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March 2, 2008

Wisconsin Legislature Still Split on Virtual Schools, Autism

Patrick Marley:

As the Legislature heads into the last days of its session, Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on bills that would protect virtual schools and expand health coverage for children with autism.

With the clock running out, nothing may happen this year on those issues. Then again, in the final frantic moments of legislative sessions, surprise compromises can arise, just as one did Thursday on ending the pay of fired Milwaukee police officers charged with serious crimes. Now, those officers continue to receive pay until they exhaust their appeals, which can take years.

The legislative session ends March 13, but lawmakers have not announced any meetings past next week.

The Assembly's latest meeting - which adjourned just before 5 a.m. Friday - bogged down over the autism bill. Democrats delayed a vote on the bill until Wednesday after Republicans who control the house rewrote it.

The version Senate Democrats passed Tuesday would require insurance companies to cover treatment for autism. Assembly Republicans changed the bill Friday to drop the insurance mandate and instead plow $6 million in state taxpayer money into a state autism program.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at March 2, 2008 7:30 AM
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