Contact: Rep. Terry Katsma
Madison- Yesterday, Representative Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg) voted in support of reforming Wisconsin’s welfare programs. The votes were taken during a Special Session on Welfare Reform, called by Governor Walker earlier this month. The package of legislation included, among others, work requirements for able-bodied adults; required child support compliance for Medical Assistance eligibility; photo identification for FoodShare; and asset limits for welfare eligibility. Rep. Katsma co-sponsored all ten bills introduced by Rep. Robin Vos, Rep. Jesse Kremer and Senator Chris Kapenga.
After the vote, Representative Katsma stated, “I was proud to join my colleagues in supporting these bills today. These common-sense reforms will ensure that resources continue to be available for those that really need help, while ensuring that there aren’t individuals taking unfair advantage of taxpayer dollars.”
Rep. Katsma also noted, “I am particularly supportive of Special Session Bill 3, which puts asset limits on individuals collecting public benefits, except in cases of hardship—for example if a job is lost. There is no reason that someone who owns a house worth twice as much as the median valued home in Wisconsin should be collecting food stamps. That’s absurd.
“Additionally, I am encouraged to see the work requirement match the allowable federal guideline for the FoodShare employment and training program. At a time when Wisconsin has record low unemployment rates, we need to make sure that everyone who can work, is working. Now is a great opportunity for those that are unemployed or underemployed to receive training in order to earn a living wage and become independent.
“We do a disservice to individuals on welfare by not giving them the encouragement and the tools that they need to become independent. I firmly believe most people receiving benefits want to work and be self-sufficient; these reforms give individuals the opportunities that they need to become self-reliant.”