Monday, January 30, 2023


Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.


Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

One Year In, WI Communities Measure Impact of Infrastructure Law


Wednesday, November 16, 2022   

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the signing of the federal infrastructure law.

Groups pushing for support for Wisconsin towns and cities say implementation is providing hope overlooked areas will get the jolts they need.

Zach Vruwink, deputy executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, said so far, nearly $3 billion in projects for the state have been announced with funding from the law. Most are transportation-related, and Vruwink argued it is badly needed, as many areas have backlogs for priorities like road and bridge repairs.

"Many of the municipalities have had projects delayed, or had to shelve them, due to lack of funding," Vruwink pointed out. "By having a real strong federal partnership in the area of infrastructure helps address some of the backlog."

The law will also provide states funding for clean water infrastructure and expansion of high-speed internet. Funding from the $1.2 trillion package was scheduled to be spread out over five years. The plan had some Republican opposition, but has otherwise been hailed by political analysts as a bipartisan achievement.

Despite the significance of the law, some analysts said it has not stayed on the public's radar, especially during the recent election, but supporters are still getting the word out.

Meghan Roh, program director for Opportunity Wisconsin, which has spent the last year educating communities about the benefits of these projects, said people need to understand the effect of such a significant investment.

"Whether we're spending less on car repairs due to updated roads and bridges, having access to safe drinking water or improved mass transit opportunities, this law is a once-in-a-generation investment in our state's infrastructure and competitiveness," Roh stressed.

And as more projects are announced, Roh noted it means additional, well-paid union jobs for distressed areas. She added the long-term benefits from various improvements should particularly help rural areas and underserved communities.

An interactive online map from the White House shows the projects so far are spread fairly evenly across Wisconsin.

Disclosure: Opportunity Wisconsin contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Facial-recognition technology companies, which originally partnered with law enforcement, are now working with schools and universities to increase safety and prevent shootings by denying campus access to people who have been banned, or to monitor activity inside school buildings. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…


Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …

Social Issues

Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …

Since the beginning of 2022, seven Western states have initiated programs to maintain wildlife habitat and safe passage, through fencing, signs, overpasses and underpasses, according to Pew research. (TaborChichakly/Adobe Stock)


Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…

Social Issues

A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …

Super Bowl LVII will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12. (Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…

Health and Wellness

It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …


Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021