Health care, Governors coming to WI, 9/11 remembered

Lawmakers of both political parties are working together to advance a measure at the State Capitol to provide health insurance for the families of police officers who die in the line of duty. Senate Bill 18 has a public hearing in the State Assembly today.

Current Wisconsin law requires cities, villages and towns cover health insurance premiums for a surviving spouse and dependent children of a firefighter who dies in the line of duty, but not a police officer.

In the Senate, the measure is sponsored by Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar). During his testimony on the bill in its Senate committee, Wanggaard said:

“As a former Racine police officer for almost thirty years, I know first hand the dangers that many officers face. An officer entering a situation has many thoughts going through their mind. Evaluating the tactical situation, considering public safety, and negotiation strategies are all of critical importance. The last thing an officer needs to be worrying about is whether or not their family will be protected coverage if something bad should happen to them.”

The measure will be in front of the Assembly Committee on Urban and Local Affairs this morning.

HELLO GOVERNOR

The nations governors will hold their national meeting in Wisconsin in 2013.

Gov. Scott Walker made the announcement this morning that the National Governors Association convention would be coming to Milwaukee on Aug.2-4, 2013. The state previously hosted the country’s chief executives in 1914 and 1998.

In a news release, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who chairs the National Governors Association, said “Milwaukee will serve as an excellent setting for the nation’s governors to come together and meet in bipartisan forums on the critical issues facing our states and America.”

“A TIME TO REMEMBER, A TIME TO PREPARE”

There will be a lot of conversation over the next couple weeks about security as we close in on 10 years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Wisconsin’s Emergency Management (WEM) is using the event to better  prepare families in case of any kind of future emergency.

A statewide public service announcement (posted below) will be run on commercial television stations throughout Wisconsin during September, encouraging them to remember what happened on 9/11 but also to be ready for what they could encounter in the future.

“Recent deadly tornadoes in Wisconsin and the wide spread destruction of Hurricane Irene show the importance of being prepared,” said WEM Administrator Brian Satula in a news release announcing the campaign. “We never know when emergencies and disasters will strike – that’s why it is important to be ready now.”

Among the things emergency responders encourage you to do is have an emergency response plan for everyone in your family and a kit of basic supplies (i.e. bottled water, flashlights, batteries and more).

For more details  of how you can get ready, click here: http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/default.asp

The PSA is called, “A Time to Remember, A Time to Prepare.”

MORE 9/11 INFORMATION

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is out with a study showing Wisconsin is poised to lose federal security funding as the nation more directly targets money toward more likely targets of terrorism.

The Chippewa Herald has the full story, but it’s worrying local firefighters and police officers.

As the Center reports: “Wisconsin’s homeland security funding has declined sharply, from a height of more than $75 million in 2004 to between $16 million and $26 million this year. Such funding pays for hazardous materials response training, supports intelligence-gathering centers in Milwaukee and Madison and allows local agencies to buy equipment, such as the $400,000 mobile Emergency Command Center purchased by Dane County in 2004.”

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