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Update: President Obama visits WisconsinSubmitted: 01/30/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson, Associated Press


WAUKESHA - President Obama wants to train more people for in-demand jobs.

That was the focus of his speech in Waukesha Thursday.

The President spoke to workers at a GE plant.

He said GE is an example of how job training programs can be successful.

"I'm just saying, you can make a really a good living and have a great career
without getting a 4-year college education as long as you get the skills and
the training that you need," said the President.

President Obama has asked Vice President Biden to lead a review of all job
training programs.

He also asked Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10.

Thursday's stop was part of a 4-state tour.

The President is expanding on some of the themes from his State of the Union
address.

The President has a 44-percent approval rating in Wisconsin.

That's down from a 49-percent approval rating in October.


11:02 A.M.
President Barack Obama arrived in Wisconsin this morning to talk up some of his
themes from the state of the union address.

The President is expected to discuss jobs and the minimum wage.

Just before 11:00 a.m., he arrived the General Electric plant in Waukesha that
makes gas engines.

It's part of a 4-stop tour the President is making.

He will expand on themes from his State of the Union address.

Today's visit comes as Obama's approval rating in Wisconsin has sunk to its
lowest level in 2 years.

A poll released Monday says his approval rating among Wisconsin voters is 44
percent.

That's down from 49 percent in October.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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WAUSAU - During a national push to prescribe fewer painkillers, a new Wisconsin proposal appeared that it would let chiropractors prescribe prescription drugsâ€"including painkillers.

After speaking with one of the bill's authors, that notion is not at all true. 

John Murray, the executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, which supports the bill, said it was never the bill's intention to include narcotics, or any drugs not related to neuro-muscular skeletal healing. The bill is in its early stages, having had a co-sponsor hearing on Tuesday, and future drafts of the bill will not have that broad language. 

"It is the position of the WCA that going forward that was never the intention and that's not the intention going forward to have opioids and highly addictive schedules to be part of this," Murray said. 

What the bill is meant for, he said, is to allow chiropractorsâ€"with 60 credit hours of additional education and hours of clinical trainingâ€"to be able to prescribe non-narcotic pain medication, such as muscle relaxants or steroids. This they could do instead of referring their patients out to a medical doctor for such prescriptions, as all chiropractors do now. He said this would make it more convenient for the patient and better that they see the same doctor for a medication instead of two. 

"It's not that we think referring out to other providers is a bad thing," Murray said. "But there are situations in which a patient comes in and has something that a chiropractor with proper training could treat in the short term with some pharmaceutical intervention."

Not all chiropractors agree with this bill despite its clarifications. 

Dr. Scott Bautch, D.C., of Bautch Chiropractic in Wausau, wants to stay true to being "the non-drug option" to health care. 

He would rather continue referring his patients out to medical doctors.  He presented on behalf of the Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin, which does not support the bill, at the bill's hearing in Madison on Tuesday. 

"I'm going to counsel people on what they eat, I'm going to counsel people on how they move, I'm going to counsel people on what they think," Bautch said. "But if we need to have help with something your body can't heal, I'll refer you out. In my 33 years plus of practice, I've not had a problem. And if I've had to send a patient out because the pain was so unretractable, it's not been a difficult situation at all. If I call them that day, I've had patients that we call, and they get them in in an hour."

Murray says it's up to each chiropractor in the state to decide how they want to practice.

"We have great respect for chiropractors who want to work that way," Murray said. "But there are chiropractors in the state who want to have those extra clinical tools and practice that way. It's about freedom of practice."

The bill still has a few legislative steps before, and if, it becomes law.


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MADISON - A new report says Wisconsin's job creation agency has erroneously awarded more than $412,000 in tax credits to companies over how many jobs they created.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the detail came out in a review by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The agency first revealed the tax credit issue at a board meeting last month, but Thursday's report was the first time the size of the problem was detailed.

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MADISON - A federal trial to help decide whether Wisconsin Assembly district boundaries Republicans redrew five years discriminate against Democrats is set to wrap up.

A group of voters who support Democrats sued last year alleging new districts Republican lawmakers created in 2011 marginalize Democrats and consolidate GOP power.

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MADISON - The Republican National Committee says it plans to add 250 additional staffers in battleground states, including Wisconsin.

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MERRILL - Wisconsin will now be the 11th state to join a lawsuit against the federal government over new bathroom rules for transgender students.

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MADISON - Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he has obtained data that proves university tenure means jobs for life.

Vos released an email Thursday that UW System State Relations Director Jeff Schoenfeldt sent to his office this week in response to a request for historical tenure data. Schoenfeldt said that six tenured faculty have been dismissed for cause system-wide between 1996 and 2015.

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