Finance panel OKs another $7.1 million for prison careSubmitted: 04/18/2018
MADISON - The Legislature's finance committee is giving the Department of Corrections more money to cover prisoner health care.

The agency was budgeted $80.6 million in fiscal year 2017-18 to inmate health care but now expects to spend $90.7 million thanks to rising drug costs, more hospital visits for the prison system's aging inmate population and rising contract nurse costs.

To help cover the shortfall DOC earlier this month asked the finance committee to transfer $5.3 million from the agency's contract beds account and $1.8 million from a fund that covers services for drunken driving offenders. Both accounts are projected to have surpluses.

The agency expects to fill the rest of the deficit by reallocating expenditures and with salary savings from vacant positions.

The finance committee approved the transfers Wednesday 11-4.

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MENOMONIE - A Wisconsin jury has convicted a Minneapolis man of battery in the death of a student from Saudi Arabia but acquitted him on a more serious murder charge.

Cullen Osburn awaits sentencing July 13 for a potential maximum of eight years in the death of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, a junior majoring in business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

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MADISON - The Wisconsin Elections Commission has approved moving ahead with spending some of a $7 million federal grant to hire additional staff and enhance security protections ahead of the fall elections.

The nearly $7 million grant under the Help American Vote Act comes after Wisconsin was identified as a state that was targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 election.

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ST. IGNACE, MI - The Mackinac Bridge connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas has reopened to traffic after closing twice within hours because of falling ice.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority says the span was back open Wednesday evening after two closures lasting a few hours each Wednesday morning and afternoon because ice came off its cables and towers.

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PHILADELPHIA - A federal investigator says one person has been killed after a plane with engine failure made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday that the engine will be shipped for a detailed examination.

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WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says Americans who have been unable to pay their taxes Tuesday because the IRS payment website is down will receive an extension when the site is working again.

The website has been down most of the day and wasn't operational as of 4:30 p.m. EDT.

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Governor signs tax billsSubmitted: 04/17/2018

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker says families will be able to sign up for a $100 per-child tax rebate starting on May 15th.

Walker on Tuesday signed a bill into law that grants the tax rebate for children who were under 18 for all of 2017.

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Ryan supports Syria strikeSubmitted: 04/17/2018

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan supports President Trump's decision to launch missiles targeting the Syrian chemical weapons program.

Ryan says the president had the legal authority to attack the Assad government. He doesn't think Congress needs to pass a new Authorization of Military Force for future military strikes.

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