MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A suicide prevention hotline will receive a boost in funding under a unanimous vote by the Wisconsin Legislature’s budget committee following a bitter partisan fight.
The Republican-controlled budget panel on Wednesday approved the $110,000 annual grant. The vote came a week after a Republican-led suicide prevention task force recommended releasing the money.
The funding had been approved as part of the state budget signed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in July. But Republicans who control the budget committee refused to make it available for the Hopeline suicide prevention hotline until after the task force released its recommendations.
Democrats pushed unsuccessfully for the funding to be available sooner, arguing lives were at stake.
The hotline is run by the nonprofit Center for Suicide Awareness based in Kaukauna. It provides immediate help to people in crisis by sending text messages.