Wisconsin roundup: Unexpected deficit in Walker budget proposal; EMT service expansion proposed in bill; 9 more state news stories

Posted on Mar 24, 2017 at 9:21 a.m.

MADISON — The Legislative Fiscal Bureau projects a larger structural deficit for Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget than previously thought.

The figure released Thursday was nearly $1.1 billion. The previous estimate from Walker's office was about $740 million. Wisconsin lawmakers would have to erase that deficit when they put the 2019-2021 budget together.

Leaders of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee have questioned the spending approach in the past. The final budget will have to be balanced because that is required under the state Constitution.

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Bill would allow for expansion of EMT service

MADISON — A bipartisan measure introduced Wednesday would help communities expand the service EMTs and paramedics provide to people across Wisconsin.

The Assembly Committee on Health held a public hearing on the bill Wednesday that would define statewide standards for Community Emergency Medical Services. The legislation would allow local hospitals, ambulance companies and municipal EMTs to deliver non-emergency care to people in their homes under the medical direction of a physician, and could consist of preventive care or chronic disease management.

Democratic Rep. Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point, along with Republican Rep. Amy Loudenbeck of Clinton, and Republican Sen. Terry Moulton backed the bill. Supporters say it would help bridge the gap in medical shortages that often plague rural communities.