The state Department of Natural Resources wants Gov. Scott Walker to shift more employees to regulating factory farms in the next state budget.

Walker's administration released state agencies' 2017-19 budget requests Friday. The DNR's request includes a plan to shift four positions to regulating the farms, saying the factory farm program has grown significantly, from 40 operations in 1995 to 285 today. The agency says the four new workers would help ensure adequate staffing to review permit applications and reissuances and monitor compliance.

The request doesn't specify which divisions would lose the employees.


10:30 a.m.

The state Department of Corrections is asking Gov. Scott Walker to spend millions in the next state budget to add staff at Wisconsin's troubled youth prison.

Walker's administration released state agencies' 2017-19 budget requests on Friday. Corrections' wants $1.3 million to hire nine nurses to administer medication at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls, the state's joint youth prison in Irma. The agency also wants $2.4 million to create 8.25 additional counselor positions to help the prison come into compliance staff-to-juvenile rations determined by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.

The prison is the subject of a sweeping federal investigation into allegations of widespread abuse of inmates by staff. The probe has been going on for more than a year.


8:54 a.m.

Wisconsin health officials are asking Gov. Scott Walker to increase Medicaid spending by $452 million in the upcoming state budget.

Department of Health Services Secretary Linda Seemeyer wrote that the money would come out of state tax dollars. She noted that the last three state budgets increased state spending on Medicaid by $650 million, $685 million and $1.6 billion.

Seemeyer wrote that the smaller increase for 2017-19 stems from better care coordination, efforts to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and improved oversight of managed care contracts.

Walker will consider the request as he crafts his executive budget. He'll present the budget early next year to the Legislature, which will revise it before passing a final version.