Public Assistance Would Be Harder to Access Under GOP Bills

Despite a record-low unemployment rate, Republican lawmakers want to make it harder for unemployed and low-income people to access public assistance under the guise of addressing the worker shortage.

Under the guise of addressing the state’s workforce shortage, Wisconsin Republicans introduced a legislative package Tuesday that would make it harder for people to access health and unemployment services and create more unfunded mandates and red tape for already-underfunded social services. 

The package of bills does not include provisions to attract more workers to Wisconsin—which is what experts have been saying the state needs for a decade—or address real barriers to unemployment, such as transportation, low wages, and the lack of child or elder care. Instead, it puts up barriers to prevent people who need public assistance from accessing it, and increases the workload for the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and Department of Health Services (DHS) without any additional funding. 

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