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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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 IN OTHER NEWS

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CRANDON - Recently, flooding closed roads and frustrated communities from Rhinelander to Plover. A bad combination of rain and melting snow led to days of flood warnings. As those warnings go away, a related risk could do a lot more than frustrate you - it could make you sick. Flooding can cause contamination in wells, but the Northwoods is lucky to have a world-class water testing facility.

RT Krueger's Northern Lake Service in Crandon has about 50 specialized machines that test drinking water for half of the municipalities in Wisconsin. Krueger tests Rhinelander's water three times a week. Every year 65,000 water samples flow in and out of this lab.

"The safe drinking water testing for the city of Madison is being performed up in little tiny Crandon," said Krueger.

Many people have their own wells, which are not tested regularly like municipal water. If your well is submerged due to flooding, filtered groundwater mixes with potentially harmful surface water.

"You're introducing the bacteria and all the compounds and organisms that are normally above the water that you're drawing," said Krueger.

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VILLAGE OF HEWITT - Monday around 7 A.M. Wood County police responded to a man who was run over by a dump truck in the Village of Hewitt.

When the police arrived they were informed by emergency responders that the man's injuries were fatal.

The victim of the accident was 77-years-old.

Police have ruled the death as an accident, and it was determined that the subjects involved were performing maintenance on the dump truck when the accident happened.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department, Hewitt EMS, Marshfield Ambulance, and the Wood County Coroner's Office all responded to the accident.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander man could face prison time after police arrested him in an online underage sex sting.  Oneida County prosecutors charged Adam Van Roy with three felonies on Monday.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agent working with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office posed as a 19-year-old woman named 'Julia G' on several social media applications March 13-15.  Van Roy, 36, started talking with 'Julia' during that time.  

'Julia' soon told Van Roy she was actually only 15 years old.

The agent's notes show Van Roy asked 'Julia' for pictures, including nude images, and asked her "what do you like in the bedroom?"

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CRANDON -
(Suspects identified clockwise, beginning with upper-left: Robert Daniels, Andrew Phillips, Richard Harris, Geraldine Dubray, Allyssa Wamego, Tammy Mann)

A report of a noisy house party and fight near Crandon led to six drug-related arrests earlier this month.  Officers eventually found heroin, cocaine, and guns along with other drug items inside, but getting there took some extra work.

According to a release from the Forest County Sheriff's Office, police responded to a home at 7840 Love Knot Lane in the Town of Lincoln, which is east of Crandon, on March 7 around 7:15 p.m.

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MILWAUKEE - Officials say a man shot by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police on campus is hospitalized in stable condition.

University Police Chief Joe LeMire said at a news conference Tuesday two officers found the man, armed with a gun, sleeping on a bench in the Fine Arts Complex building around 7 a.m., an altercation occurred and he was shot. The police officers were treated for minor injuries.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/19/2019

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We talk to a snowplow driver in Lincoln County who says he was attacked with a baseball bat after accidently knocking down a mailbox.

We'll take you to the ribbon cutting for a new utility garage in Stevens Point and show you some sustainable design features that are part of the facility including the largest solar array in Central Wisconsin.

And we'll speak with a water testing specialist in Crandon to go over the importance of testing groundwater especially after there has been flooding in the area.


We'll bring you this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - An RV and a bowlful of stress ball lemons arrived at the Marshfield Clinic on North Shore Drive in Rhinelander on Monday.  Both were to help women focus on their own health.

Marshfield Clinic's mobile mammography van offered free breast cancer screenings for women who qualified through the Wisconsin Well Woman Program.  The WWWP pays for those screenings for women between the ages of 45 to 64 who don't have insurance or can't afford co-pays based on certain income standards.

Organizers welcomed any woman, even if they just came to ask questions, as part of its "Women Empowering Women" push.

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