[Madison, WI] – Yesterday’s State Assembly Floor Session included a package of bills aimed at curbing Wisconsin’s workforce shortage and getting people off of government dependence. State Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk) voted with his Assembly Republican colleagues to move this package forward. This package is known as the “Stronger Workforce Initiative.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate in Wisconsin has been steadily decreasing,” stated Rep. Callahan. “At the same time, public benefit usage has increased. There are over 135,000 jobs listed on the Job Center of Wisconsin website right now, and yet, there are 100,000 more folks on BadgerCare today than before the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to get these folks back into the workforce.”

One of the bills that is part of the legislative package is Assembly Bill (AB) 936, authored by Rep. Callahan. AB 936 considers it fraud for any able-bodied adult on Medical Assistance (MA) between the ages of 18-65 without dependents to refuse work in a deceptive attempt to remain eligible for MA. The bills passed by the Assembly yesterday as part of the package work together to promote accountability, prevent fraud and abuse in the state’s welfare system, reinforce independence from government-run welfare programs, and remove the disincentives currently keeping folks out of the workforce and encouraging a return-to-work.

“This important legislation will go a long way to helping people enter or re-enter the workforce,” said Rep. Callahan. “While the governor has continuously looked for ways to keep more folks on public benefits and keeping them over on the sidelines, our state’s employers desperately need more workers. My legislative Republican colleagues and I are working to actually solve Wisconsin’s problems, and will continue to do so.”

The package is now headed to the State Senate for their consideration.

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