Marti Mikkelson

News Reporter

Marti, a Waukesha native, joined the WUWM news team in February of 1999. She is also host of WUWM's weekly political podcast, Capitol Notes.

Previously, she was an anchor and reporter at WTMJ in Milwaukee, WIBA in Madison, and WLIP in Kenosha.

Marti’s work has been recognized by RTNDA, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Marti earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Marti currently lives on her favorite side of town – Milwaukee’s east side.

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The Joint Finance committee wrapped up its work on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' proposed budget last week. The panel finished by approving $500 million in tax cuts. It's expected to go to the floor of the Legislature next week. 

In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com whether the document will sail through both Republican-controlled houses.

Marti Mikkelson

It isn’t being held until next spring, but Wisconsin is gearing up for another hard-fought state Supreme Court race.

Conservative Justice Daniel Kelly recently announced that he’ll run for a full 10-year term in April of 2020. He was appointed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2016 to fill the remainder of Justice David Prosser’s term when he retired. A couple of candidates backed by Democrats have already thrown their hats into the ring too – Marquette Law Professor Ed Fallone and Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance committee last week approved a funding plan to fix the roads in Wisconsin. Lawmakers removed Gov. Evers' proposal for a hike in the gas tax, and instead voted for increases in title and registration fees.

In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com why the GOP decided to go that route.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wisconsin lawmakers have approved a plan to fund road repairs. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance committee Thursday night scrapped Gov. Tony Evers proposal for an 8-cent per gallon gas tax – and instead passed a measure to raise title and vehicle registration fees. The vote was 11-5, along party lines.

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Thousands of Democrats descended on Milwaukee over the weekend for the party's annual state convention. Many top Democrats spoke, including Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin. The recurring theme for the weekend was the party's desire to defeat Republican President Donald Trump in 2020.

So, how confident are delegates that this will be achieved? WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross that question for this week's Capitol Notes conversation.

Marti Mikkelson

Preparations are picking up steam as Milwaukee gets ready for the Democratic National Convention next summer. 

A cherry picker is parked at the corner of Water and Wisconsin. It’s holding a worker who is drilling holes into the side of a tall brick building – three stories up. The former office complex is going to be the new home of a Drury Hotel by next summer.

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The Republican-controlled Joint Finance committee last week continued its work on Gov. Tony Evers' budget proposal. It voted to increase funding for public schools by $500 million, rejecting Evers' request for $1.5 billion.  

Republicans say $500 million is the most the state can afford, while Evers hopes to work with the GOP to get more money. In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asks JR Ross, of wispolitics.com, if he thinks Evers will get a better deal.

Andy Manis/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in one of the challenges to laws the Republican-controlled Legislature passed in December's lame-duck session. The laws were designed to limit the powers of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul.

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Republicans on the Joint Finance committee last week stripped many of Gov. Tony Evers' policy items out of his proposed budget. Evers campaigned on many of these issues, including expanding Medicaid, as well as legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing small amounts. Republicans also rejected Evers' plan to borrow up to $40 million to replace lead pipes, mostly in Milwaukee.

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Milwaukee police searching for a homicide suspect fatally shot an armed man, but the man they were seeking remains at large. It happened Tuesday morning near 7th and Maple Streets on the near south side. 

Police say officers dressed in plainclothes were surveying a car based on a tip they received about Victor Cintron, the homicide suspect. Officers in their car were approached by two men, including an armed man wearing a mask, according to police. They say officers shot the masked man and the other ran away. No officers were hurt.

WUWM

The city of Milwaukee has reached a tentative $2 million settlement with the family of a 22-year-old man who died in the back of a police squad car in 2011. Attorneys for the family say the money would go to Derek Williams' three children and the city would be held accountable for his death.

READ: No Federal Charges Against Offficers In Derek Williams Death

Marti Mikkelson

In older cities like Milwaukee, lead pipes are a potential threat. But there are different problems in rural areas.

Ulao Creek is a tiny stream tucked into a quiet neighborhood in Mequon. On a recent afternoon, the water was high due to heavy rains the night before. And members of environmental group Milwaukee Riverkeeper are testing the water.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Updated at 4:46 p.m. CT

Gov. Tony Evers met Thursday with Foxconn Technology Group CEO Terry Gou. The meeting took place at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, and it was the first time the two had met face to face.

Evers said he and Gou had a "great conversation" and they were building a "good relationship."  Evers said they also discussed how Foxconn operations would change as Gou steps away from daily operations to run for President of Taiwan. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Tony Evers last week sought to clarify some comments he made about Foxconn. He said he wanted to renegotiate the state's contract with the Taiwanese company because it's "unrealistic" to think it will create 13,000 jobs at the LCD screen plant it's building in Racine County — especially given the reduced size of the project. Republican Legislative leaders blasted Evers, accusing him of trying to undermine the deal. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Tony Evers announced last week that he wants to renegotiate the state's contract with Foxconn.  He says it's "unrealistic" to think the Taiwanese company will employ 13,000 people at the LCD screen manufacturing plant in Racine County, especially given that the size of the facility has been reduced.  

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, if Evers' announcement took him by surprise, and what a revision of the contract with Foxconn would look like.

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