recall elections "are not a privilege, but a right," said Orville Seymer of Citizens for Responsible Government. The public's fatigue from a round of recall elections during 2011 and 2012 has created enough animosity toward recalls, he added, making legislation unnecessary. "[Lawmakers] should make room and time for other issues," he said. >More
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