In 2011, it was Act 10.
In 2015, right-to-work.
In our cover story, WPRI President Mike Nichols explains the shift in both the economy and public opinion that led us to this point. He notes that union membership has steadily declined in recent decades, even as public support for right-to-work has risen. In a poll by WPRI in January, nearly twice as many Wisconsinites say they would vote for right-to-work as against it (62% to 32%).
Also in this issue, we have a provocative Q&A with Ray Cross, the president of the University of Wisconsin System. Those of you who have followed the debate over Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts may notice that Cross seems to strike a very different note here (one more open to reform) than he has in other public forums. Richard Esenberg takes a decidedly more skeptical view of the UW in his Culture Con column. As do I in Spring Dispatches.
Speaking of a skeptical view, Sunny Schubert interviews Eloise Anderson, the secretary of Gov. Walker’s Department of Children and Families, who explains her decades-old opposition to Great Society social programs.
And, Dave Daley brings us a provocative look at new policies that limit suspensions in the Madison, Milwaukee and Racine public school systems. The result, says one teacher who talked with Daley about his experiences: “Utter chaos.… It feels like the inmates are running the institution.”
Another example of the law of unintended consequences.
— Charles J. Sykes