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Governor and others express need to reform child-care assistance program

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Officials from the governor on down are expressing the need to reform Wisconsin's child-care assistance program.

And they're also blaming each other for the fraud and abuse the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel uncovered over the past two days.

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Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin, said she has lost confidence in those who are supposed to oversee the $340-million program, and she wants a full-blown audit.

But Gov. Jim Doyle points his finger at legislators who refused to link state child-care aid to a rating system he wanted to adopt.

Lawmakers rejected it during the last two sessions, but Doyle hopes it can be passed this session.

The Journal-Sentinel reported some clients who are supposed to work for their child-care aid aren't doing so and they're submitting false statements that they're employed.

Also, the paper says families take care of each other's siblings to get state aid. Four Racine sisters have gotten over a half-million tax dollars doing that.

Racine County officials said they would investigate.

Meanwhile, the Journal-Sentinel reported it has received tips from more than 100 readers about other abuses.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker says there are not enough people to police the system and more needs to be done.

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