Heroin overdoses touch both Wisconsin political parties this week

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Heroin and its dangers hold with no political party, as Wednesday made starkly clear in Wisconsin. A former top Democratic Party official and an influential GOP lawmaker’s daughter are facing the scrutiny of law enforcement following separate overdose deaths in recent weeks. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

State Journal calls out Republicans for backtracking on their commitment to a clean state budget

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Back in April, we congratulated the Legislature’s finance committee for responsibly purging all non-fiscal policy from Gov. Walker’s state budget request. So much for that. The budget now heading to Walker’s desk is stuffed with dozens of non-fiscal policy decisions — some of them controversial and confusing — without public hearings or proper vetting. > Wisconsin State Journal

Tammy Baldwin, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan and Barry Alvarez among 60+ speakers coming to Cap Times Idea Fest

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The Cap Times Idea Fest offers two days of engaging discussions with leaders from the realms of politics, the economy, education, journalism and culture. Scheduled for Sep. 16-17 on the UW-Madison campus, additional confirmed speakers include Washington Post editor Martin Baron, writer David Maraniss, Wisconsin Never-Trumper Charlie Sykes, and former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Registration details here.

Legislature’s budget committee to resume voting this week

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After a two-month break, the Legislature’s budget-writing committee plans to resume work on the state’s spending plan this week. Committee co-chairs announced the panel will meet Thursday to vote on some remaining issues, although the agenda does not call for a vote on transportation funding, the biggest unresolved issue. The committee last met June 15. > Fox 11 WLUK

Nygren says Medicaid drug testing could be helpful

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Having spearheaded laws to address opioid addiction, Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) supports Gov. Walker’s proposal to drug test those on Medicaid, saying he believes it can help address widespread addiction in the state. But he feels it needs to “be done right”, and be presented to the budget committee for a vote. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Committee rejects Walker’s tax credit for post-foster care youth, pledges to find better strategy

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The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee this week rejected Gov. Walker’s budget proposal to create a refundable tax credit for young adults that have aged out of the foster care system, but the committee’s Republican leaders said more work will be done to figure out how best to serve that population.  >  The Cap Times

Committee’s idea to separate budget and roads funding goes over like lead balloon

The Republican leaders of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee are open to considering transportation funding as a separate bill from the biennial budget, they said Thursday — but the idea met immediate resistance from both Gov. Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.  >  The Cap Times