Thursday, September 16, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Senior Advocates Optimistic About WI Budget Proposal


Monday, February 22, 2021   

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's debate over the next state budget is far from over, but the spending plan outlined by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has strong support from advocates of older residents.

Helen Marks Dicks, state issues advocacy director for AARP Wisconsin, said her group was encouraged to see provisions like a tax credit for family caregivers as well as $200 million to enhance broadband internet access.

She pointed out it has become a key issue for residents 50 and older with no e-mail address, which is required for vaccination appointments.

"It's a fine example of how not having broadband has taken what should be a simple, social, important thing to do, which is to get older people vaccinated and have barriers in the way that we haven't dealt with," Dicks explained.

Meanwhile, AARP has long advocated for more support for caregivers.

Dicks acknowledged while the $500 tax credit proposed by Evers is smaller than they'd hoped for, it's a step in the right direction.

Republicans control the Legislature and have already suggested they would block several provisions. But political observers say certain pieces, such as broadband access, could get bipartisan support.

During the last budget cycle, Republicans ignored several of Ever's proposals. However, Dicks believes the impact of the pandemic might open the door to more bipartisanship.

During his address, Evers cited some of the effect as he issued pleas for support.

"People across our state and country spent the better part of the last year worried," Evers stated. "Worried about how you'll see a doctor or afford your prescriptions."

Lowering prescription drug costs is another provision supported by AARP.

Dicks said because a lot of the issues have been studied by special task forces in recent years, it shouldn't require a lengthy debate on whether to act.

"So we're in a good position to move forward and resolve some of these problems," Dicks stressed.

The state has until July first to finalize a new budget, which would cover the next two fiscal years.

Disclosure: AARP Wisconsin contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Consumer Issues, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…

Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…

Arkansas' rental-assistance program has distributed funds to more than 3,200 households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

A new report spotlights the economic impacts of limiting a woman's right to safe and legal abortion. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …


BOISE, Idaho -- Closed fisheries from imperiled fish runs in the Columbia River Basin are prompting calls for action before it's too late. Steelhead …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A new survey of community colleges and technical schools in the United States shows their courses and programs that promote job …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021