Local Democratic representatives host budget listening session, asking residents to weigh in

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – Local Democratic lawmakers got input from residents on Governor Evers’ biennal state budget proposal Monday.

State Senator Jeff Smith and State Representative Jodi Emerson held a listening session covering a variety of topics, including legalizing marijuana, climate change and the capital budget recommendations denied by Republicans last week.

One resident told the lawmakers he’s concerned about Medicaid funds. He said there needs to be more money for direct care workers. “Julie and I are unable to find anybody to work for us under $12 an hour because that’s what the state allows us to pay right now for personal care,” Jason Endres told News 18. “We’re one fall away in the shower and we end up in the nursing home, or worse.”

Overall, Endres said he’s happy with most of the budget proposals.

Representative Emerson said accepting Medicaid funds would be a big win for the state. “That can really change, as we heard tonight, 82,000 lives in this state having access to health care.”

Senator Smith will be hosting more listening sessions across the area. You can find the times and locations on his website here.

Justin Esterly

Justin Esterly

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