February 2, 2018

Volume 4 Issue 2


State Representative Janel Brandtjen

Welfare Reform

As you may already be aware, Governor Walker has called a special session of the Legislature to address Wisconsin's public benefits programs. There are ten special session bills that have been sent to the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform, of which I am a member. Wednesday, the ten bills were given a joint hearing with the Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing & State-Federal Relations and the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform.

The special session bills represent changes in the way we administer benefits to those who need assistance, along with modifications on work requirements, job training, means testing, and photo ID. The bills are designed to promote personal responsibly, limit fraud, and reduce waste. Below is a very short summary of the bills, with links to the full bill text.

January 2018 Special Session

Assembly Bill 1- Current law requires able-bodied adults without children to work 20 hours per week. This bill would require them to work 30 hours per weeks.

Assembly Bill 2 - Would include able-bodied adults without children under the age of six in AB 1.

Assembly Bill 3 - Would modify financial eligibility requirements for recipients of FoodShare, Wisconsin Works, and Wisconsin Shares.

Assembly Bill 4 - Would establish employment screening and plans for residents in public housing.

Assembly Bill 5 - Would modify the way the Earned Income Tax Credit would be paid over the course of the year.

Assembly Bill 6 - Modifies performance based bonuses to contractors that administer Wisconsin Works, FoodShare, and training programs.

Assembly Bill 7 - Establishes a "pay for success" trust fund. Authorizes the state to enter into contracts with providers of social, employment, or correctional programs that include performance incentives.

Assembly Bill 8 - Current law requires recipients of public benefits to cooperate in establishing paternity of a child. This bill expands that to also cooperating in child support enforcement and requires those who pay child support to be current in their payments.

Assembly Bill 9 - Requests a waiver from the federal government to establish a Health Savings Account program for the Medical Assistance program.

Assembly Bill 10 - Would require a photo ID for the FoodShare program.

All of these bills were heard in the joint committee on Wednesday of this week. The bill authors and committee members will work on amending the bills and we should have the final product early next week. I believe that these bills represent improvements to our current welfare system. We will need to see the final versions before moving forward.


God Bless Wisconsin!



Helping people to achieve their dreams is the most compassionate thing we can do.












Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 221 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367

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