Legislative Republicans introduce package of bills to increase workforce participation

Madison – Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) released legislation today aimed at increasing workforce participation by reinstating work requirements and drug testing for certain recipients of FoodShare. The bill comes as part of a larger package of legislation introduced by legislative Republicans that seeks to curb the massive expansion of welfare in recent years that has caused increased worker shortages in Wisconsin and nationwide.

“Wisconsin is experiencing a serious workforce shortage that has caused supply chain issues and an unsustainable spike in inflation that is hurting our small businesses and our citizens,” Rep. Born said. “The policies of the Evers and Biden Administrations have allowed more people to get paid to sit on the sidelines, without participating in any work or training activities. It’s past time to change this unsustainable path.”

Already required under state law are work and drug testing requirements for certain welfare participants. However, Governor Evers unilaterally waived these requirements until September 2022, claiming the state doesn’t have enough jobs available to those who are looking to work. LRB 5571 would require the Governor to begin implementing the existing work and drug testing requirements, including withdrawing any waiver or suspension of the requirements.

“Since Governor Evers took office, he has been searching for ways to pay people to stay home. From waiving work requirements using any loophole available, to proposing repealing foundational safeguards in our welfare programs, he has proven that he is more interested in paying individuals to not work than protecting the hard-earned tax dollars of Wisconsinites,” Rep. Born added.

The legislative package also proposes prohibiting individuals from refusing work to remain eligible for assistance programs; indexing eligibility for unemployment insurance to the state’s unemployment rate; and makes individuals who no-show for job interviews temporarily ineligible for unemployment insurance.

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