State Assembly Voting on Welfare Reform Bills February 15th

Mental Health Task Force/ Make It Work Milwaukee Update

As we shared with you previously, Governor Walker called a Special Session on Welfare Reform Legislation. The Governor and members of the Wisconsin legislature have introduced ten bills that will change requirements for people using FoodShare, public housing, Medicaid, and other benefits.

These bills are quickly advancing through the Legislature. The State Assembly plans to vote on the 10-bill package on February 15. See a description of the bills below.

Action Needed
Call your State Legislators to share how people with disabilities and their families will be affected by these bills.

Things to talk about:

  • These bills are moving fast. We should slow down the process to include input from people with disabilities.

  • The bills use different language and definitions to exempt some people with disabilities but not others. People with disabilities may use several different programs and having different definitions will be confusing for people with disabilities and people who work in these programs.

  • These bills also should not apply to people who are caregivers for people with disabilities.

  • These bills will cost millions to administer. This money could be used for other programs to help people get to work.

Here is a link to all of the bills.
You can find your State legislators here.

The 10-bill package includes:

Increasing Work Requirements for FoodShare Recipients: Senate Bill 1/Assembly Bill 1 would increase the required number of work and training hours for able-bodied adults without dependent children enrolled in the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program from 20 hours per week to 30 hours per week.

Required Employment and Training for FoodShare Recipients: Senate Bill 2/Assembly Bill 2 would require all able-bodied adults to participate in the FoodShare employment and training (FSET)program in order to remain eligible for FoodShare (food stamps). Adults who are caring for children under 6 years old and students who are enrolled in school at least part-time would be exempt from the work requirements. An amendment adopted to the bill would also narrow the circumstances when an FSET participant could qualify for child care subsidies through Wisconsin Shares to the job search and work experience components of FSET. Currently, any FSET activities count as qualifying activities for Wisconsin Shares.

Asset Limits for FoodShare, Wisconsin Works and Wisconsin Shares: Senate Bill 3/Assembly Bill 3 would create new asset limits for FoodShare (food stamps), Wisconsin Works and Wisconsin Shares in addition to the existing liquid asset limits. The new requirements would prohibit individuals from accessing these programs if they own a home that is worth more than 200% of the statewide median home value or a personal vehicle worth more than $20,000.

Drug Screening for Public Housing/Employability Plans: Senate Bill 4/Assembly Bill 4 would require public housing authorities to develop employability plans for underemployed and unemployed public housing residents. It would also require individuals determined to be underemployed or unemployed by the public housing authority to take a drug screen or drug test.

EITC Periodic Payment Program: Senate Bill 5/Assembly Bill 5 creates a two-year pilot program that would provide monthly payments to 100 eligible earned income tax credit (EITC) recipients. If the program works well, it will be made permanent.

Performance Payments for Public Assistance Administrators: Senate Bill 6/Assembly Bill 6 creates a pay-for-performance program for entities that perform administrative functions for the Wisconsin Works (W-2) and the FoodShare employment and training programs.

Social Impact Bonds/Pay-for-Success: Senate Bill 7/Assembly Bill 7 sets up a framework for pay-for-success contracting in Wisconsin including legislative oversight measures. The state would be allowed to enter into a contract with a service provider and pay them based on outcomes related to social, employment, or correctional services. The bill also directs state agencies to conduct a study of current programming to determine whether, and how, pay-for-success contracting could be implemented as an alternative to current funding models.

Child Support Compliance for Medicaid Eligibility: Senate Bill 8/Assembly Bill 8 would require both custodial and non-custodial parents to cooperate with child support enforcement efforts in order to remain eligible for Medicaid. Pregnant women would be exempted from this requirement.

Health Savings Accounts for Medicaid Enrollees: Senate Bill 9/Assembly Bill 9 would establish Health Savings Accounts for individual Medicaid recipients. Wisconsin is currently in the process of implementing premium and co-pay requirements for childless adults on BadgerCare. Currently, all individuals who use BadgerCare have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level.

Requirements to Place Photo IDs on FoodShare Cards: Senate Bill 10/Assembly Bill 10 would place photo IDs on FoodShare cards and require recipients to present these photo IDs when purchasing food using their benefit cards.

Back to Peace of Mind Advocacy at Work.
Back to peace of mind
Back to top

Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on February 12, 2018

Legal Information |  Designed and built by Emergency Digital. | Hosted by Steadfast Networks