2/13/18

From the League of Women Voters Wisconsin:
The State Assembly will vote this Thursday in Special Session on ten proposals from Gov. Walker to change Wisconsin’s systems designed to assist people in poverty. The Senate is expected to take them up as early as Tuesday, Feb. 20.

TAKE ACTION:  Contact your State Senator and Assembly Representative soon and urge them to reject the Special Session bills on welfare reform.
Background.  While some of the bills propose changes that may help a small percentage of low-income individuals, the proposals in general would not result in meaningful change. Unfortunately, they are mostly about increasing the barriers faced by struggling families which is neither a humane nor efficient way to help people train and successfully compete for a good job. Further, this misguided effort will cost Wisconsin taxpayers $90 million. Imagine how that money could be used to benefit Wisconsin workers!
The majority of people in our state who receive FoodShare and other government benefits already face substantial barriers to improved employment: many have disabilities that limit their options; they may be single mothers with children and inadequate access to good child care; many have chronic or acute health concerns that require frequent—perhaps daily—treatment regimens; they may lack access to good transportation to work, daycare or medical appointments; they may lack modern skills to meet employers’ technical requirements; they may live in constant fear of domestic violence and sabotage to their employment prospects.  
Instead of increasing barriers to accessing assistance, lawmakers should develop proposals that will: help families with their transportation problems; provide good, neighborhood child care that is available at all times, which is needed by shift workers; ensure that people are receiving needed medical care; expand training opportunities for the modern job market; and provide that available jobs pay a family-sustaining wage.
Unemployment in Wisconsin is approaching historically low levels. Employers and the government need to work together to expand the labor force to meet the increasing demand for skilled employees. This cannot be done by making it harder for low-wage workers to access supplements to their low wages. It can only be done by expanding the opportunities for families to participate in the modern labor market. 
As they stand, the Special Session proposals will not help the state move forward, and lawmakers should reject them.
To find your own legislators, click here and enter your address above Find Your Legislators, near the little map of Wisconsin.