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State finance panel endorses mental health care bills

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Mental health care in Wisconsin will be improved under seven measures endorsed Wednesday by the Legislature's finance panel.  

The bills now go to the Senate for approval later in the session.  

Funding would be provided for things like crisis intervention training, consultations for child psychiatric help, primary care grants, and encouraging psychiatrists to work in underserved areas.

The measures were approved either unanimously, or with one no vote. Senate Republican Glenn Grothman of West Bend rejected three of the measures, but did not say why.  

Also Wednesday, the finance panel voted 8-7 to approve funding for a new student information database.

Hudson GOP Representative Dean Knudson says lawmakers should limit what can be collected. He fears that student privacy will be violated.  

Senate Education Chair Luther Olsen of Ripon said the data needs to be collected to make public schools more accountable.  

The measure allows multiple vendors to provide the software for the new database. Only one vendor had been approved -- Infinite Campus of Minnesota over Skyward of Stevens Point. Skyward successfully lobbied for multiple vendors, so it could keep the databases it had developed with individual school districts.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)