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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

State News

Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites are living with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. Lawmakers are crossing the aisle to come up with solutions to support the economic and emotional burden those affected and those caring for loved ones with the disease face every day.

As researchers struggle for Alzheimer’s cure, lawmakers enact flurry of bipartisan bills

Over 110,000 people in Wisconsin are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia. While there is no cure and the number of people suffering from the disease is only expected to increase, researchers at UW are pushing to help ease the burden the cognitive disease causes. Wisconsin lawmakers have been hard at work proposing legislation to help those with Alzheimer’s.

State superintendent Tony Evers is running against Gov. Scott Walker for governor. If elected, Evers says he will cut tuition for two-year UW schools by 50 percent.

Tony Evers announces plan to cut tuition for two-year UW schools if elected governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state school superintendent Tony Evers announced plans on Wednesday to cut tuition by 50 percent at all 13 of UW’s two-year colleges if elected. The proposal would cut current tuition of $4,750 with the hope to “strengthen our UW Colleges, create a better-trained workforce and make college more accessible to all Wisconsinites,” Evers said in a statement. In total, Evers expects the plan to cost less than $20 million – an amount he says is more than feasible if current “legislative Republicans are fine with giving 11 multimillionaires $22 million in tax breaks,” referring to Gov.

State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, came under fire Wednesday only appointing white lawmakers to a task force that will access the state’s prison system.

Black legislators decry appointments to prison task force

Four black Democratic legislators wrote a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, in response to a new task force that will study the efficacy of Wisconsin prisons that solely consists of white men. The task force was created to analyze Wisconsin’s need for a new prison amid recent prison incidents involving overpopulation, neglect and violence. The letter, signed by Democratic representatives from Milwaukee, David Crowley, Jason Fields, David Bowen and Leon Young, requests Vos to reconsider his nominations in order to add at least one black member to the task force. “In Milwaukee County over half of African American males in their 30s have served time in state prison,” the letter said.

A bill introduced by state Sen. Shelia Harsdorf, R-River Falls, would move flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes behind the counter with other cigarettes in order to curb adolescent smoking.

Juuls and swishers could be moved behind the counter, under new legislation

A bill pending in the state Senate would require retailers to remove tobacco- and nicotine-related products from the show floor, placing them in a more secure location, inaccessible without retailer assistance. Following national trends to reduce tobacco consumption, the bill seeks to curb adolescent exposure and accessibility to tobacco products, with most becoming long-term smokers at an early age and developing health conditions later on in life.

Legislation that would make it easier to opt-out of standardized tests passed the state Assembly this week, marking one of the last acts of the years’ legislative session.

‘Test transparency’ for K-12 students boosted under Assembly-approved bill

More parents would be able to excuse their children from standardized testing under a proposal approved by the state Assembly last week, as part of a series of education bills making their way through the Capitol. The proposal would allow parents and guardians to excuse their student from statewide examinations between grades three-12, building upon current law, which allows opt-outs during grades four and eight-11. The opt-out provision, which was initially intended to be expanded to other grades, was never broadened after mandated testing became more regularly applied for all students. This inconsistency, bill co-sponsor state Rep.

Following Sheila Harsdorf’s appointment to agricultural secretary, the governor has scheduled a special election to fill the vacant state Senate seat for early next year.

Special elections slated to replace vacant seats

Gov. Scott Walker has announced a special election early next year to replace former state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, following her appointment to the post of agricultural secretary. The appointment comes after Ben Brancel’s retirement from the position in August after seven years on the job.

The state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would prohibit state insurance programs from covering the cost of induced abortions except in certain circumstances.

Wisconsin Legislature debates two separate abortion bills

Wisconsin state Legislature considered two separate bills surrounding abortion Thursday, one that would prohibit state health insurance programs from covering workers’’ abortions and another that would restrict fetal tissue research. The state Assembly passed a bill 61-35 that would require the state only cover the cost of an abortion as part of a state worker’s health insurance program in cases that are “medically necessary,” such as rape, incest and life-threatening circumstances. The law, however, is unclear what exactly medically necessary means, which sponsors of the new bill aim to tighten up. "This is really making sure essentially that state taxpayers are not paying for elective abortions, period," one of the bill’s sponsors, state Rep.

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