MADISON – Foster children could attend University of Wisconsin schools for free under legislation that the Assembly is scheduled to take up Tuesday.
Assembly Bill 777 is one of a series of bills to help at-risk children that is coming before lawmakers in the Legislature’s hectic final weeks.
In the Wisconsin Kids in Crisis series, USA Today Network-Wisconsin documented how a rise in the abuse of drugs like heroin has contributed to an increased demand for foster families and foster child services.
FULL COVERAGE: Kids in Crisis
State officials have taken modest steps to help foster families such as providing 2.5% increases in foster care rates for this year and the following year.
The latest legislation would go further by waiving all tuition and fees not covered by grants and scholarships for foster children. The legislation would cover up to 12 semesters at UW System campuses and at state technical colleges.
Other bills before the Assembly Tuesday include AB 784, which would create a pilot program that would ensure legal representation for parents involved in a child abuse or neglect case.
In separate action, the Assembly is also expected to take up AB 770, which would broadly reduce local government restrictions on new housing developments in Wisconsin.
The proposal would limit local government fees for items such as stormwater runoff and overrule local restrictions on weekend construction.
The bill would also allow local governments to award subsidies known as tax incremental financing districts to real estate companies that develop new neighborhoods of affordable single-family homes on one-quarter acre or less.
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