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Wednesday, March 4, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 14.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Anana Mirilli will not run a write-in campaign for the Madison school board; Walker proposes $50/month fee for state employee smokers; Rep. Brett Hulsey investigated for bringing box cutter to work

Wednesday, 2.27

Ananda Mirilli, who finished third in the primary race for Madison school board, says she won't run a write-in campaign after winner Sarah Manski announced her move to California. TJ Mertz remains the only active candidate.

Thursday, 2.28

Gov. Walker proposes a $50-a-month fee for state employees who smoke to offset insurance costs, with projected savings of $2.7 million over two years. Anti-smoking groups oppose the idea, saying it will hinder access to health care for an unhealthy population.

Gov. Walker proposes ending a law that prevents foreigners from buying more than 640 acres of land in the state. The administration says the law conflicts with a World Trade Organization treaty. Critics fear ending the prohibition will lead to the consolidation of the state's best farmland under corporate control, pricing small farmers out of the market.

Friday, 3.1

State officials tell the Wisconsin State Journal that Gov. Walker didn't intend to reduce coverage for pregnant women as he turned down billions in federal aid to expand Medicaid. The Department of Administration says coverage will be maintained for pregnant women up to 300% of the poverty level.

Two Republican senators, Mike Ellis (Neenah) and Luther Olsen (Ripon), propose an alternative to the school funding scheme in Gov. Walker's budget, which keeps in place limits that districts can raise through taxes. The senators' proposal would let school districts increase spending by $150 per student by allowing a slight increase in property taxes and shifting some state funds.

Tuesday, 3.5

Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) proposes to limit absentee voting hours. His plan would prohibit clerks from being open early, late or on weekends. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) asks: "Why is it Republicans feel there are too many people in Wisconsin who are voting?"

Local media report that state Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) brought a box cutter to the Capitol to teach his legislative aide self-defense. The staffer is being reassigned. See Judith Davidoff's report.

Wednesday, 3.6

Public Health Madison and Dane County reports that illegal tobacco sales to minors are high for the second year in a row. The rate of illegal sales in the county climbed from 7.7% in 2011 to 10.4% in 2012. The department uses teenagers to conduct compliance checks.

Compiled, in part, from local media.

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