Gov. Walker Calls Special Session on Welfare Reform

Gov. Scott Walker issued an executive order on Thursday calling for a special session of the legislature on welfare reform. As part of the special session, the legislature will take up a package of 10 bills authored by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield).

  1. LRB 5218/5282 would authorize the Department of Administration to set up with a private service provider a “pay for success trust fund” of up to $20 million for payments for social, employment, or correctional services. The Department of Health Services (DHS), Department of Corrections, Department of Children and Families, and Department of Workforce Development would also be instructed to study their programs to see if a success trust fund would be an effective alternative to their current funding models.
  2. LRB 5207/5276 would establish a pilot program under which 100 Earned Income Tax Credit claimants would receive advance monthly payments throughout the year, rather than one annual payment. The program would last two years and is subject to IRS approval. The bill directs the Department of Revenue to study a control group of non-pilot program claimants to determine the success of the program.
  3. LRB 5217/5279 would implement performance-based payment systems for Wisconsin Works and FoodShare employment and training (FSET) program contractors.
  4. LRB 5214/5258 would increase FSET work requirements from 20 to 30 hours.
  5. LRB 5213/5286 would include able-bodied adults with children age six or over in FSET work requirements.
  6. LRB 5222/5287 would establish an asset limit of 200 percent of the statewide median value home for Wisconsin Works, Wisconsin Shares, and FoodShare. The bill would also establish a $20,000 limit on the value of non-work-related vehicles for Wisconsin Shares and FoodShare. The bill includes an exemption for agricultural land.
  7. LRB 5216/5288 would require child support compliance for participation in Medicaid.
  8. LRB 5223/5289 would require drug testing as a condition of eligibility for public housing and would require able-bodied public housing residents to participate in an employability plan.
  9. LRB 5246/5290 would require DHS to build upon its current 1115 waiver application and request a waiver to allow the creation of health savings accounts for Medicaid participants.
  10. LRB 5280/5281 would require DHS to ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture for approval to issue electronic benefit photo identification cards for FoodShare recipients.