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Rep. Ron Kind holds listening session in Eau Claire, focuses on health care, helping farmers

Eau Claire (WQOW) — Representative Ron Kind was in Eau Claire Monday, listening to concerns from constituents.

At the American Legion Post 53, Rep. Kind announced his plans for the upcoming congressional session. He told those attending he will focus on lowering healthcare costs, helping local farmers, making college more affordable among other things.

Kind also listened to a number of concerns, from prescription drug costs to immigration.

A Chippewa Falls woman raised concern about teachers wearing too many hats when it comes to helping children with disabilities, and the lack of funding that was promised federally.

“IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as Nicole pointed out, she’s absolutely right. We’ve never lived up to the promise, to the full cost share that the federal government is supposed to provide local school districts to address children with special needs,” Kind said.

According to the National Education Association, full federal cost share would be 40 percent, however what’s been provided is about 17 percent. Kind claimed funding should be considered in the federal education budget to help teachers provide a better learning environment for each student.

Prior to the listening session, Kind announced his annual office budget savings. Kind said his office will be returning over $100,000 in taxpayer money to the federal treasury this year, to help reduce the national deficit.

Samantha Wensel

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