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Gov. Tony Evers Continues Budget Listening Tour in Superior

Taylor Holt
Updated: April 16, 2019 05:53 AM

Funding for education, transportation and healthcare are among the many issues that hold importance in any community and are key components in Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers state budget. He was in Superior Monday to hear what it means for some wisconsinites, who expressed some emotional personal stories.

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For Claudine Collier-Fanaselle, it was a life or death situation with her daughter that brought her out to Monday night's budget listening session.

"She (my daughter) just had a bad day, and was talking suicide. She scared me to death," said Collier-Fanaselle. "The hospital ended up having to transport her 400 miles away to a facility, where she stayed for six days because she wasn't suicidal enough."

Her daughter has been out of the hospital for 3 months, but she says she still hasn't been able to get her in to see a therapist in the area.

"We just kept getting turned away," she said. "I'm just so appalled by the lack of mental care services in Superior and the surrounding area."

Her story was one of the many personal experiences and frustrations expressed to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and other legislators.  The issues discussed ranged from mental health resources to environmental issues.

"I want to hear what he has to say about the future and where we are going to take it, and his proposed plan to getting to clean renewable energy by 2050," said Kate Haga, a Freshman at UWS.

"I want to ask him a question about chronic wasting disease," said Jared Pearson, a Sophomore at the University. "I was a little disappointed that his budget didn't include any provisions for additional funding into research."

Following the nearly two-hour session, Evers said he has heard some common themes from people in the area.

"They feel that they are not being listened to, and I can understand that. That's why we are here," said Evers.

However, he says they are doing things in the budget to addresses important issues like mental health.

"We have a very aggressive healthcare budget that is going to take the Medicaid money that my predecessor did not take, and by taking that federal money, that expansion of Medicaid, that not only helps 82,000 people have more, and better healthcare, but it also allows us to have $300 million extra to invest in things like mental health," Evers said.

He also emphasized his support for increasing minimum wage to $15 an hour, and increasing funding at UWS. 

"If we expect the University system to do their job, we have to reverse the trend reverse we had and $150 million will go along way to do that," Evers added. 

Other hot topic issues discussed included fixing our roads, and the need for a more, fair criminal justice system. The Governor did get a standing ovation as he welcomed in tonight. He continues his tour in Eau Claire tomorrow.

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Taylor Holt

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