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Lawmakers look to focus on road and school funding, healthcare access during legislative sessionSubmitted: 01/08/2019
Rose McBride
Rose McBride
Reporter/Anchor
rmcbride@wjfw.com

Lawmakers look to focus on road and school funding, healthcare access during legislative session
MADISON - Under Governor Walker, Wisconsin saw a dropping unemployment rate, the near elimination of collective bargaining rights for public employees, and a strong focus on business.

Tony Evers' agenda will be very different from Walker's.


While Evers and new members of the assembly and senate just took office Monday, we already know what lawmakers hope to work on this legislative session.

"May we be willing to do what's best for the next generation rather than the next election," said Evers.
Evers wants lawmakers to put people over party.

But prior to Monday's inauguration, partisan battles during a lame-duck session made some people unsure if a divided government would work.

Some compromise will be needed between both parties if they want to get anything passed. 

Three things they're hoping to come to an agreement on are education funding, access to healthcare, and long term solution to funding our roads.

On healthcare, both sides want to see increased access and coverage for preexisting conditions.

"Wisconsin is very blessed by the fact that we have the number one healthcare system in the U.S. for quality, but we need to make sure that the access is affordable to rural and urban areas where they might lack it," said Rep. Mary Felzkowski, (R) Irma. 

But how they want to get thereā€¦isn't as simple.

Evers wants to expand Medicaid coverage, but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos thinks it will increase private-sector costs.

Evers will craft a budget in the coming months, which is expected to include a 10 percent increase in school funding. That's something unlikely to get initial approval from Republicans.

"The budget is crafted in a way that we have to save enough money for everybody, for everything, for every department. So if he is just going to carte blanche throw a bunch of money at education I'm not sure the state can take it that way," said Rep. Rob Swearingen, (R) Rhinelander. 

People in Wisconsin seem to care most about those topics, and it's why they voted in the leaders they did.

"When I heard from people in Central Wisconsin I always hear the same thing: healthcare, roads, education, and water quality. I think that's what our governor is going to do," said Rep. Katrina Shankland, (D) Stevens Point. 


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The Eye on Entrepreneurs Network in Eagle River celebrated its grand opening at its main location on Pine Street.

All sorts of vendors showcase their businesses in the store including local NASCAR star Natalie Decker.

She always dreamed of becoming a NASCAR driver, opening an apparel store and being a role model for 
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"I am happy I get to be home; I miss my home town," Decker said.

Natalie made her way home for the grand opening of her NEW apparel store at the Eye on Entrepreneurs Network.

"They have always been on my website but to have them in my hometown is pretty awesome," Decker said.

She spent the afternoon signing autographs and hanging out with her biggest fans.

"I am so thankful that this is the town I grew up in because it means a lot to me," Decker said.

Natalie also found a way to give back to one of her favorite places in Eagle River.

All sorts of merchandise, signs and car parts were raffled off to raise money for the Northwoods Children's Museum.

"The love is so true. I have been going to the children's museum a long time, I still go now and I am 22. I am so glad we are doing that," Decker said.

Natalie's new store is one of five different businesses at the network hub.

"Our mission is to bring good, solid thinking together under one roof," said Eyes on Entrepreneurs general manager Barry McLeane.

That became a reality on Tuesday.

"We want entrepreneurial spirits to talk to each other and be with each other and be able to converse and share ideas. It's a small community but we have so much intelligence and so much drive," McLeane said.

The EOE believes Natalie's career is the perfect example of that drive.

"Really believe in yourself and have a strong support system because that will help make your dreams come true," Decker said.

This year Natalie is racing in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and will also compete in the Trans Am series for Ave Motorsports.

Eye on Entrepreneurs Network has locations in Eagle River, Phelps, Land O' Lakes and Manitowish Waters.

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Mayor Chris Frederickson cast the tie-breaking vote in the 5-4 decision. Alderpersons Andrew Larson, David Holt, Ryan Rossing, and Steve Sauer voted in favor of dismissing Kingman. Alderpersons Lee Emmer, Dawn Rog, George Kirby, and Tom Kelly voted against the move.

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The children ranged in age from ten months to seven years, according to Langlade County Coroner Larry Shadick.

Two adults survived and were taken to Aspirus Langlade Hospital in Antigo.

The first emergency call came at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Langlade County Sheriff's Office.

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