Response to Welfare Reform Bills

Mental Health Task Force / Make It Work Milwaukee Update

Yesterday, the Wisconsin Legislature held a special session to pass Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform legislation authored by Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senator Chris Kapenga (R – Delafield). The Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force worked in coalition with over 60 Wisconsin organizations to review the proposals and identify concerns regarding the impact of some of these proposals on low income people, including people with mental illness and other disabilities and their families.

Because of these concerns, the MHTF Steering Committee agreed to sign on the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force to a joint letter to Governor Walker and legislators sharing our concerns and our interest in working with legislators to craft alternative proposals that will truly address barriers to work and lead to stable employment and paths out of poverty. See below for a link to the statement and it is also attached. Several disability organizations, including DRW, testified at the hearing. It is our understanding that the bill authors indicated they are looking to clear up the disability exemption language in the bills. The bills use different terms - some use able-bodied with definitions and some without definitions (like the public housing bill), others use “elderly, blind, or disabled.” The bills may be headed to executive session as soon as today.,

Link to Joint Statement on Special Session Bills: http://www.milwaukeemhtf.org/2018/01/31/joint-statement-special-session-bills/

Here is a link to the Governor’s posting regarding these proposals: https://walker.wi.gov/press-releases/wisconsin-works-everyone-governor-walker-calls-special-session-welfare-reform

Several organizations issues Action Alerts regarding these bills. Some links are provided below:

If you want to contact your legislators regarding these proposals, here’s how to find their contact information – go to this link and enter your address in the right hand corner: https://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on February 02, 2018

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