Nominate a friend for the Caring for Kids Award!

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) is seeking nominations for the 12th annual Caring for Kids Award. Each year DCF honors outstanding social work professionals with this award. Know someone in the child welfare profession who goes above and beyond? Nominate them online before Sunday, February 16.

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Bringing Transparency to the Pharmacy Benefits Process

On Wednesday the Assembly Committee on Health heard Assembly Bill 114, legislation relating to the licensure and regulation of Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs). A PBM is a third-party administrator for health plans that handles the prescription drug portion of the health plans. In the hearing, we heard testimony from individuals from across the state, including patients, pharmacists and other healthcare industry professionals.

This legislation would allow pharmacists to disclose certain information to patients that might help them save money, including sharing retail prescription drug prices and informing patients of lower cost drug substitutions if any exist. 

The bill would require PBMs to be licensed either with the commissioner of insurance (COI) or to have an employee benefit plan administrator license. To obtain the license, the PBM must pay a fee, provide employer information, and most notably show that the PBM intends to act in good faith. The bill would also regulate PBMs by requiring them to submit regular transparency reports.

AB 114 has broad bipartisan support, and I hope to see it signed into law before the end of session.

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Wearing Red to Promote Heart Health

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In honor of American Heart Month, we celebrated national #WearRedDay in the Capitol to promote awareness of heart disease and education on heart health. It’s estimated that 80% of cardiac events are preventable. Some ways to promote heart health include not smoking, reducing the amount of sodium in your diet, participating in routine exercise and properly managing stress. For more information, visit the National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute or American Heart Association websites.

Education Committee Hears 3 Bills

The Assembly Committee on Education held a public hearing on Thursday on three bills. The first bill, AB 849, expands a pupil’s ability to attend one or two courses at another school through part-time open enrollment for grades 1-12.  Current law allows for part-time open enrollment for high school grades only.

The second bill aims to provide a simpler way for members of the public to understand how their school district’s funding is being spent. AB 810 would create a committee that would be tasked with making recommendations for establishing a computerized uniform budget and accounting system. The computerized system would be used by school districts, charter schools and the county children with disabilities education boards (CCDEBs). The data from the system would be collected by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), who would display the information on their website. Our school districts are funded using tax dollars, and taxpayers deserve a straightforward way to understand how those dollars are being spent.

Finally, AB 779 would allow pupils who attend virtual charter schools to participate in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities in the school district they reside in. A virtual charter school is an online public school that open-enrolled pupils participate in remotely. Current law already allows homeschooled pupils to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities, this legislation would just expand that ability to pupils who attend virtual charter schools.

Boy Scouts of America Celebrates 110 Years


Tomorrow, February 8, 2020, marks 110 years of Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Over the years, BSA has produced many of our nation’s heroes, including presidents, astronauts and military service members. Congratulations on 110 years!

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