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Committee approves FamilyCare expansion

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

The state's budget committee approved more money Thursday to expand the Family Care program.

The Joint Finance panel voted 14-1 to spend almost $80 million to help more seniors and disabled people live in community-based settings instead of nursing homes.

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The funding is about $2 million less than what Gov. Jim Doyle requested.

Also, the committee scrapped Doyle's idea to take away the Legislature's oversight of the program.

Kitty Rhoades, committee co-chair, said the governor's plan would force counties to take part and there's not a clear vision of what might happen.

Seven counties have Family Care now.

It started with a pilot program in five counties and lawmakers agreed last year to expand it statewide eventually.

Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, said future generations will be thankful Family Care is in place because it gives clients more living options.

But Rep. Robin Vos, R-Racine, who cast the only no vote, called it a massive government expansion.

Vos said it might cost millions more than anyone expects.

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