Friday, May 17, 2024
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Friday, May 17, 2024

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61% of Wisconsin Residents Who Owe Back Rent Are at Risk of Eviction

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Wisconsin is home to some 172,740 renters who owe back rent, and an estimated 61.5% of them reported being either somewhat likely or very likely to face eviction in the coming months – the fifth largest share among states.

The economic fallout that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic put millions of Americans out of work. Without a steady source of income, many were unable to pay for basic necessities, like shelter. To address the issue, the U.S. Department of the Treasury enacted the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which allocated up to $46.5 billion to help Americans struggling to afford housing and utilities.

Due in part to bureaucratic delays at state and local levels, however, less than 40% of that money had been spent as of the end of January 2022 – and in much of the country, a large share of the population is behind on rent and facing possible eviction.

Wisconsin is home to some 172,740 renters who owe back rent to their landlords, and an estimated 61.5% of them reported being either somewhat likely or very likely to face eviction in the coming months – the fifth largest share among states.

According to data collected between Jan. 26, 2022 to Feb. 7, 2022 by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, about 4.4 million Americans agreed that they were either “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to have to leave their home within the next two months due to eviction. That amounts to 43.4% of the 10.1 million renters nationwide who are behind on rent payments.

Many of those at risk of losing their home are not confident that they can afford to make future rent payments. Some are also burdened with multiple months of debt from back rent. A reported 64,680 renters in the state – or 37.4% of all renters with some rental debt – are three months behind or more on their rent. For context, 26.2% of renters nationwide who owe back rent are three months behind or more.

Rank State Somewhat or very likely to leave home due to eviction (% of all renters who owe back rent) Renters who owe back rent and are 3 or more months behind on rental payment (%) Renters who owe any back rent in state
1 Utah 67.1 24.5 30,370
2 Alabama 65.8 22.9 133,160
3 Louisiana 63.4 22.7 110,640
4 Pennsylvania 63.1 31.3 299,730
5 Wisconsin 61.5 37.4 172,740
6 Maine 60.3 16.3 30,810
7 Idaho 59.4 19.4 22,840
8 Texas 57.4 24.7 634,480
9 Georgia 55.2 25.5 259,920
10 Wyoming 55.0 42.6 18,750
11 Ohio 54.7 16.9 233,870
12 Illinois 52.1 26.7 495,440
13 Arkansas 49.7 33.5 96,440
14 New Jersey 48.6 29.7 393,100
15 Oklahoma 47.9 21.2 169,000
16 California 46.9 27.1 1,592,050
17 New Mexico 46.5 31.8 57,040
18 Michigan 46.0 34.7 283,270
19 Nebraska 45.0 9.3 39,070
20 Maryland 44.4 43.1 200,850
21 South Carolina 44.4 43.6 179,130
22 Mississippi 42.9 59.1 139,000
23 West Virginia 42.2 31.1 47,680
24 Florida 40.9 15.0 608,570
25 North Carolina 40.2 26.9 211,820
26 Tennessee 39.6 20.2 142,980
27 Arizona 38.3 15.0 168,170
28 Oregon 38.0 34.6 111,530
29 New York 37.7 25.8 1,303,390
30 New Hampshire 36.2 32.2 24,700
31 Montana 35.7 18.3 24,230
32 Massachusetts 34.5 13.4 229,090
33 Kentucky 33.0 36.9 78,230
34 Kansas 31.7 9.7 65,470
35 Washington 31.6 21.3 190,740
36 North Dakota 31.3 16.8 25,460
37 South Dakota 30.9 53.4 22,750
38 Minnesota 29.5 24.6 99,110
39 Indiana 28.2 11.6 184,730
40 Virginia 24.1 8.2 211,290
41 Nevada 24.1 51.3 156,530
42 Vermont 22.5 41.0 7,420
43 Rhode Island 22.4 19.0 34,840
44 Missouri 20.4 31.0 203,720
45 Colorado 19.2 16.3 77,920
46 Connecticut 19.2 33.2 120,370
47 Hawaii 19.1 12.9 70,410
48 Delaware 14.2 28.2 25,180
49 Iowa 11.7 29.9 44,470
50 Alaska 10.5 31.3 12,640
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Wisconsin Lawmakers Push Questions About IDs For Illegal Immigrants, Voting

(The Center Square) – Some Wisconsin lawmakers are trying to calm fears about illegal immigrants getting IDs and voting in the state.

The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections and the Senate Committee on Shared Revenue, Elections and Consumer Protection held a hearing Thursday with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, some local election clerks and Fond du Lac County’s district attorney.

“We're not trying to get anybody into a bad spot here, or in a corner, or make accusations on that level,” Sen. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, said. “We want our clerks, who are already stressed enough, to know that we are here to be there as an assist to them.”

Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, said he wants to make sure voters have faith in Wisconsin’s electoral process.

“This is one of the topics that hit our inboxes quite a bit the last three months or so,” Krug added. “We thought it’s pretty important just to vet it out, to get all the information out to the public.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission was invited to Thursday’s meeting but didn’t attend because commissioners were having a meeting of their own. But that left lawmakers’ questions unanswered.

Wis-DOT Deputy Secretary Kristina Boardman said Wisconsin is known as a strict voter ID state.

“I want to make very clear that Wis-DOT is required to provide free identification cards for U.S. citizens that request them for the purposes of voting, and that to be eligible for that free identification card one must be a U.S. citizen and at least 17 years of age,” Boardman said. “Wis-DOT staff do not determine voter eligibility or register anyone to vote. Someone who has a Wisconsin ID or a driver's license is eligible to register to vote online, and that information will be confirmed with Wisconsin DMV systems to ensure that the information entered for voter registration is consistent with the DMV's records

Boardman said in Wisconsin, less than a fraction of one percent of ID requests are fraudulent.

“We put together [a] case activity report, assemble all of the documentation that we have, we have the investigator that had the case pull that together, and we do refer that to law enforcement so that they can take whatever action is appropriate,” Boardman added. “We note what statutes we believe may have been violated. And then it's up to law enforcement to take action.”

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Senate Republicans Override Evers’ Vetoes

(The Center Square) – On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted to override nine vetoes from Gov. Tony Evers, including the vetoes that scuttled PFAS clean-up money, millions of dollars that were earmarked for hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls and a plan that would allow advanced practice registered nurses to work more independently.

“The legislature has passed hundreds of bills to solve problems facing Wisconsin businesses and families. Most of these bills were signed into law, but many were vetoed by a governor more focused on politics than policies that help everyday Wisconsinites,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said Tuesday. “Overriding the governor’s obstructive vetoes is the last, best way to address these critical issues.”

The override votes came one day after Evers sued the legislature over nearly $200 million that is attached to some of his vetoes.

Most of that money is the $125 million that’s supposed to go toward PFAS clean up in Wisconsin.

“For the fifth time this legislative session, I voted to provide Wisconsin families with the largest investment in clean drinking water in state history – five more times than every Democrat legislator in this state combined. The bill that Gov. Evers vetoed (SB 312) would have created a grant program that targets this critical funding to areas of the state most heavily impacted by PFAS contamination while protecting innocent landowners from financial ruin,” Sen Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, said.

Evers has accused the legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee of obstructing his plans to clean up Wisconsin’s drinking water, and of delaying his other actions across the state.

LeMahieu said Evers is simply playing the game.

“While Gov. Evers plays politics, the legislature will continue to do the right thing on behalf of the people of our state,” LeMahieu added.

Senate Democrats responded with game-playing accusations of their own.

“Coming in to do all these veto overrides was clearly a stunt to try to appeal to voters ahead of the fall election,” Den. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, said. “Clearly Republicans were hearing from things in their district and wanted political cover. I don't think they got political cover today. I think what they got was people realizing just how afraid they are.”

But Tuesday’s veto overrides are largely symbolic.

While Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate have a veto-proof majority, Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly do not.

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Trump Holds Lead Over Biden Heading Toward November

With less than half a year until the 2024 presidential election, former President Donald Trump holds a sizable lead over incumbent President Joe Biden in several swing states.

While the overall national polling varies and shows a tighter race, Trump holds significant leads in several swing states.

According to Real Clear Politics, Trump leads in a slew of key battleground states like Arizona (+5.2), Georgia (+4.6), Michigan (+0.8), Nevada (+6.2), North Carolina (+5.4), Pennsylvania (+2.0), and Wisconsin (+0.6).

Other polling has shown Trump with a dominant lead in the Sun Belt while performing less well against Biden in some rust belt swing states.

“As the old saying goes, good gets better and bad gets worse, and it’s clear President Biden is in bad shape right now,” Colin Reed, a Republican strategist, former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and co-founder of South and Hill Strategies, told The Center Square. “Five and a half months is an eternity in politics, and there’s theoretically still time to right the ship, but it’s getting late early for the president, especially when Father Time remains undefeated and doubts about his age continue to grow. “

According to the Real Clear Politics’ national polling average, Trump leads Biden 46.1% to 44.9%.

A New York Times poll released this week showed leads for Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania but slightly trailing Biden in Wisconsin, raising concerns among supporters.

Trump’s lead has been in large part fueled by minority voters flocking to his side.

Meanwhile, Biden’s approval rating has plummeted since taking office. While that is not unusual for incumbents, Biden’s approval is lower than recent presidents.

Gallup recently released polling data showing that in the 13th quarter of Biden’s presidency, he averaged a 38.7% approval rating, worse than Trump at the same time in his term.

“None of the other nine presidents elected to their first term since Dwight Eisenhower had a lower 13th-quarter average than Biden,” Gallup said.

Axios reported this week that Biden and his team think the polls don’t represent Americans’ actual feelings and that the president’s position is strong.

“They're still 50% (well 45%) to win, per betting markets,” pollster Nate Silver wrote on X. “But Biden has been behind Trump in polls for a year now. His approval is in the tank, and voters have been clear they think he's too old. If Trump wins, history will not remember Biden kindly.”

Meanwhile, Trump spends valuable campaign time in a series of court appearances for his myriad of federal prosecution court dates.

“I’m under a gag order,” Trump told reporters after a court appearance Tuesday. “Nobody has actually seen anything like it ... I'm beating him in every poll and I have a gag order, so I think it's totally unconstitutional."

Republicans have blasted Biden for Trump’s prosecution, accusing Biden of using the Justice Department against his political opponent.

“Despite Far Left Democrats’ illegal election interference, President Trump is beating Joe Biden in the polls!” Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., wrote on X Tuesday. “Voters see right through the sham Biden Trials and know President Trump is the best choice for president.”

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