Today’s workforce opportunities are far different than just a few years ago—there’s an abundance of good-paying jobs and not enough workers.

In 2021, more than 1.4 million people in Wisconsin were enrolled in Medical Assistance (Medicaid), excluding Senior Care, and 210,000 job openings in our state. These are people who are able-bodied and able to work

The Stronger Workforce Initiative is a package of bills designed to make sure government programs don’t compete with employers for able-bodied workers.

The bill I authored would consider it fraud to refuse reasonable work offers for the purpose of remaining eligible for Medical Assistance, with certain exceptions. Anyone found engaging in this type of fraud would be ineligible for the program for six months.

Additional Stronger Workforce bills include:

  • Indexing the length of unemployment insurance benefits to the state unemployment rate
  • Deeming a claimant ineligible when skipping a job interview
  • Implementing a work requirement for able-bodied people without children who receive Food Share benefits
  • Making re-employment assistance the main mission of the unemployment insurance program
  • Reforming the unemployment insurance program to ensure it serves clients well with additional call center capabilities, audits, online resources, and other program updates
  • Conducting regular eligibility checks


The Stronger Workforce Initiative can help get able-bodied people back to work—and that’s a good thing for employers and for individuals. A job gives people a deeper sense of purpose, a deeper sense of community, and a deeper sense of independence.