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Each news article below shows only part of the news story. To view the full story, click on Read More below the story.

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  • April 26, 2024 8:43 AM | Anonymous

    Over the last few weeks, Governor Evers acted on numerous bills, including the following legislation of interest to WiAHC:


    • Signed – Senate Bill 964 - Allows physical therapists to certify to the state Department of Transportation that a person has a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk and therefore meets the criteria to receive a disabled parking license plate or card. The Governor signed this bill on March 22, and the bill will take effect 10 months after it is signed into law.


    • Vetoed - Senate Bill 158 – Proposed creating a preliminary health care credential that is available to individuals who have completed the requirements for the corresponding permanent or training health care credential while they await a decision from the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) regarding their application for the permanent or training credential. The Governor vetoed this bill on March 29, issuing the following statement in his veto message:

     “I am vetoing this bill because I object to potentially reducing patient protections from individuals who have a disqualifying criminal background by allowing unlicensed individuals to receive preliminary healthcare credentials based solely upon their own attestations and employer-conducted background checks. The department would have no way to discern the veracity of an employer-conducted background check and no ability to hold employers accountable for false or neglectful attestations.”

  • April 26, 2024 8:42 AM | Anonymous

    On April 4, the Governor’s Task Force on the Health Care Workforce held a public meeting in Madison.  Lt. Governor Sara Rodriguez, a registered nurse, chairs this task force.  The intent behind this task force is to craft health care workforce recommendations that may be included in the Governor’s FY2025-2027 budget request to the Legislature.

    The meeting started out with a discussion of the results of a survey that was sent to all 24 task force members, all of whom completed the survey.  The intent of this survey was to help determine the potential areas of focus for the task force. 

    With respect to specific profession areas, the survey found that the task force should focus on the following (in order of priority):

    1. Behavioral Health
    2. Nurses
    3. Direct Care
    4. Allied Health
    5. Physicians
    6. Oral Health
    7. Emergency Medical Services
    8. Other

    With respect to health care sectors, the survey found that the focus should be on the following (in order of priority):

    1. Behavioral Health
    2. Long term care
    3. Primary care
    4. Emergency Medical Services
    5. Oral Health
    6. Other

    With respect to health care workforce improvement strategies, the survey found that the focus should be on the following areas (while they are in order of importance, these were all ranked quite close to each other – therefore, the task force views these as effectively equal):

    1. Recruitment and Retention
    2. Education and Training
    3. Regulatory Policy

    Following this conversation, David Polk, who serves as the director of the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards at the state Department of Workforce Development, discussed the various health care apprenticeships that are currently offered in the state.  These apprenticeships include medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, and registered nurses.  Immediately following that presentation, Bridgett Willey, the director of Allied Health Education and Career Pathways at UW Health, described their health care apprenticeship offerings.

    Next, Jessica Smith, who serves as the director of the Center for Inclusive Transition, Education, and Employment at UW Whitewater (UWW), presented on the Qualified Treatment Trainee (QTT) grant program at UWW.  A QTT is someone with a master’s degree in social work, counseling or marriage and family therapy, who wants to get a professional license for such counseling work.  These individuals perform counseling work under the guidance of a clinical supervisor.  This grant program is funded by the state Department of Health Services (DHS) and is administered by DHS, along with UWW.  Right after this presentation, Jill Baures, Psy.D., who serves as the Clinical Training Director for Pauquette Center for Psychological Services in the Madison area, discussed her agency’s experience with the QTT program.

    At the end of the meeting, the upcoming task force meeting schedule was discussed:

    • May 9 – UW La Crosse
      • During this meeting, the task force will identify additional strategies and opportunities.
    • June 6 – UW Milwaukee
      • During this meeting, they will start prioritizing all strategies and opportunities.
    • July 11 – UW Green Bay
      • During this meeting, they will review a draft set of recommendations.
    • August 8 – Madison (Hill Farms State Office Building)

    For further details about the task force’s April 4 meeting, you are welcome to review a more detailed summary.

  • April 26, 2024 8:41 AM | Anonymous

    In early April, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted a proposal to the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee requesting their approval for DHS’s plan for spending $36 million in settlement funds received from opioid litigation.  In summary, DHS proposes to spend these funds for the following purposes:

    • Tribal Nations:  $6 million
    • Community, Education, After-School Prevention:  $5 million
    • Family Support/Resource Centers: $5 million
    • Peer Support in Opioid Treatment Programs: $5 million
    • Narcan:  $3.5 million
    • Fentanyl Test Strips:  $1 million
    • Capital Projects:  $3 million
    • Room and Board: $2.5 million
    • EMS “Leave Behind” Programs:  $1.5 million
    • Public Health Vending Machines: $1 million
    • Law Enforcement Grants:  $1 million
    • Data Collection and Surveillance System Enhancements:  $1.5 million
  • April 26, 2024 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    On April 11, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley announced that she would not run for re-election in 2025.  She is currently a member of the liberal majority of the court.  When she completes her term on July 31, 2025, she will have served 30 years as a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Prior to her service on this court, she served 10 years as a circuit court judge in Marathon County. 

    The primary election to fill her seat on the court will be held on February 18, 2025, and the general election will occur on April 1, 2025.  As this is written, former Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel – who currently serves as a judge in Waukesha County – is the only candidate who has announced a run for Justice Walsh Bradley’s seat on the State Supreme Court.

  • March 27, 2024 11:07 AM | Anonymous

    On March 21, WiAHC member Horizon Home Care and Hospice hosted Wisconsin Representative Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) at a local Oak Creek coffee shop. The visit was held as part of WiAHC’s Capitol Connection program, which aims to build relationships between members and their local state lawmakers.

    During the meeting, Horizon staff, led by CEO Coleen Schmidt, CFO Vicki Meyer, and COO Jessica Lisinski, had an opportunity to discuss with Rep. Rodriguez the value of skilled home care for Wisconsin patients. It also provided a great opportunity to thank Rodriguez for her past support of Medicaid rate increases for skilled nursing in a home care setting.  

    In addition, the discussion navigated to challenges faced by the home health industry, specifically the nursing workforce shortage. Rep. Rodriguez was highly engaged in the conversation and interested in helping to strengthen the home health care industry in Wisconsin and knock down regulatory obstacles for providers.

    Rep. Rodriguez currently represents the 21st Assembly District in southeast Wisconsin, which includes the cities of South Milwaukee and Oak Creek. She was first elected to the Assembly in a Nov. 2013 Special Election and is serving her second term on the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee. Rodriquez resides in Oak Creek with her husband and son.

    If you are interested in hosting your lawmaker as part of WiAHC’s Capitol Connection program, please contact the WiAHC office at

  • March 27, 2024 11:06 AM | Anonymous

    On March 7, representatives from WiAHC and the Wisconsin Hospice and Palliative Care Association (WiHPCA) participated in a joint virtual meeting with Lieutenant Governor Sara Rodriguez to discuss health care workforce issues.  Lt. Gov. Rodriguez, a registered nurse, chairs the newly formed Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce.  Various issues were discussed, including reimbursement from insurers and public sector payers, medical personnel wage levels, and the potential to expand an existing effort to concurrently train high school students to be licensed practical nurses (LPNs), which would enable them to graduate from high school and immediately enter the workforce. 

    Future task force meetings will be held each month from April through August.  The following is the schedule that is currently available: 

    • Thursday, April 4th, 1-4pm, Madison (Hill Farms State Office Building – Room TBD)
    • Thursday, May 9th, 1-4pm, La Crosse (Location TBD)
    • Thursday, June 6th, 1-4pm, Milwaukee (Location TBD)
    • Thursday, July 11th, 1-4pm, Green Bay (Location TBD)
    • Thursday, August 8th, 1-4pm, Madison (Hill Farms State Office Building – Room TBD)

    In addition, the task force will launch a website in the future.  Once that occurs, that will be shared in a future edition of this newsletter. 

  • March 27, 2024 11:05 AM | Anonymous

    In late February, as the Legislature was wrapping up the 2023-2024 legislative session, both the state Assembly and Senate passed Senate Bill 964.  This legislation, which was signed into law by Gov. Tony Evers as 2023 WI Act 188, will allow physical therapists to certify to the state Department of Transportation that a person has a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk and therefore meets the criteria to receive a disabled parking license plate or card. 

  • March 27, 2024 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    On December 22, 2023, the State Supreme Court issued a ruling that Wisconsin’s state legislative district maps are unconstitutional and the maps for each such district must be redrawn before the 2024 elections.  State Supreme Court justices voted 4-3 in favor of this ruling.  The decision focused on specific state legislative districts that include non-contiguous portions of land, which the court found violated the state constitution.

    Specifically, the court ruled that the legislature must redraw the boundaries for each state Assembly and state Senate district in advance of the August 2024 primary election.  If the Legislature and Governor Evers were not able to agree on legislation creating new district boundaries, the court noted that it would decide on the new boundaries.  As a practical matter, the state Elections Commission noted that new district boundaries needed to be finalized by March 15, 2024. 

    In January, the parties to the case submitted various proposed state legislative district maps to the court and the court-appointed consultants reviewed these maps and provided their analysis to the court on February 1.  However, in mid-February, the Legislature passed a bill with the version of state legislative district maps that Governor Evers previously submitted to the court.  This legislation passed both chambers of the Legislature with mostly Republican votes and was sent to the Governor.  On February 19, Governor Evers signed this legislation.  As such, these new legislative district maps will take effect for legislative candidates who are elected in November 2024. 

    The new 2024 state Assembly and state Senate district maps may now be viewed on the Legislature’s interactive district map page

    In addition, the following related articles/links may be of interest:

  • March 27, 2024 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    In February, the state Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) announced that it added additional information to its online credential processing dashboard.  This updated website includes additional data points, including the median amount of time to receive an occupational credential in the health or business industries, or in the trades. 

  • March 27, 2024 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    In early March, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) opened registration for their annual Opioids, Stimulants, and Trauma Summit.  According to DHS, this summit “highlights prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery strategies related to opioids, stimulants, and trauma.”  This event will be an in-person event (with a virtual option) held on May 7-9, 2024, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. 

    For more information, please visit the DHS website

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