By Joe Bachman
On Nov. 8, incumbent and Rome resident Scott Krug will be taking on challenger David Gorski for the Wisconsin State Assembly District 72.
The City Times spoke to a confident Krug on his view on issues pertaining to Central Wisconsin, and his plans for office, if re-elected.
On groundwater concerns and CAFOs in Wisconsin —
“Because it’s something that is very much unique to our region, it’s taken a tremendous amount of effort and time to convince others in Madison of the severity of this problem. While I’d like to say I can make changes overnight in our state’s capitol, the truth is that nothing worth doing is going to happen overnight,” said Krug. “After banging on the office doors of all of my colleagues and that of the governor, I feel like we’ve finally made some headway in our efforts to educate others about the severity of the situation.”
A current Rome resident, Krug says that he is surrounded by lakes, and he continues work on this issue with his neighbors and residents. According to Krug, in efforts to help clean up lakes and beaches, he has funded bills that fund the removal of aquatic species and help stem excessive phosphorus from entering watersheds.
“As you may recall, back in 2014 I came out and said publicly that I didn’t believe the Town of Saratoga and our area groundwaters could support the proposed CAFO,” said Krug. “With your support, I’m convinced we can bring about meaningful changes this upcoming session to protect our area waters.”
On the condition of Wisconsin’s roads and infrastructure —
“As a prudent business-owner, my first priority is to examine cost-saving measures before proposing any sort of revenue enhancement,” said Krug. “We need to first ensure that what we’re doing is economical and not a waste of your tax dollars.”
Krug applauds the efforts of the Legislative Audit Bureau’s audit of the Department of Transportation, and looks to explore and consider any and all options for a sustainable solution to this issue.
“I worry that by continuing to increase our borrowing for our transportation needs, we’re only delaying the inevitable.”
On school voucher programs, and if they should be funded by taxpayer money —
“I’m a graduate of the Wisconsin Rapids public school system and my children also attend public schools here in our community,” said Krug. “I know first hand how great our area schools are and that’s why K-12 funding has been a top priority for me in our state budget.”
According to Krug, in other places around Wisconsin, some families aren’t as fortunate.
“The school choice program is about giving poor families and their children options for a better education, a better future and a better life,” said Krug. “Moving forward, I’ll continue to fight to fund our public K-12 schools.”
On the issue of heroin and methamphetamine use in Central Wisconsin —
“Without question, heroin, opioids and other drugs have had a devastating impact in our communities,” said Krug. “That’s why it’s more important than ever before that we equip our law enforcement officers with the tools they need to fight the spread of these drugs and the crime associated with them.”
Krug favors working at this problem on multiple fronts, including strengthening the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by partnering with physicians, law enforcement and pharmacists.
“I think there’s also a need for more treatment options that help those affected get their lives back together,” said Krug. “That’s why I have supported investments in our local treatment and diversion programs that provide alternatives to prosecution and incarceration.”
On the issue of creating jobs in our area —
“The key to a strong economy, a strong tax base and a strong central Wisconsin is to have well-trained workers filling good-paying jobs,” said Krug. “All too often when I meet with employers and local businesses, I hear about the number of jobs opening they have that continue to go unfilled.”
Krug says that he has focused on multiple initiatives to create job growth in the region, including the Wisconsin Fast Forward program which makes grants available for employers for training and learning skills.
“On a local level, I’ve also worked to help retain jobs and create new jobs here in central Wisconsin,” said Krug. “Most recently, I partnered with leaders from our local governments to support the development of a world-class golf facility in the Town of Rome.”
On the issue of student loan debt —
“When I look at what the cost of tuition was when I attended UW-Stevens Point to what it is now, just twenty years later, I’m shocked to see that the cost has more than quadrupled,” said Krug. “That’s why I’ve supported a historic, 4-year tuition freeze at the UW that’s saved an average of $6,300 per student. That’s real money for the 180,000 UW students and their families.”
Krug says he’s committed to other solutions to make higher education more affordable.
“This past session, I supported efforts that will create more internships in our communities, increased funding for technical college grants and helped to create a new program that awards students with emergency financial need in times of hardship.”
On the issue of healthcare in Wisconsin —
“First and foremost, we’re an aging state,” said Krug. “Right now, more than 20% of our state’s population is over the age of 60 and enrolled in Medicaid; a figure that is expected to grow greatly in the near future.”
Krug states that increases in enrollment for medicaid is now over the one million mark, and with that higher costs. Krug wants to make sure these dollars are well spent. He also advocates for extended rural care.
“I fought to cut through government red-tape that formerly prohibited telemedicine to help those living in rural areas,” said Krug. “I also voted to further allow mental health services in our schools to help kids get the early help they need.”