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Saturday, April 9, 2011

JFC Budget Hearing - Superior Telegram - Friday - Local Impressions and MN

A source from MN added after original post (has trail of related stories) -

News From 91.3 KUWS Public testimony overwhelmingly against Walker budget

The Superior Telegram paper online is dated Friday, April 8th, 2011.  It would be more ideal to see a Saturday or Sunday version - maybe later!  Title click takes you to first hour(?) coverage of JFC. Three articles that seem strongly related are identified.  The first below about the JFC Hearing is from that source -
The first hour of public testimony on Gov. Walker’s proposed budget Friday in Superior covered a wide cross-section of issues. Concerns were raised about cuts to education and health programs; tourism spending was praised; flexibility for university campuses was lofted.
 ... Janice Peterson with the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Barron County urged senators to delete provisions in the budget that affect the Medicaid program and preserve SeniorCare as it is. The majority of people served through the Barron ADRC are living at or just below the poverty level, she said, with some forced to choose between buying needed medications or food. Forcing all seniors to enroll in Medicare Part D would cost her clients $180 to $1,600 per year, Peterson said, while the SeniorCare program provides prescription drug coverage for an annual fee of $30. It could also be the first step in abolishing SeniorCare.
Retirements cut DMV staff in half
Lines at the Superior Department of Motor Vehicles are growing longer. Half the center’s staff retired, and with the current state of the budget, it is uncertain when more will be hired.  .... A customer who stopped by the center Thursday afternoon said he spent about 55 minutes in line and the lobby was full of customers, waiting.
Budget impacts schools
In Superior, the school district faces a $2.7 million reduction in revenue for the 2011-12 school year. The Maple school district estimates it will lose about $900,000 in funding. ....Christina Kintop, a member of the Superior School Board, said she laments the cuts to school funding but worries more about the long-term implications of Gov. Walker’s budget proposal. ...  “I personally believe the route they’re going down will destroy public education,” Kintop said. .... 
Bonnie Baker, a member of the Superior School Board and secretary of the Douglas County Republican Party, said cuts can be difficult to accept, but they are needed to put the state on the path of fiscal responsibility.
When the School Board postponed a decision on art and music spending at its meeting in March, Baker said it was a very difficult vote.

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