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Thursday - March 29, 2018 2:47 am

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin on Tomah VA, drugs and background checks

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During a roundtable discussion with city leaders in La Crosse, Sen. Tammy Baldwin gave her thoughts to reporters on drugs, guns and the Tomah VA.

Following the March for Our Lives rallies around the U.S., including La Crosse, Baldwin was a featured speaker at a Capitol Square rally in Madison. She strongly supports background checks as a way to prevent future school violence.

“I think the background checks have to be strengthened,” she said. “And this is something that enjoys the support of gun owners like myself and non-gun owners. There’s almost a 90 percent consensus around this.”

Baldwin also said people want to know why Congress can't get more done to approve certain gun restrictions.

When it comes to drugs, Baldwin argued for more treatment and prevention throughout the state. And she'd like to see more of that in rural areas that have limited access to medical care.

“Treatment available much more locally across the state,” she said. “ That is definitely going to involve both resources as well as health professionals willing and able to stand up and provide medication and … treatment.”

Baldwin is pleased to see medical and law enforcement professionals work together to seek solutions to drug addiction.

And, a full seven months before the U.S. Senate election, Wisconsin TV watchers have already been bombarded with commercials accusing Baldwin of doing little about the Tomah VA scandal.

Baldwin responded with her own ads, highlighting her record of helping vets. The senator told reporters in La Crosse this week that it's wrong to politicize veterans and the opioid scandal.

“In our VA hospitals in the state of WI we have seen a very significant decrease in numbers of veterans who are on high levels of high strength opioids,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin points out that she has worked across party lines with a Republican lawmaker to sponsor a reform bill named after Jason Simcacoski, a veteran who died of being over-medicated at the Tomah VA hospital.

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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