Legislature passes Shankland bill

Stevens Point Journal


Both the State Senate and Assembly passed a bill authored by Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, and Sen. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 274, which passed unanimously in the Senate and 90-4 in the Assembly, will increase access to workforce development services for people with disabilities by making an investment to capture full federal funding for the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The DVR provides resources for people with disabilities looking for work, including career guidance, job placement assistance, rehabilitation technology, job training, transportation, and more.

Because the 2013-15 state budget did not fully fund the DVR using federal dollars, over 4,100 people with disabilities remain on a waiting list for employment assistance. The bill will eliminate the waiting list by providing employment assistance to an additional 5,736 state residents with disabilities over the next two years.

“I’m proud to focus on helping people with disabilities find long-term employment,” Shankland said in a news release. “By investing in important workforce development services for people with disabilities, we can empower thousands of people by helping them find meaningful work. With a 210 percent return on investment, fully funding the DVR is a no-brainer.”