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Budget item would move Wisconsin Shares program to debit card system


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - If Governor Scott Walker has his way, parents of kids in the Wisconsin Shares’ child care program would get state-funded debit cards to pay for the care themselves. 

And the practice of care centers filing for state reimbursements would end under a measure in the governor’s state budget.

Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson told the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee Tuesday that centers would no longer be able to commit fraud, by filing false reimbursement requests.

That was a common practice a few years ago. Also, she said parents would get into the habit of making the payments themselves, so they can do it on their own when they no longer need state assistance.

But Senate Republican Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls said it might result in financial troubles for child care centers if they don’t get paid by the parents.

Also, lawmakers say it could result in a new type of fraud if parents sell the benefits on their debit cards to others. Anderson does not believe it would happen – and the state would be watching for it.