Students in Stevens Point support teachers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Students in Stevens Point support teachers

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By Mike Haberle - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- Some UW-Stevens Point students make it clear; they don't like what's happening in Madison.

"I looked up the bill and looked at the amendments that Scott Walker is trying to make. It honestly made me sick to my stomach. When I found out people were coming here today to gather and protest against it, I mean of course," UWSP Student Dana Smith said.

More than 100 students gathered at the sun dial on UWSP's campus.

Many of the protesters were students, but several staff members joined in.

"Governor Walker is saying that he basically doesn't want to talk to anybody. He doesn't want to talk with employees about addressing issues. He wants to deal with it on his own, and I think that's the biggest issue that people have," UWSP staff member Jeremy Solin.

While collective bargaining is an important issue to many workers, he also says there are other pressing issues.

"Collective bargaining and increased costS for health insurance and things like that are not good. There are also a lot of things in [the bill] a lot of people don't know about, such as the impact to Badger Care and other health programs that affect a lot more than just public workers. I think that's the story that's not getting out," Solin said.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau says state statutes for Badger Care Plus, Medicaid and Medicaid for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled currently outline who is eligible, what services are offered, and how the health care provider is reimbursed. They say under the new proposal, the department of health services has the ability to make changes to certain health care programs. Those changes can conflict with state statutes, but they must meet federal law.

"I wouldn't be here if it were really about a pay cut for myself. This is really about the well-being of all people in our state," UWSP staff member Jesse Haney said.

The protest consisted mainly of students, but there were some staff that came out to show their appreciation.

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