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Capital City Sunday: Tobacco 21, retirements at the Capitol & prescription drug costs

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Last year, President Trump signed a bill to raise the federal tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21, but dozens of states like Wisconsin are running into difficulties trying to enforce it.

While most stores are following federal law, without the state passing their own Tobacco 21 law, local law enforcement can't enforce it.

Nicole Hudzinski with the American Heart Association explains why it's crucial state lawmakers pass a bill to merge federal and state law.

Hudzinski says if lawmakers don't approve the proposal in the State Senate, the state is at risk of losing millions in federal funding for substance abuse.

RETIREMENTS

There will be plenty of turnover at the Capitol as dozens of lawmakers are not seeking re-election next year.

Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) explains why after 26 years in the Legislature it's time to retire. The moderate Republican shares his advice to the party and fights back against criticism on his views on education.

PBMs

An effort to lower prescription drug costs and increase access to pharmacies is gaining moment at the Capitol. It's the first time in years a proposal targeting pharmacy benefit managers passed out of committee.

PBMs are the distributors who negotiate drug costs between manufacturers and consumers.

The bipartisan bill was previously opposed by insurance companies and the state Chamber of Commerce.

Rob Gunderman, with Wisconsin Pharmacy Patient Protection Coalition and Laura Chastain, an MS patient, discuss how the proposal is part of a nationwide push to do something about rising prescription drug prices.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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