MADISON – On Tuesday, the Assembly approved Assembly Bill 122, authored by Representative Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek), legislation intended to improve employment opportunities for members of the homeless community. The bill passed with unanimous support.
The bill requires local workforce development boards to include an advocate from a local homeless response system and to consider homeless job seekers when developing their strategic workforce development plans.
“Ensuring the homeless community is properly represented when plans are developed will help this population find employment,” said Rodriguez. “We learned last session, that finding meaningful employment is arguably one of the most crucial steps to ending homelessness. This initiative is an important tool to that end.”
Last session, the Assembly GOP brought forward legislation that included creating the Interagency Council on Homelessness, chaired by former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. The council included agency heads in addition to service providers and advocates from the homeless community.
The council released a comprehensive action plan last fall titled, A Hand and a Home: Foundations for Success. All four bills passed by the Assembly were based on recommendations in the council’s report.
“In 2017, Assembly Republicans brought forward a package of proposals to address homelessness, an issue that had largely been ignored over the previous decade,” said Rodriguez. “Today, we have once again stepped up to the plate and this legislation is the next step in the conversation to end homelessness in Wisconsin.”