Politics & Government

Political news

Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard and Rep. Joel Kleefisch invited city officials to an informational hearing on Wednesday, to explain a computer malfunction affecting the Milwaukee Police Department. The problem has resulted in several videotaped interrogations being inaccessible.

The two GOP legislators chair committees related to public safety and criminal justice, but Milwaukee Democrats accused the two of calling the hearing simply to slug the city politically.

Democrat Sen. Fred Risser kicked-off the meeting with a question.

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people — not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

Ian Freimuth / Flickr

While several high profile and controversial measures in the Governor’s proposed budget have worked their way through the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, other parts of the budget are still up for debate.

One such issue is a measure that would cap the amount of money available through Wisconsin’s Historic Tax Credits program, which provides incentives for builders and developers to rehabilitate historic buildings.

President Obama says that while the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," he doesn't think the U.S. is losing to the militant group.

FRANK JUAREZ / FLICKR

The Milwaukee School Board will hold its first meeting Thursday since the Legislature’s budget committee approved several items that could greatly impact MPS. Perhaps the biggest would be the creation of a Recovery School District. 

It would give an independent commissioner oversight over failing MPS schools. At Thursday night’s school board meeting, members are expected to discuss giving the MPS superintendent similar powers.

Milwaukee School Board member Larry Miller says the state budget language stunned him.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Protesting the soon-to-expire Patriot Act, presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul held the floor of the Senate for nearly 11 hours late Wednesday in a filibuster-like speech railing against the law and the government's continued surveillance of Americans' phone records.

"I don't think we're any safer looking at every American's records," Paul said.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

On the Senate floor yesterday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul started talking. He spoke for 10 hours about his opposition to NSA surveillance of Americans' phone records.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Six months ago, when President Obama announced sweeping and polarizing executive actions on immigration, immigrant families all over the country were watching his rare prime-time address.

But those actions have now fallen out of the headlines and the highest-profile changes are on hold.

Stephanie Packer was 29 when she found out she had a terminal lung disease.

That's the same age as Brittany Maynard, who last year was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Last fall, Maynard, of Northern California, opted to end her life with the help of a doctor in Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal.

Pages