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Monday, January 23, 2017

 10:14 AM 

Walker calls for expanding work requirements in welfare programs

Gov. Scott Walker today called for expanding work requirements under the state’s food stamps program to able-bodied adults with school-age children as well as those receiving housing assistance.

Walker made the announcement in Milwaukee as part of a statewide tour to unveil what he’s calling Wisconsin Works for Everyone. The name is a take off of the Wisconsin Works program that former Gov. Tommy Thompson unveiled two decades ago. Thompson was to join Walker in Madison as part of the tour.

“We want to put people on the pathway to success,” Walker said during the Milwaukee stop.

Currently, the state requires abled-bodied adults between 18 and 49 who do not have minor children to work 80 hours a month, spend 80 hours a month in a program such as W-2 that includes job training or a combination of the two.

In his State of the State address this month, Walker touted new numbers that showed since July 2015, more than 21,000 people had found a job after participating in the Food Share Employment Training Program.

The number also show more than 64,000 people have lost eligibility for food stamps after failing to meet the requirements.

Walker said the changes would initially take place on a pilot basis. Also, some proposals in the full package would require a federal waiver.

Other pieces of the package, which will be included in Walker’s budget, include:

*increasing funding for job and skills training for the unemployed and underemployed.

*expanding job training programs under FoodShare to include the incarcerated, ex-offenders and low-income noncustodial parents involved in the child support system.

*reducing occupational licensing.

*eliminating the “benefits cliff” in child care subsidies.

See more in today’s PM Update.

-- By David Wise


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