Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the winter meeting of the
free market Club for Growth winter economic conference
at the Breakers Hotel Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Palm
— Gov. Scott Walker once envisioned a world where the 11
million immigrants living in the country illegally could
embark on a path to citizenship.
But now the
Wisconsin Republican calls that position "amnesty"
and says his view has changed.
don't believe in amnesty," Walker told "Fox News
Sunday." ''My view has changed. I'm flat out saying it.
Candidates can say that."
emerged this past week in the top tier of potential
candidates for the Republican presidential nomination for
2016, says the U.S. needs to secure the border and
ultimately put in place "a legal immigration system
in part, putting the onus on employers and getting them the
tools to do that, like E-Verify, an existing federal program
that allows businesses to check the immigration status of
new hires, Walker said.
the Wausau, Wisconsin, Daily Herald newspaper in 2013 that
"it makes sense" when he was asked whether he
could see a world where "those people" could get
citizenship, with the right penalties, waiting periods and
requirements in place.
time, he supported a bipartisan approach to overhauling
immigration, with people waiting to get citizenship having
priority and others having a legal pathway to live here
said Sunday that President Barack Obama or "anybody
else who is willing to put their name on the ballot
certainly has to have the love for country to do that."
criticism last month after former New York Mayor Rudy
Giuliani questioned Obama's patriotism during a speech at a
Walker fundraiser. When asked about the former mayor's
comments, Walker sidestepped the question by saying he
hadn't asked Obama about his love of country.
Gov. Scott Walker's proposed cuts to programs that help
people with disabilities live independently are being
criticized as potentially devastating by advocates and those
who use the services.
proposed budget would expand the state's Family Care program
by Jan. 1, 2017, at which point all other long-term care
programs would be discontinued, including the IRIS program,
which benefits 11,000 adults with long-term care needs.
Walker has proposed cutting $14 million in funding to the
Family Care program over the next two years.
the Family Care program and cuts to the personal care
program could save the state $33 million over the next two
years, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported.
But advocates say the proposed overhaul would be difficult
to execute by 2017 and that questions remain as to how the
new statewide system would work.
Ellis said the proposed changes could force her 31-year-old
son Daniel, who has a cognitive disorder, to change doctors
and quit the job he works about 10 hours a week.
got dignity and self-respect, and that would be gone,"
said Ellis, whose son lives with her in Madison.
Yunker, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services,
said in a statement that Walker's proposal is aimed at
preventing fraud and abuse in the existing system and
creating a more coordinated care regimen.
Idzikowski, executive director of Disability Rights — a
group that advocates for people with disabilities — said
his organization was not consulted about Walker's plan that
the Legislature will debate over the next three months.
drastically restructure Family Care, which administers
personal care and long-term care services to elderly,
disabled and injured Wisconsinites through Medicaid, he
and large that system's working pretty well,"
Idzikowski said. "Nobody's saying we need to completely
eliminate this system and replace it with a different model.
I think everyone was surprised by these changes."
for the disabled contend that the changes would allow larger
for-profit organizations to enter the market, resulting in
fewer options for those with disabilities.
the state Medicaid fraud unit has been asked to investigate
more claims pertaining to IRIS's personal care program,
which allows for assistance for bathing, dressing and other
cares, than for any other Medicaid benefit. She said the
state doesn't keep track how many confirmed cases of such
fraud there were.
Swedeen, executive director of the Wisconsin Board of People
With Developmental Disabilities, said the cut to personal
care funding could be devastating to people who use the
service. Personal care services are essential to the
participants who receive them, she said.
someone doesn't go (check in) every day, they can develop
bed sores," Swedeen said. "There's a health
concern, a safety concern."
Walker's proposal, Family Care would incorporate acute and
primary care health services, as well as community-based
goal is to ensure that all of an individual's care is
coordinated — that there is some assessment to look at the
person's overall health," Yunker said.
existing care services do not coordinate care services
between acute and primary care providers.
self-directed care options will still be available for
participants, but that it's still unclear how those would
function. Upon passage of the budget, the model would be
worked out through a waiver negotiation process, she said.
Julie Endres, of Eau Claire, use IRIS to have help around
the house each week. He has spina bifida and his wife has
cerebral palsy, so they get help preparing healthy meals and
cleaning their home. He said losing the help wouldn't be
deadly, but it would change their quality of life.
wouldn't go hungry, we could do it ourselves. But it would
be a lot of pizza, a lot of order out," Jason Endres
the help of someone to vacuum or help change light bulbs,
"eventually we would be stuck in the dark," he
IRIS has allowed him to make decisions about his independent
lifestyle. He said he worries that could change under the
expanded Family Care program.
"I'm fearful I'll have someone telling me what I can or