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Wisconsin Sen. Pfaff on DEI v GOP, Taylor Swift, rank-choice voting, what to do in 2024



FILE - Wisconsin state Sen. Brad Pfaff in the WIZM studio for La Crosse Talk PM on March 27, 2023.

Wisconsin state Sen. Brad Pfaff joined La Crosse Talk PM on Tuesday to discuss the fight between Republicans and UW over DEI, should the state have ranked-choice voting and a year in review, plus what still needs to be done.

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

Of course, we began the show talking about Taylor Swift? But in regards to whether the Time Person of the Year would be able to have a concert at the soon-to-be renovated Milwaukee Brewers stadium for half-a-billion dollars.

After that, we got into the DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) fight that Republicans have taken with the University of Wisconsin System / Board of Regents. 

Pfaff gives his take on the negotiation and wonders why they’re even happening.

The negotiation, which is apparently over as of Tuesday, but Republicans wanted to:

  • Cut DEI positions
  • Create a “conservative thought” position(s)
  • Create “student success” positions
  • Drop an affirmative action hiring program
  • Eliminate statements supporting diversity on student applications

Meanwhile, Democrats — as strange as it is to make this the partisan fight — want:

  • Approved the UW-Madison engineering building
  • Approve the raises to UW employees that were already promised in the GOP-created state budget that Gov. Tony Evers signed

Not part of the negotiation is the Phase II of the UW-La Crosse Prairie Spring Science Center, which has been on hold by Republicans for five years.

After that, we talked about some of the legislative wins that were accomplished in Wisconsin and Pfaff discussed what still needs to be done, also expressing his dissatisfaction that the Legislature only meets in session from January to mid-April in 2024, before calling it wraps and hitting the campaign trail. 

Part of those legislative wins included an alcohol bill and agricultural road improvement program. What Pfaff said still needs to get done is something on child care, as well as PFAFs.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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