- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Senate schedules hearing on school accountability bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin state Senate committee has scheduled a public hearing on a school accountability bill that would not impose sanctions on failing public schools.

The measure also would not assign letter grades to schools or allow for private schools in the taxpayer-funded voucher program to choose from multiple tests to measure student performance.

Those are all major differences from the Assembly version of the bill.

Both proposals are sponsored by Republicans.

The Assembly version is being reworked following a 12-hour hearing that saw widespread opposition to forcing public schools deemed to be failing to close and reopen as independent charter schools.

The Senate bill doesn’t have that requirement. The hearing before the Senate Education Reform Committee is set for Tuesday in the Capitol.

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Racine police investigating shots fired at transit center

RACINE, Wis. (AP) - Authorities are investigating an apparent shooting at the Street Transit Center in Racine.

Police say they were called to the transit center at about noon Wednesday on a report of shots fired. Officers found one victim. Police haven’t released any details on the severity of that victim’s injuries.

Police say it’s an active investigation and no additional information is being released at this time.

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Final approval of Milwaukee streetcar project delayed

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Milwaukee Common Council has voted in favor of a $124 million streetcar project, but is delaying final approval until next month.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1BH4bp8http://bit.ly/1BH4bp8 ) the delay until Feb. 10 is to give an organization led by two aldermen a chance to collect 31,000 signatures to compel a binding referendum.

The proposed 2.1-mile downtown Milwaukee streetcar line would provide an estimated 1,840 rides on weekdays. It’s the first leg of a planned longer route that would extend to the lakefront.

Mayor Tom Barrett says he’s pleased with the council’s support, but concerned that outside influences are trying to shape the city’s future. The state director for Americans for Prosperity - which receives funding from the billionaire Koch brothers - says it’s been working to force the referendum.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.comhttp://www.jsonline.com

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Republicans cancel fundraiser following Democratic complaint

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Assembly Republicans have canceled a fundraiser after Democrats complained that holding it would violate the Legislature’s rules.

Melanie Hubbard, a spokeswoman for the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, says that the event Wednesday night at a hotel in downtown Madison was canceled “due to an unfortunate scheduling oversight.”

Assembly rules prohibit lawmakers from participating in fundraisers during floor periods. The Assembly’s current floor period began Tuesday and is scheduled to run through Jan. 29.

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate had protested earlier Wednesday, saying the planned “speed networking” event was in violation of the rules.

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