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Budget committee to approve special needs vouchers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee plans to vote on creating a special needs voucher program in Wisconsin, a divisive proposal that’s been floated and rejected several times in recent years. Co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee said Tuesday the Republican-controlled panel will create a special needs voucher program that will work similar More >

Committee to vote on expanding Wisconsin voucher program

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget-writing committee plans to vote for expanding the state’s private-school voucher program. Gov. Scott Walker has proposed doing away with the 1,000-student enrollment cap for the statewide program that began two years ago. But in doing that, Walker’s plan would lower the amount of the taxpayer-funded voucher that students More >

Republicans to increase school funding, expand vouchers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled budget committee plans to increase funding for public schools while also eliminating a 1,000-student on the private school voucher program and allowing vouchers for students with disabilities. Republican co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee said Tuesday they planned to approve $200 million more in funding for public schools above More >

Committee to decide how to handle new prisoner projections

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s finance committee is set to decide how to handle higher-than-anticipated growth in Wisconsin’s prison populations. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, population growth estimates in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget plan are already outdated for both the state’s female and male prison populations. The fiscal bureau says the state More >

Drug-testing for public beneficiaries up for vote

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature’s budget committee is set to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to require drug screenings for recipients of public aid programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits. The Assembly last week approved a pair of similar bills. The Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday is also voting on the issue More >

Board approves adding deductibles to employee health plans

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state insurance board has voted to add deductibles and increase out-of-pocket payments in state employees’ health care plans in a move that could cost workers $85 million over the next two years. The state Department of Employee Trust Fund’s Group Insurance Board approved the measure on a 9-2 vote Tuesday. More >

Ag officials lift Juneau County farm’s bird flu quarantine

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State agriculture officials have lifted a quarantine zone around a Juneau County farm that had poultry infected with bird flu. The approximate 6-mile quarantine zone around the farm was lifted after no new cases of bird flu were found in the county since the original detection in April affecting a flock More >

Oconomowoc death is apparent homicide

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (AP) — Investigators in Oconomowoc says the death of a 50-year-old man found shot in the basement of his home is apparently a homicide. Police Chief David Beguhn says Stanley Van Wagner’s wife found his body Sunday evening. He had been shot three times with a handgun. Authorities believe Van Wagner was shot More >

Group files lawsuit against Walker over records

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A liberal advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker, saying he is illegally withholding records related to his proposal to rewrite the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin known as the “Wisconsin Idea.” The Center for Media and Democracy filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Dane County Circuit More >

Walker copied in on letter about questionable loan

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A newspaper is reporting that records suggest Gov. Scott Walker received a letter pledging a $500,000 loan to a campaign donor’s construction company. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday (http://bit.ly/1IOlpTv ) that Paul Jadin, then-chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, sent a letter in September 2011 to Building More >