Boots & Sabers

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1813, 26 Nov 19

Evers’ veto harms state’s most vulnerable citizens

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here’s a sample:

In light of the CNA shortage and the relative inelasticity of wages, the Republicans in the Legislature passed a bill to try to increase the number of available CNAs from other states. The bill was simple. Federal rules require that a CNA receive 75 hours of training with 16 hours of clinical experience. Wisconsin requires 120 hours of training with 32 hours of clinical experience. The bill that the Republicans in the Legislature passed would have allowed CNAs who meet the federal standard to work in Wisconsin.

Twenty other states use the federal standard including the neighboring states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan. There is no evidence that the additional 45 hours of training that Wisconsin requires has any appreciable impact on the quality of care. Not having enough CNAs in a facility to do the work definitely has a negative impact on the quality of care. By allowing CNAs who meet the federal standard to work in Wisconsin, it would have immediately increased the number of CNAs available — especially in areas near the western and northern borders.

Last week, Governor Evers vetoed the bill in its entirety. In his veto message, Evers said, “I object to providing less training for those who care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” despite any evidence that adopting the federal standard will harm care. One thing is certain: The quality of care is zero if nobody is available to provide the care.

While pronouncing concern for our state’s most vulnerable citizens, Governor Evers’ veto will harm them the most.



1813, 26 November 2019


  1. Mar

    As a former CNA, I can tell Evers is full of crap.
    The reality is that almost everything you learn in class is thrown out the window the first day you work on the unit.
    And because CNAs work in so many types of situations, you can train them for 2 years and not cover all aspects of being a CNA.
    The extra classroom time does nothing to help a CNA but the increase of on the job training does help.

  2. dad29

    FWIW, the nursing and CNA lobbies have done a good job of keeping the supply of “qualified” people very tight in this State.

    Evers is dumb as a box of rocks, in addition to being full of crap.

    He is Maggie Gau’s office boy and does what he’s told.

  3. Jason

    In reality our states most vulnerable citizens are unborn babies while a Democrat leads. Oh never mind, they aren’t citizens… they are “choices”.

    In reality our states most vulnerable citizens are honest tax paying citizens while a Democrat leads.

  4. Kevin Scheunemann

    Disgusting liberalism….always insensitive to needs of the most vulnerable.

  5. Le Roi du Nord

    No surprise that the folks usually opposing education would come out against higher training standards.  Myself, I prefer the smartest and best trained folks I can get to address the healthcare needs of my family and me.

  6. jjf

    Evidence for laws?  You must be new here.

  7. Owen

    Of course training is important. But at some point there are diminishing returns and additional training just becomes an artificial barrier to entry. The evidence is that the 20 other states that use the federal standards have no measurable deficiency in quality attributable to the training standards. As Mar said (and I can validate based on CNAs in my family), most of CNA work is so variable that it is learned on the job.

  8. Mar

    Let Roi, you have no idea what you are talking about, which is par for the course.
    So, where does the extra training go to? Hospital? Nursing Homes? Home health? Hospice? Mental hospitals? Group homes for the disabled? Private service?

  9. jjf

    Bring on the evidence!  I’d like to hear why Wisconsin has the rules and requirements that it does, and why the Feds are different.  And they could and should be, right – state’s rights, experimental democracy and all that.

    There are plenty of people who have received CNA training in the past.  Just not enough money, you say, to make the job look more attractive, so the free market approach can’t work?  There’s regulation and licensing in many markets.  Yes, it’s a government distortion, but it’s an even one in this case, right?  All facilities in WI are subject to it.

    My cynical side says there’s politics in here somewhere and probably campaign donors.  So which WisGOP force wants to not pay any more than they’re paying now?

    Here’s a CNA service who thinks WI’s training period isn’t enough.

  10. Merlin

    Base standards for nursing in Wisconsin has changed. CNAs are often nursing students resume building on their way to their BSN, RN so they’re temporary employees at best. This is nothing new. They’ve been used as lowly paid nursing interns forever, which might account for why Wisconsin has higher than federal standards for certification. As nursing goes you may start out as a CNA but you sure don’t try to make a career of it. Not only are CNAs becoming somewhat scarce, but Wisconsin has also pretty much done away with the LPNs. I think Cardinal Stritch had the last AD, RN program and it’s extinct now too. RNs with a BSN seems to have become new the standard.

  11. Le Roi du Nord

    “additional training just becomes an artificial barrier to entry”


  12. jjf

    I agree, Le Roi, it’s a pretty slim “barrier.”  Sure, it exists, but it’s not much.

    I suspect it’s something more important, like a WisGOP donor who has a business handling CNAs, and they’d love to be able to recruit across the border to IL.

  13. Le Roi du Nord


    Correct. I can’t picture an employer choosing the least trained from a list of candidates.

  14. Kevin Scheunemann


    You are very ignorant. Volunteer firefighters are at a crisis point because of all the additional required training added in last decade. No one has 60-100 hours to invest in training to do something volunteer.

    Of course additional training requirements kills enthusiasm in anything!

    Do you walk through life this clueless on everything?

  15. Mar

    Let Roi, unless you’ve worked as a CNA or in the medical working directly with patients, you don’t have a clue.
    Being a CNA is so much more than a few hours in class and additional, especially when it is not a lot of hours of extra training, doesn’t make you a better CNA.
    To be a good CNA, you need to have patience, sometimes compassionate or other times being a hard ass, you need to have a strong stomach and intuition. They don’t teach that in CNA classes.

  16. Le Roi du Nord

    “Of course additional training requirements kills enthusiasm in anything!”

    Really?  Any proof of that or just your opinion.

    FYI.  I have had lot’s of training of various sorts (under grad and graduate coursework, college baseball, marksmanship, hundreds of hours of coaching clinics, etc), and in every case the more I trained and learned, the more I appreciated the activity.  It is a shame that you are so uninterested in knowledge.  And you call me clueless. Ha.


    No I’m not a CNA.  But I don’t have to be a surgeon, or a pilot, or a heavy equipment operator to understand the value of knowledge.  Don’t you?

  17. Kevin Scheunemann


    Talk to any fire chief.

    Additional liberal training mandates always kill enthusiasm…

    It’s amazing you can function day to day wanting to regulate others into the ground. By the time you get your own, liberal, self imposed regulating paperwork done to get out of bed, the sun must be setting….

    But we all know, you would never inflict harmful regulation on yourself as an authoritarian stooge.

  18. jjf

    I would guess any additional fire-fighter training hour requirements were added by fire fighter management and teachers who know the field, not George Soros or Bill Clinton.

  19. Le Roi du Nord


    In my role as town chair I have talked to fire chiefs from many jurisdictions, at length, about the lack of volunteers, and none of them expressed concern about the training requirements.  But rather that most potential volunteers now commuted to work 30+ miles and were unable get off and to a fire when the pager call went out.  We do have an active junior program that attracts HS age kids, but unless they stick around after graduation they won’t be available to us.  Perhaps it is different in your municipality, but your claims are certainly not valid up here.

    And why do you feel that training “mandates” a “liberal” function?  Ours are based on best practices, constantly evolving equipment and technology, and safety and liability concerns, both for the firefighter and the resident or victim.  You would think that you, as an elected official, would be most concerned about the health, safety, and well being of the volunteers and those they are protecting rather than providing too much training.

    The rest of your rant is just utter nonsense, not doubt uttered in response to your frustration at once again being out witted by common sense.

    Have a great Thanksgiving.  I will (and already am).


  20. Mar

    Le Roi, you must not have talked to too many fire chiefs then. I suggest you read Firehouse magazine and Fire Rescue 1 to get a more accurate view.

  21. Mar

    Le Roi, there is classroom knowledge and on the job training and for a CNA, months job training is far more valuable than classwork.
    It would be nice if there was more on the job training but liberals would decry that as being slave labor for the corporate companies that own nursing homes.

  22. jjf

    I guess the take-way from all this is that continuing education in any profession is for suckers and is a damper on the free market, and no doubt planted by Evers and Soros.  All those firefighters, EMTs, doctors, lawyers…  all suckers.  You learn something once, what else do you need to know?

    A CNA is as good as they need to be and that they will ever need to be, once they meet the Fed requirements!  So sayeth Americans for Prosperity!

  23. Kevin Scheunemann


    You are blind if no fire chiefs mentioned it…

    You clearly have communication issues with your fellow man.

  24. Mar

    Jjf, perhaps you didn’t know but CNAs have to get yearly training after they are certified. I think it’s about 25 hours.
    Plus, to become a CNA, you have to pass a written and practical test.

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