April 21, 2017

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The Week in Review

Mitigating the Child Care Cliff

This week I had the opportunity to testify on a bill I authored, Assembly Bill 241.

Assembly Bill 241 reforms Wisconsin Shares by mitigating what is known as the child care cliff.
Wisconsin Shares is a program that provides child care assistance to low-income working families. The program requires eligible participants to work and make a copayment based on their income to a childcare provider.

The current eligibility requirements create a benefit drop-off (child care cliff), discouraging participants from working more hours, and accepting promotions and raises. Under the current program, parents lose eligibility when their income exceeds 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) – approximately $40,000 for a family of three in 2017. At that point, the parents are cut-off from the program entirely. This poses a difficult choice for a parent considering the average annual cost of infant care in Wisconsin is the 13th highest in nation at $11,579.

This legislation will allow a parent to continue receiving assistance but will require a copayment of $1 for every $3 their income exceeds 200 percent FPL. This will allow a participant to seek promotions and raises without fear of losing child care assistance.

AB 241 passed with unanimous support in the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform! The bill is now headed to the full Assembly where it will get a vote in the coming months. 

Have a great week!

Thanks for Stopping By!

Alyssa Ricketts-Palmer, an Oak Creek resident with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, stopped by the office during the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s lobby day. It was a pleasure to meet a constituent from our district and discuss some important legislative issues! Thanks for visiting!


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State Capitol Room 204 - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-0610
Email: Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wi.gov