Click It or Ticket

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Wisconsin’s primary enforcement seat belt law. Since the law took effect in June of 2009, Wisconsin’s seat belt use rate has climbed from 74 percent in 2009, to just over 89 percent today. Over the last decade alone, numerous motorists in Wisconsin have avoided serious injury or death thanks to the simple click of a seat belt.

Still, law enforcement and other emergency responders see far too many people who make the dangerous — and frankly — irresponsible decision to not wear a safety belt. Last year, about half of the car and truck occupants killed in Wisconsin traffic crashes were not buckled up. These needless tragedies devastate families and generate enormous societal costs. As part of our larger public safety mission, Waterloo Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin as part of the national Click It or Ticket mobilization May 20 to June 2.

Across our state and nation, officers will work in greater numbers for longer hours – not to simply stop and cite motorists – but to encourage everyone to voluntarily comply with traffic laws that serve to keep the public safe. During Click It or Ticket — and throughout the year — our goal is to ensure that all motorists are safely buckled up — every seat, every trip.

Lt. Tracy Thom

Waterloo Police Department

Medicaid for all

At this moment, Gov. Tony Evers and the Legislature are working on the biennial budget. The Governor’s budget includes, among other things, accepting Medicaid expansion funds, also known as Badgercare, so that 80,000 more very low income individuals will have access to health care. This measure is right and worthy.

We need the funding to help families take care of themselves and to free up public funds to invest in other programs. Plus, it’s our money. Medicaid funding comes in part from payroll and other taxes that workers have already paid. Not surprisingly, the people of Wisconsin overwhelmingly support expanding Medicaid.

But if Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald and his colleagues have their way, this plan will be stripped from the state budget. Representatives Barbara Dittrich has joined the chorus against Medicaid expansion funding. Fitzgerald says it will increase the Federal deficit. Dittrich claims it is duplicative coverage. These scare tactics don’t hold up, and they detract from the real issue — that health coverage for more very low wage workers can be achieved without harm to the economy or the budget, yet the Republican lawmakers who control the Legislature are bent refusing to help people who need it most.

We won’t sit still for this. Contact your representative. Tell them that now is the time for Wisconsin to join with the majority of states and accept Medicaid expansion, for everyone’s benefit.

Leslie DeMuth

Lake Mills

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