MADISON – The following is a statement from State Senator LaTonya Johnson regarding today’s public hearing on Walker’s special session package of bills.
“We must treat people with dignity and respect and provide them with real opportunities if we want Wisconsin children and families to succeed in our communities. I believe this is a core value that all Wisconsinites can get on board with, and our state policies should reflect that.
“More importantly, we need to hear and listen from families about the challenges they face and what they need from our elected leaders to help them thrive. By looking at the package of bills being proposed by the governor and legislative Republicans, it is clear that they did not listen to the Wisconsinites who utilize and need the programs they are seeking to block access to.
“We need to prioritize what families are asking for and what is proven to be effective rather than create more bureaucracy and hurdles for accessing basic needs like food. Policymakers should be investing in strategies like supporting families through a child care tax credit, ensuring a living wage, and providing access to health care to individuals and small business owners through the BadgerCare for All proposal.
“We know this package of bills is going to hurt Wisconsin families because other states have already attempted similar proposals. For example, Pennsylvania stopped their FoodShare asset test after 111,000 households were denied benefits because they had trouble producing all of the required documentation. The asset test being proposed in the Republican package will not help transition families out of poverty. Worse, with over 40 percent of FoodShare recipients in the state being children, putting up roadblocks that will keep people from accessing FoodShare will mean more Wisconsin children will go hungry.
“The bottom line is that denying basic necessities to people who are trying to provide for themselves and their families, through costly administrative hurdles, is not the Wisconsin our elected leaders should be creating. I’ll be continuing to push for proposals that will actually create pathways to prosperity.”