Madison, WI – Dental care in some parts of rural Wisconsin can be difficult to access – but legislation authored by Rep. Tony Kurtz (Wonewoc) and Sen. Patrick Testin (Stevens Point) aims to alleviate the region’s dental shortage.


“Bailey’s Bill,” which would create a scholarship program at the Marquette University School of Dentistry -Wisconsin’s only dental school – for students who agree to provide dental service in a Wisconsin rural dental health professional shortage area (DHPSA), passed the Assembly on Thursday by a vote of 95 to 2. 


“This bill is named for a constituent of mine, Bailey Miller, who wants to become a dentist and practice in a rural area. Our bill enables rural communities to compete with the opportunities they’d find in more urban areas,” said Rep. Kurtz.


Senator Testin was pleased with the continued bi-partisan support for the bill, a trend he hopes to see continue.


“Today’s bi-partisan vote in the Assembly continues a trend that started in the Assembly Committee on Health and continued in the Joint Committee on Finance,” said Sen. Testin. “Improving access to dental care is an important issue in Central and Western Wisconsin, and I hope that the Senate and Governor will back this bill as well.”


The bill, which is co-authored by Rep. Jesse James (Altoona) and Sen. Tom Tiffany (Minocqua) is a priority of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative – a group of legislators committed to bridging the gap between rural and urban areas. For more information, please visit

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