It may soon be easier for teens in Wisconsin to obtain work permits. The state Senate voted along party lines on Wednesday to approve a bill that eases requirements on 16 and 17-year-old teens to get them. Milwaukee Democrat LaTonya Johnson doesn’t like it.
“This bill takes advantage of our most vulnerable of our most vulnerable, especially our poor and low-income kids,” Johnson said. She cited examples of teens in Milwaukee who are already working 80 hours every two weeks.
“I think that this bill takes away parental oversight,” said Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse. “I’m concerned about removing that oversight.”
The measure, which eliminates a ten dollar permit fee and parental approval, has already passed the Assembly and is now available for Governor Scott Walker’s consideration. The bill’s Assembly Republican author has said that it gives minors who may face problems getting a job, such as those with absent parents, a better chance at entering the workforce. Opponents say such kids can now be taken advantage of.